Allen Mendenhall Interviews Shuly Cawood, Author of “The Going and Goodbye”

AM:  Shuly, thanks for this interview about your memoir, The Going and Goodbye.  I want to start by asking you about the epigraph by Richard Wilbur, in part because he passed away just about the time your book was released. I find that intriguing because you quote him on the subject of life and death, […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Johnnie Bernhard, Author of “A Good Girl”

AM:  You’ve been a regular contributor to Southern Literary Review, Johnnie, so I’m particularly happy for the occasion to interview you about your new novel, A Good Girl.  Tell us about Gracey Reiter.  JB:  Gracey Reiter is the protagonist for my work of historical fiction, A Good Girl.  A middle-aged woman, Gracey is conflicted by crossroads […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Steve Wiegenstein, Author of “The Language of Trees”

AM:  So glad Southern Literary Review has a chance to feature your work again, Steve.  Thanks for doing this interview.  I bet when you wrote this book, you couldn’t have anticipated how timely a story about a post-Civil War 19th century community would be. If you turn on the news these days, you see ongoing […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Dan Leach, Author of “Floods and Fires”

AM:  Congratulations on the publication of your collection of stories, Floods and Fires.  We share a publisher—the University of North Georgia Press—as well as a connection to Greenville, South Carolina, where I went to school at Furman.  You graduated from Clemson in 2008.  Were you writing stories then?  DL: Thanks, Allen. Congratulations to you, as […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews DJ Donaldson, Author of “Assassination at Bayou Sauvage”

AM:  Thanks for doing this interview, Don, and congratulations on the publication of your latest in the Andy Broussard mystery series, Assassination at Bayou Sauvage.  How has this series developed over the years? DD: The first book, Cajun Nights, was a very strange story, partially because the editor at St. Martins, who ultimately bought it, asked me […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Lorna Hollifield, Author of “Tobacco Sun”

AM:  Thanks, Lorna, for doing this interview.  The title of your debut novel is Tobacco Sun.  I want to ask you about that title, but first I want to quote from some opening lines of the book.  “Tobacco,” you say, “a strangely fragile, yet willful crop, desperate for survivorship, proved it could somehow adapt to […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Idabel Allen, Author of “Rooted”

AM:  The title of your book is Rooted.  The first line signals that this word, rooted, will take on layers of meaning.  “It all comes from the root,” your narrator says.  “And Grover McQuiston was the root of it all.”  What are you after here?  IA: The opening line of Rooted serves a couple of purposes. As there are […]

Allen Mendenhall Interviews Emily Carpenter, Author of “The Weight of Lies”

AM: The Weight of Lies is a thriller that critics have labeled as “Southern Gothic.”  Are they right?  EC: I wholeheartedly endorse the Southern Gothic label. There are some other elements at play in the book—bits of romance, horror, and family drama—but overall, I’d really hoped for that delicious moss-draped, muddy, “there’s-something-off-about-this-place” feel you get in […]