Win the audio version of Gather Her Round!

Gather Her Round audio

So the good folks at Blackstone Audio have sent along a couple of copies of the audio version of my latest Tufa novel, Gather Her Round. Once again it’s read by Stefan Rudnicki, who makes my writing sound at least ten percent better. It’s a $35 value, but you can enter for a chance to win one of them FREE … Read More

Cover reveal for The Fairies of Sadieville

Sadieville final cover

Here we go: the cover for the sixth Tufa novel, The Fairies of Sadieville. This cover was designed by Jamie Stafford-Hill under the supervision of Irene Gallo, and in my opinion they’ve really outdone themselves. All the Tufa novel covers have been gorgeous (in my opinion), and this one is no exception. It also depicts a moment from the story, which … Read More

Interview: the Lucky Nows

The Lucky Nows

The music in the Tufa novels comes from three main sources: classic folk music, modern indie music, and me. By that, I mean that if I can’t find lyrics to quote from in the first two sources, then it falls back on me to create them. I’m under no delusions about being a songwriter, and I don’t necessarily consider my little … Read More

Presenting Rex Winters: the Story behind Gather Her Round’s Dedication

Stack newspaper

Sometimes dedicating a book is easy, as when a particular person inspires you to write it in the first place, as Tia Sisk did for my first novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde. Or when they’re instrumental in the writing process, the way my son Jake was for Wake of the Bloody Angel. Or when the stars just align, as they did … Read More

How a Springsteen Bootleg Inspired a Scene in WISP OF A THING

The back cover of the Fire on the Fingertips bootleg, with all the wrong song titles. For reference, they should be; SIDE ONE, Santa Ana, Bishop Danced, Seaside Bar Song; SIDE TWO, Zero and Blind Terry, Thundercrack.

Since today’s my birthday, I thought I’d bring y’all a little somethin’-somethin’: an example of how things end up the way they do in novels, along with an absolutely kick-ass song. It used to be a lot of work being a Bruce Springsteen fan. He notoriously wrote many more songs than he put on his albums, and if you wanted to hear … Read More

Favorite Story Song contest

Gather Cover

Popular music has stopped telling us stories. The story song used to be a staple of pop, occasionally rock, certainly country. But since the advent of “singers” enslaved to Auto-Tune and “songwriting” done by marketing committee (not to mention the whole “bro-country” movement), the story song (along with other forms of good music) has vanished from the mainstream airwaves.* Yet … Read More

Flash Giveaway!

500x500

Taking a page from my pal Deborah Blake and offering a quick contest that’ll get you a copy of Chapel of Ease and–although it’s totally unrelated–one of the great albums of the late 80s that you’ve probably never heard. Back in that long-ago time, my friend Hays introduced me to the music of Mississippi’s own Webb Wilder. His album Hybrid … Read More

The original “Chapel of Ease”

chapel final

As we close in on the September release of the fourth Tufa novel, Chapel of Ease, I wanted to share the song that gave the book its title. As with the prior three (and subsequent two) books in the series, the title comes from a song by Jennifer Goree (you can read about how our paths crossed here). It’s found … Read More

Contest Winners!

chapel final

The results are in! The winners of the advance reader copies of Chapel of Ease are: Renee Conley Donna Wilcox Jennifer Brozeck Eddie D. Moore Sylvia Simpson Cynthia Makowski Kathy Rudolphe Amber Barnes Teresa Gunderson Steve Krodman Watch for an e-mail from me very soon! Thanks to everyone for entering, and there’ll be more giveaways when the final book comes out.

Inspiration and “Copperhead Road”

Copperhead_road

When I teach writing classes, I often play the song “Copperhead Road,” by Steve Earle for the students. If you don’t know it, here’s the video.   When it’s over, I point out what makes the song so extraordinary. It tells the story of three generations of men named Conlee* Pedimore; grandfather was a moonshiner, father was a bootlegger, and … Read More