Meet the Editors

Allen Mendenhall is publisher and editor-in-chief. Donna Meredith, Charley Hively, and Claire Hamner Matturro serve as associate editors. RIGHT: Photographs by VanessaK Photography, LLC.

“Bayou Cresting: The Wanting Women of Huet Pointe,” by Jodie Cain Smith

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Rodgers When Alabama author Jodie Cain Smith made her debut as a novelist a few years back with her haunting novel, The Woods at Barlow Bend, I knew Smith was an author to watch. Impressed by her ability to gain reader empathy and craft historic fiction that drew me right in, […]

SLR interviews J. William Lewis, Author of “The Essence of Nathan Biddle”

SLR: How long did it take to write The Essence of Nathan Biddle? JWL: I began writing the story in the mid-1980s.  I wrote the first draft (which was largely biographical) fairly quickly and then put it aside for gestation.  I also put it aside because I had a large and demanding law practice and […]

October Read of the Month: “N.O.K.,” by Bruce Ballister

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro North Florida author Bruce Ballister takes his readers on a scenic, suspense-filled fast ride through the Forgotten Coast of north Florida, in N.O.K (May 2021). Myriad things about the state make it a perfect setting for crime novels, and Ballister deftly makes use of most of these: the heat, the […]

Where Have the Trees and Horses Gone?

Essay by John Riddle  On a recent vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, my wife and I took one of those wild adventure tours that promise to show you horses in their natural habitat in and around the beach area in Corolla.  The open-air sightseeing vehicles were equipped with seat belts, and the […]

“Voice Lessons” by Karen Salyer McElmurray

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The sixteen essays in Karen Salyer McElmurray’s Voice Lessons are best savored one at a time, with deep breaths and pauses between readings to let the author’s soul and pain and voice seep into your bones. Her writing employs the best of creative nonfiction techniques, wheeling between subjects, then returning to […]

SLR Interviews Christy Alexander Hallberg

September Read of the Month: “The Committee,” by Sterling Watson

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro With eight books to his credit, Sterling Watson has long been a powerful author, but he raises the bar considerably in The Committee (Akashic Books 2020), a compelling historical novel about the havoc the so-called Johns Committee wreaked on the University of Florida in the late 1950s. With impeccable accuracy […]

“Craft and Conviction: Gail Godwin’s History of the Heart,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands Gail Godwin’s Heart: A Natural History of the Heart-Filled Life stems from a moment in time when Godwin had just re-read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. She had been thinking about a new novel regarding “a woman’s journey into a heart of darkness where she would have to confront her shadow” […]