Film Review: Over Home: Love Songs from Madison County

Way back in the early years of this century (being able to say that makes me smile), the spark of the idea that would become the Tufa struck me at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Also at that festival, I first heard Sheila Kay Adams at one of the midnight sessions, in a huge tent on a warm … Read More

Response to the NYT: Has Fiction Lost Its Faith?

Recently in the New York Times, writer and editor Paul Elie bemoaned the lack of depictions of Christian faith in modern fiction. He trotted out numerous examples of past masters (Flannery O’Connor, Anthony Burgess, etc.) and then mentions how current literary novelists simply don’t, apparently, have faith in Christianity. They don’t depict it because they don’t believe it. In part, he … Read More

Who are the honorary Tufas?

How does one become an honorary Tufa, you may wonder? The criteria is really pretty simple. You must have a song that you’ve written quoted (with your permission, of course) in a Tufa story. So far, there are three honorary Tufas. The first was Jennifer Goree. You can find out more about Jennifer and her connection to the Tufa here, … Read More

Interview: Andrew Brasfield, songwriter of Cold Wind

When I began planning Time of the Season, my holiday-themed e-book chapbook, I already had two of the stories. Both the title story and “A Ghost, and a Chance” had been around for a while. But I wanted to write something new, and I’d gotten such a good response from my novel, The Hum and the Shiver, that I decided … Read More

Writers Day #4

  This is the fourth of a series of videos showing how a typical writer (i.e., me) works through the day.  This one is about research, something you can often do when real life intrudes on your actual writing time. [divider] [media url=””]

Announcing Time of the Season

So this year I’m trying something new: through the good folks at Story Vault, I’m releasing a three-story ebook chapbook for the holidays. It includes: “Cold Wind,” a Tufa story that updates us on Bronwyn and Craig from The Hum and the Shiver. “A Ghost, and a Chance,” in which Sir Francis Colby from Blood Groove crosses paths with the … Read More

By Request: the Music I Grew Up With

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

Announcing the second Tufa novel

  It’s official: there will be a second Tufa novel. Titled Wisp of a Thing, it will not be a straight sequel, but another story in the same setting, with many of the same characters.  Release date, cover art, and back cover text are all to come.  But I wanted to announce this during the holidays, to thank everyone who … Read More

Who are the Melungeons, and where did they come from?

My upcoming novel The Hum and the Shiver posits a secret, isolated race of people living in the middle of modern-day Appalachia.  They have a distinctive physical look, very different from those around them.  They hide in plain sight, using the standard Southern tactics of politeness and misdirection to deflect queries about themselves.  I call them the Tufa.  They’re entirely, totally … Read More