A Literary Banquet

These days, Thanksgiving sometimes seems to be “That Holiday between Halloween and Christmas.” Or “The Day before Black Friday”- although a number of stores have decided Friday begins on Thursday. Or “The Day of the Macy’s Parade, followed by Endless Football.” Or “The Best Meal of the Year,” when we reach for our chubby-faced Pilgrim […]

Lynn Cullen Discusses Twain’s End: The Man Behind the Mask, Part II

On October 13th, Lynn Cullen launched her ambitious new novel, Twain’s End. It examines the complicated last years of the most popular man in America–Mark Twain–and the even more complex life of Samuel Clemens, the flesh and blood man behind that pseudonymous mask. Yesterday, in the first of this two-part interview, I asked Cullen how her research on this […]

Lynn Cullen Discusses Twain’s End: The Man Behind the Mask, Part I

(Last week, Brenda Lloyd reviewed Lynn Cullen’s latest novel, Twain’s End. If you missed this review, you can read it by clicking here. If you know Cullen only from Mrs. Poe,  you can learn more in my earlier interview, linked here.) Just a little over two years ago, Lynn Cullen published Mrs. Poe, her story […]

Mapping the Promised Land: A Review of Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep

I find maps fascinating, not so much for their directions, as for what their place names reveal. Take Georgia’s map, for example. First, some patriotic names: Jackson (also Jackson County, Jacksonville), Rossville, Jefferson (-ville and County, too), Madison, Monroe, and Washington (& County). Next, names suggesting  homesickness, longing to travel, or even beauty: Oxford, Rome, […]

Under Our Masks: Honesty in Memoir Writing

Did you ever wish you’d spent more time talking to your parents or grandparents about their earlier life? I sure do. My mother, for example, was one of those women who stepped into a man’s shoes during WWII to fill needed jobs, including as an air traffic controller. If only she’d written a memoir. Gretchen […]

Q and A with Sue Montgomery, Author of Whisper in the Blood

Several years ago, I attended the 26th Annual Iowa Summer Writing Festival, the non-credit affiliate of the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop, whose graduates fill the ranks of the best and brightest in American letters.  Ours was a workshop class of 12 aspiring novelists which ran the gamut of genres – literary, historical, women’s fiction, and crime. I […]

Welcome to Braggsville: Old Times There Are Not Forgotten

For years, Uncle Charles had rhapsodized about our Snell family roots in tiny Oconee, Georgia, stop #14 on the Central of Georgia Railroad between Macon and Savannah. Oconee (population 280) is the heart of Georgia and site of the Civil War Battle of Ball’s Ferry at the Oconee River Bridge. When I decided I wanted […]