Claire Vaye Watkins just published her first book. "Battleborn" is a story collection that sizzles like the weather in the Death Valley region where Claire grew up.
She earned her MFA at OSU and began writing these stories while she was living in Ohio. Most of them are set in the West in places like Reno and Las Vegas. These stories are absolute page turners. They will haunt you and leave you wanting more.
In this interview I asked "is this fiction? What is this?"
Norah Vincent's first novel is dark, dark, dark. Nick Walsh is in his mid-30's and he's depressed. He's writing down his thoughts. There are so many things that are troubling him. He carries around all this anger. So he drinks a lot. And he tries to kill the psychic pain that enfolds him.
But it is never that easy to bury your feelings. As Nick comes to grips with the reality of his past and of his current situation we begin to feel a slight bit of compassion and sympathy for him.
Alafair Burke's latest novel "Never Tell" opens as the police are investigating the suicide of a young woman. Her body was found in the luxurious Manhattan apartment where she lived. Her parents lived elsewhere while she stayed in the city to attend an exclusive prep school. This seems to be a somewhat peculiar arrangement.
The first time I interviewed James Lee Burke he came out to WYSO during his book tour for "Cimarron Rose." That was back in 1998. Burke stopped touring a number of years ago. Fortunately for his fans he still does the occasional interview and he is as prolific as ever.
James Lee Burke has been my guest in the Book Nook more often than any other author. I caught up with him recently to talk about his new Dave Robicheaux novel "Creole Belle." I called him on the telephone at his place in Montana.