Giants of West Tennessee: An Interview with Memphis’ own Southern Avenue

Southern_Avenue_Photo_Credit_David_McClister

NOTE: This is the latest in an ongoing occasional series about notable figures from my home region. This one is unique because, instead of a nostalgic look back, it’s about something brand new. This interview needs two introductions to set up the context. Number one: when I was growing up, WHBQ-AM out of Memphis was the radio station, a Top 40 melting pot … Read More

Location, location, location

Memphis

“Memphis is in a very lucky position on the map.” –Steve Cropper   Facebook friend and fan Paula Cassidy recently asked me, “What’s the most difficult thing about using Memphis as a setting for some of your books?” For those unfamiliar with them, I wrote two vampire novels set in 1975 Memphis, Blood Groove and The Girls with Games of … Read More

The Dickens, I Say

The first edition of Dickens' masterpiece

The most famous Christmas story, besides the Biblical one, is without a doubt A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens distilled the holiday spirit down to its essence with his tale of the miserly Scrooge who reforms his ways just in time for Christmas dinner. I love reading the actual story at Christmas, and watching my favorite* film version: [media url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbaa-T5wSE8″] Yet … Read More

The apocryphal soundtracks to some of my books

orchestra_conductor

It’s no secret that music is a big part of many of my novels, from inspiring the titles to influencing the plots to being part of the story itself. I’m not alone in this, I’m sure. Recently my friends at Facebook’s Heroic Fiction League, Nathan Long and John R. Fultz, posted “playlists” of YouTube videos, songs that either their heroes … Read More

By Request: the Music I Grew Up With

The last true Skynyrd album.

After reading The Hum and the Shiver, musician Andrew Brasfield asked me, “What kind of music did you grow up on?” Given that music is such a big part of the Tufa mythology, and that almost every one of my other books has at least some musical element or inspiration, it seemed a valid question. Being from the rural south, … Read More

How to help Tennessee

I’m from Tennessee, as are both sides of my family. I’m familiar with a lot of the places that are now flooded. Memphis, Nashville, Smyrna, I-24, I-40…these are places I could almost navigate in my sleep. It’s a region that gave the world an awful lot of cool things. And with the horrible damage likely to be revealed as the … Read More