April 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
Take a look at Crystal King’s recent article at Literary Hub regarding the relevance of historical fiction to contemporary society. Crystal, the author of Feast of Sorrow, a gripping new novel on ancient Rome, makes some excellent points about the ways in which the visceral experience of history that comes from reading novels based in the past can inform our understanding of the present. The article also presents the perspectives of ten contemporary historical novelists in whose company I’m quite honored to be included, including Jenna Blum, Anjali Mitter Duva, Margaret George, Heather Webb, and Marjan Kamali. Our current political leaders would do well to read this one!
April 7, 2017 § Leave a comment
“What I was trying to do was first of all just to tell a good story.”
Really enjoyed my recent conversation with Vermont Public Radio’s Mitch Wertlieb! We discussed writing, fly fishing, avalanches, the Grateful Dead, and other topics related to my newly released short fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing.
Here’s a link to the podcast and transcript of the interview. Have a listen if you’re curious: the whole thing is just under seven minutes long. And here’s a link to the collection, which can be purchased at Amazon, B & N, or by request from your favorite local bookstore!
March 29, 2017 § Leave a comment
A nice profile of yours truly is up at The Commons, a first-rate independent newspaper covering my home territory of Windham County, Vermont. You might be tempted to call it a “puff piece,” but the author, Richard Henke, asked some good questions and the article is almost entirely accurate. I’m definitely not complaining! Give it a read if you’re interested.
June 8, 2016 § Leave a comment
What a fun privilege it was to serve as a judge for the Rudyard Kipling Award for Young Writers, the culminating ceremony for which was held this past weekend at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro. The purpose of the award is to encourage local youngsters to engage with writing and literature, and to celebrate the significant and little-known legacy of Rudyard Kipling in the local area.
And if you get a chance to visit the great writer’s historic home, Naulakha, near the base of Black Mountain in Brattleboro, it’s a magical place and I highly recommend it. The contest winner’s prize included an overnight with her family and friends!
April 21, 2015 § 2 Comments
It was a pleasure to be interviewed recently by the author M.K. Tod for her Inside Historical Fiction series. We had a nice talk about the ingredients that go into the making of great historical fiction, the research process, recent trends in the genre, and more. Here’s an excerpt:
MKT: Are historical novels inherently different from contemporary novels, and if so, in what ways?
TW: There’s a quote that I love from Andrew Miller, writing in The New York Times Book Review a few years ago, about the appeal of distance, and of “the strangeness such distance produces and of the lives lived recognizably in the midst of that strangeness.” He compared historical fiction to science fiction, pointing out that both genres require the writer to depict the only world he or she can possibly know—“the here and now”—in other terms.
To me, this notion captures much of what I love about historical fiction, both in the writing and in the reading: it’s at once a dream we have to enter and an oblique reflection of ourselves. In my experience, this kind of mind-altering immersion is harder to find in contemporary novels—if by “contemporary” we mean novels that are set in times and places very similar to the quotidian spheres in which we tend to live out our lives.
Read the full interview here.
November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
Really enjoyed my interview with Peter Biello of Vermont Public Radio on Wednesday, November 26, 2014. Peter is an insightful reader and an excellent interviewer; we had a lively and wide-ranging conversation about the genesis of Will Poole’s Island, various aspects of early America, and new perspectives on the Thanksgiving myth. Click here for the podcast and transcript.