Travis Mulhauser’s debut novel may be set in a fictional county in northern Michigan, but Sweetgirl reads very much like an Appalachian or Southern Gothic novel akin to Winter’s Bone. His eloquent prose describes the beauty in the harshness of Cutler County and softens the roughness of his characters.
The novel follows Percy, an intelligent, 16-year-old high school drop out on the search for her meth addicted mother. During the search, she finds an abandoned baby in the care of two passed out drug addicts, which sends the rest of her journey into a melancholy adventure.
What is most striking about Mulhauser is how he became a writer. His style is obviously strongly influenced by his time growing up in Michigan, but unsurprisingly has strong ties to the south due to his time at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro’s MFA program.
I spoke with him about his influences and the fortitude it took to quit the comforts of a forty hour a week job to become a full-time writer. Continue reading “A conversation with Travis Mulhauser”
Here are five fiction books to check out this month. Three of them come out on the 16th; start saving your money.
Continue reading “Five books to read in February 2016”
I read 55 books last year. I made some guidelines for 2015: a new author every week, stick to recent releases, something literary, and only read books I never read before. Sounds boring, but it was important to me. This year, however, I’m doing whatever the hell I want. I’m not worried about a number like I was last year, or those stupid rules. I still have a reading goal (4/month), but I can read things I’ve already read and am trying some more “fun” titles.
This month was a great way to start 2016. Read one of my favorite books to kick off the new year, read two debuts from authors I’ve interviewed (links below) and read a Star Wars book that’s basically fan fiction. Check them out below. Continue reading “What I read: January 2016”
Sari Wilson’s (rhymes with airy) debut novel was about a decade in the making. Wilson’s head was filled with images from her childhood as a ballerina: her hair up in a tight bun, blistered feet, and countless leotards. She knew she wanted to write about the world she spent so much time in, but, more importantly, wanted to write about the emotional truth of her time training in ballet and her childhood.
The story grew and grew and became the fanciful novel Girl Through Glass. In the debut, a young rising star in the 1970s ballet world meets a shadowy middle-aged man named Maurice who becomes fascinated with her. In the present, a dance professor deals with her past as a dancer, and must confront what happened to her all of those years ago.
I spoke over the phone with Wilson for her first ever interview as an author. Continue reading “A conversation with Sari Wilson”
This year’s Oscar nominations were announced, and they featured a few surprises. Here are my gut reactions to the major awards. I doubt any of my personal favorites will win this year. That’s vastly different than last year when my favorites basically all won their category. Continue reading “Gut reaction picks: 88th Annual Academy Awards”
[ release date: January 26, 2016 via HarperCollins]
READ: my interview with the author.
Girl Through Glass, the debut novel from Sari (rhymes with airy) Wilson, may be set in the cut-throat world ballet, but this is not a story about dance. It’s about what happens when a person’s world shatters apart and how those pieces can cut even years later. Continue reading “‘Girl Through Glass’ by Sari Wilson reviewed”
Here are five fiction books to check out this month. I’ll try to add some non-fiction and different genres (maybe even some male writers) in future months. Continue reading “Five books to read in January 2016”