Death Wish, Old and New

Death Wish poster

After seeing commercials for the upcoming Eli Roth remake, I rewatched the original Death Wish from 1974. I was really surprised by how different Death Wish was from what I remembered, and how Roth’s remake, to judge from the trailers, totally misses the point. Yes, Charles Bronson becomes a vigilante after his family is brutally attacked, but that’s just the skeleton … Read More

Interview: Sean Grigsby, author of SMOKE EATERS

Smoke-Eaters-cover

Dragons are ubiquitous, and as a result, it can be difficult for a writer to find a new way to present them. Sean Grigsby, a fellow west Tennessean, has found a great approach: he combines dragons with his own experiences as a firefighter in his first novel, Smoke Eaters. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of it, and … Read More

On Fairy Life

Dadd Fairy Feller detail 2

This is the second post adapted from a presentation I did at the 2017 Pagan Unity Festival. You can read the first post here. As I said in the prior post, if you’re here reading this, you probably already know that my Tufa novels are about a race of exiled fairy folk in the mountains of east Tennessee. The title of … Read More

What are fairies?

Dadd Fairy Feller detail

This is adapted from a presentation I gave at the 2017 Pagan Unity Festival. If you’re here reading this, you probably already know that my Tufa novels are about a race of exiled fairy folk in the mountains of east Tennessee. The title of the sixth and final book in the series, The Fairies of Sadieville, explicitly references this connection. And although they’re … Read More

On Themes and the Tufa, Part 2

Coffin stayed in Tennessee

See part 1 here. When The Hum and the Shiver proved successful enough to warrant a sequel, I wanted to advance the themes as well as the story. I decided that the central recurring character would be the place, not Bronwyn Hyatt. Cloud County and Needsville held many other characters I felt could (and subsequently did) carry their own novels. I’ve said … Read More

On Themes and the Tufa, Part 1

Museum of Appalachia tools

When I wrote the first Tufa novel, The Hum and the Shiver, I had no plans for a series. I wrote it on spec, without a contract, just prior to the release of my first novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde. In that first Tufa book, I had a very particular, self-contained story in mind: circumstances force Bronwyn Hyatt to decide how … Read More

An announcement about The Fairies of Sadieville

Sadieville final cover

As I’ve said before, every book in a series is a balancing act between giving readers something new, and giving them what they already love. We’ve all read series that over time seemed unable to do the former and settled for repeating the latter. It’s common to say, “That series should’ve ended back at <insert series book title of your … Read More

Ten years after The Sword-Edged Blonde

Sword-Edged Blonde original cover

Ten years ago this week, a lifelong dream finally came true. My first novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde, came out in hardcover. It introduced both me, and my character Eddie LaCrosse, who has gone on to feature in four more novels and a smattering of short stories. Although the manuscript that became Wisp of a Thing was the one that induced … Read More

Tobe Hooper: the Kids and the Chainsaw

texas-chainsaw-massacre-987x750

The recent death of director Tobe Hooper has me, and millions of others, thinking about his landmark third film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In 1974, Massacre presented three major innovations. One, it was both set and made in Texas, and wore its non-Hollywood pedigree on its bloody, tattered sleeve. Two, it was (or seemed to be, which I’ll get to) gratuitously … Read More

Reader Question: Writing from a Woman’s POV

Catamount Cup and Wisp Book

Reader Jane Payne (a name I just may borrow for a character) asked on my Facebook author page: “Writing POV for female characters. You do well! Is it challenging?” First, thank you for the compliment. I appreciate that a lot. Is it challenging? I can’t deny that it was at first, mainly because I expected it to be. We’re taught … Read More