Posts Tagged ‘Sample’

From his website:

Peter Selgin is the author of two books of fiction, including his first book of short stories, Drowning Lessons, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Fiction and published by the University of Georgia Press in 2008. His autobiographical novel, Life Goes to the Movies, was twice a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, and second place winner for the AWP Award for the Novel, before being published in May of 2009 by Dzanc Books. Selgin is also the author of two books on the craft of fiction writing, including By Cunning & Craft: Sound Advice and Practical Wisdom for Fiction Writers (Writers Digest Books, 2006) and 180 Ways to Save a Novel: Matters of Vital Concern to Fiction Writers (forthcoming from Writers Digest Books, April 2010).

For more information and to read excerpts of his work, please visit his website.

From the book jacket:

C.E. Morgan studied English and voice at Berea College and holds a master’s in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. She lives in Kentucky.”

All the Living is Morgan’s first novel.

To read her short story, “Over by Christmas,” click here.


Mary Elizabeth Williams is the author of Gimme Shelter, a memoir chronicling her journey toward becoming a homeowner.  She has contributed to the following books, as well: Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure; The Imperfect Mom: Candid Confessions of Mothers Living in the Real World; The Complete Idiots Guide to Movies, Flicks & Films; and The Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Authors.

Bio from the Gimme Shelter book jacket:

Mary Elizabeth Williams is the cultural critic for Public Radio International’s morning news show, THE TAKEWAWAY, and a regular contributor to  She has written for many publications including THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE NEW YORK OBSERVER, and PARENTS.  She has appeared on Court TV and has lectured on journalism and community at New York University and Columbia University.  She lives in New York City.

To read a sample of Williams’s work, click here.

To see the book trailer for Gimme Shelter, click here.


Paul Yoon is the author of the short story collection, Once the Shore (Sarabande Books).  His fiction has appeared in One Story, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, Glimmer Train, and American Short Fiction, among other publications.  “And Will We Be Here,” was included in the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009, and the story, “Once the Shore”–his first publication–was selected for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2006.  In 2007, he was selected as an emerging writer at PEN New England’s Discovery Evening.

To read a short story by Paul Yoon, click  the following title: “Postcards from My Brother.”

Each week, I feature a young and/or emerging writer by posting a review of his or her most recent work.  To further showcase the writer’s work, I include an interview or a link to an interview a day or two after the review post.   I’m going to start posting short bios and links to sample work by the featured writer in order to up the wattage on the spotlight.

Kyle MinorThis Thursday, I’ll be reviewing Kyle Minor‘s first collection of short stories, In the Devil’s Territory.  From the book jacket: “Kyle Minor’s work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, among them Best American Mystery Stories 2008, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Surreal South, and Twentsomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers: The Best New Voices of 2006.  His work has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. [He] is also co-editor, with Okla Elliot, of The Other Chekhov.”

(photo by Miriam Berkley)

To read a few of Kyle Minor’s stories online, click the following titles:

“The Navy Man” (may take a minute to load)
“Ill Nature”
“Two Rubber Bands”

When I was an undergrad at Southern Illinois University, Brady Udall was one of my writing professors.  In workshop, he wasn’t afraid to tell you what he thought of your story.  In that sense, he was tough; but I felt his style of teaching got through to me.  Regardless of how he said it, what he had to say about story telling was dead on.  So while I was still in undergrad, I decided to read his first novel, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint.  It’s a story about a boy whose head gets crushed by a mail truck.  The book traces Edgar’s life from hospital, to reservation orphanage, to foster home.  Throughout, Edgar’s determined to find the man who ran over his head in order to tell the man that he survived, that he’s okay.  It’s a fantastic story that’s beautifully written.  I highly recommend it.

My senior year at SIU, I had a workshop with Brady.  He told us about a new book he was working on, The Lonely Polygamist–though I’m not sure if he had mentioned the title.  He just said that the book was about a man with four wives and twenty-something children.  I liked his first book so much that after graduation, I began this mild obsession with checking Google and Amazon to see when the book was set to be released.  The searches led me to the title of the book, and I had found several tidbits–articles,interviews, reading promos, etc.–that hinted at future release dates.  Based on the information I had gathered, this book was supposed to be released at least 80 times from the beginning of 2008 to the end of 2009.  But the internet is a mile wide and an inch deep, so I should have been a little more cautious when reading these sites.

Now, I don’t do these searches every day.  I’m not that big of a creep.  But every once in a while when I’m looking to waste time on the net, I might type in a name or a title (Barry Hannah, too).  And since it had been a month or two since the last time I checked on this particular book, I decided to do a search today.  And I found this article from the Boise Weekly.  There’s still no set release date; however, it does mention a late 2009, early 2010 publication.  The reason it has taken so long seems to be a result of the book’s page length–over 700.  Looking forward to tackle that one.  I’ll be keeping an eye on this and will post a publication date here once that information is available.

brady_webTo read samples of Brady Udall’s work, click the following links:

“Otis is Resurrected”
“A Story”

Live Nude Books: The Turtle Catcher opens with a series of intense scenes that take place in 1920.  From there, you send the reader back to 1897 and tell the story of the Richter family leading up to and going beyond those first few scenes.  Did you have the structure of the novel planned out when you first started writing, or did you organize the story this way during the drafting and revision processes?

Yellowleaves1Nicole Helget: Probably to my discredit, I don’t worry about overall shape or structure when I first begin writing a story. I feel very free to jump around in history or in the story without regard for chronology. I connect or arrange events more by theme or metaphor and *expect* my readers to make the connections themselves. I’m aware that this doesn’t always work for some readers. I’m aware that some readers prefer a more linear or traditional plot structure. But there are plenty of books out there that already do that. Plot or structurally-speaking, I’m more impressed by poets and poetry, with all their leaping and echoing, and I try to honor those types of constructions in my prose. When I start trying to force traditional structures on my prose, it ends up feeling predictable, and I despise predictability in my own fiction. I’m trying to fight against what’s expected. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

LNB: There are several characters that receive a hefty amount of page space, yet they’re all well developed—none of them seem like two-dimensional “types.”  When writing a story with a lot of characters, how do you manage all of them without letting one or two fall to the wayside?

NH: It’s sort of cliche, I guess, but I try to deliver the humanity of every character. I, personally, don’t even like all of my characters, but I try to give even the most abhorrent character a history or event that makes them at least somewhat sympathetic, that explains why they behave the way that they do. Managing so many characters isn’t something I’ve ever considered a problem or challenge. In my real life, I’ve always had a lot of people around. I have 5 sisters. I have 5 children. Because of the sheer amount of people in my personal life and because I’ve always been interested in knowing them thoroughly and understanding their motivations, that personal experience transfers naturally to my literary work.

LNB: The novel spans twenty plus years, covering the early twentieth century immigrant experience and World War I.  How much and what types of research did you need to do in order to tell this story?

NH: I’m intensely interested in history. My favorite reads are actually the Pulitzer Prize or National Book award-winners in historical nonfiction, like Nathaniel Philbrick, Timothy Egan, and Ann Applebaum.  I’m no expert on any particular era, so I write fiction instead, where I can just use events of the past to tell the story I want to tell. My favorite part of writing is probably the research that goes into creating the accurate historical perspective. I read a lot of narratives from the time, histories, poetry of or about the time, and watch a lot of documentaries. For The Turtle Catcher‘s purposes, I grew up in the area, too, so I knew some of the history and could see and feel how it has shaped the area and the people in it.

LNB: In your memoir, you write about growing up in rural Minnesota, and the novel is set primarily in your home state.  Does place work as a form of inspiration for your writing?

NH: Oh yes. Setting is its own character. It has moods and bad behavior. Particularly in this area, weather, seasons, animals, plants, and insects, are still prevalent, still a part of the people’s daily business, so it would be dumb, I think, to pretend as though it doesn’t exist or doesn’t have an effect on the people here. So if a writer sets a book here, setting has to be a part of it.

LNB: Your first book is non-fiction, the second is a novel, and you’ve written several children’s books.  What are you working on now?

NH: I am working on another novel, titled STILLWATER, which is about a pair of twins born during the fur-trapping era, who are separated but then later reunited under the most abhorrent, incestuous circumstances. I’ve got about 150 pages, but I think it’ll be close to 400 pages when I’m done. It’s coming out really fast. Hopefully, I’ll be done by the end of summer.

Nicole Helget’s novel, The Turtle Catcher, began as a short story, which won the 2005 Tamarack Award from Minnesota Monthly.  To read this story, click here.