I love this collection. Well, I’ve loved all the collections I’ve been in, but this is definitely my favorite. It releases from Firefly Southern Fiction (an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) tomorrow, but it’s still available for pre-order. As our editor Jennifer Uhlarik said, all these stories are golden. Mine is different, more serious, from anything I’ve ever written, which is one of the reasons I like doing collections–I can get away from my brand for a bit, if I choose, and explore other genres. Whether that’s smart or lands in the “do as I say, not as I do” line of instruction, I don’t know. We’ll see.
A Southern Season is being pitched as stories from a front porch swing or stories your grandmama would tell, but I spent many a summer in the South, and none of them match the tales the old folks I knew and loved would tell. I heard stories of Daddy getting in trouble for hitchin’ up the mule to the cart on a Sunday, when, in his Primitive Baptist family, he wasn’t supposed to be doing much of nothing on the Lord’s Sabbath. I remember being told of card games on the sly (again, because their small church didn’t allow for card playing, which could lead to gambling), and how great uncle whatever-his-name-was died at the sawmill (gruesome story) or how the other great uncle whoever got in a gun fight with his ex-fiancée’s new beau. Cousins would spin yarns about the old cemetery and trick me about which fruit was ripe–that was where I learned the pucker-power of green persimmons. And, if I was overly talkative on a quiet night, I’d be told to listen close, and I’d hear the corn grow (never did, though I tried and tried!).
No, the stories in A Southern Season aren’t reminiscent at all to the ones I was told as a young’un, but they are distinctly Southern in flavor and totally worth the read. My part of Texas would fit in the collection just fine with its red-clay roads, gentle hills, and lush forests, but my novella is actually set in a small beach town. Still fits, though. Five states have the Gulf of Mexico as their southern (or, in the case of Florida, western) border, including mine.
We’re already getting reviews on Goodreads from readers who got advanced copies–mostly 4- and 5-star ratings. I’m excited!
The collection officially releases tomorrow (11/1), and the price will go up! Pre-order your copy today, while the price is still low.