An interview with the author of Brontë’s Mistress

Finola Austin first novel, Brontë’s Mistress is an imagined account of a likely real affair that occurred between an aristocratic woman, Lydia Robinson, and Branwell Brontë, brother of the famous Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne.

This historical romance offers reflections on a woman’s societal role, and how we perceive women, remain relevant still today. In the end, Brontë’s Mistress is a well-told story from debut novelist Finola Austin.

Austin talks in the interview below about researching and writing Brontë’s Mistress (paid link).

Interview with Finola Austin

Bidwell Hollow © 2020

I am half Northern Irish, a quarter English, and a quarter Welsh. I was born in Kent…

An interview with the author of All the Broken People

Leah Konen made her start writing young adult novels. But she found herself gravitating toward a different kind of story.

That’s why Konen wrote All the Broken People (paid link), a domestic thriller that came out on June 30. It’s Konen’s first adult novel and it’s racking up rave reviews.

“Even the biggest thriller fan will struggle to guess the ending of this twisty, gorgeously written debut,” Rolling Stone magazine wrote. The Kirkus review said, “Konen proves herself a master of weaving webs that slowly contract, strangling characters in the threads.” …

An interview with the author of First Cosmic Velocity

Zach Powers read a story about two brothers hearing something from space on their shortwave radio. The tale inspired Powers to write what became his debut novel, First Cosmic Velocity (paid link).

Published by Putnam, the novel revolves around the 1960s Soviet space program. From the book’s blurb:

Unbeknownst even to Premier Khrushchev himself, the Soviet space program is a sham. Well, half a sham. While the program has successfully launched five capsules into space, the Chief Designer and his team have never successfully brought one back to earth. To disguise this, they’ve used twins. …

Absolutely. Thanks for reading!

Same. Sadly, it's possible we'll never know for sure.

By Andrew Sanger

Edgar Allan Poe was born on Jan. 19, 1809, in Boston, Mass. For nearly 200 years now, his legacy has endured as one of literature’s most influential writers of novels, poems, short stories, and criticism.

Throughout his 40 years, Poe invented or redefined countless aspects of popular fiction. He found massive success in his time, and his short stories and poems were popular enough for him to be one of America’s first full-time fiction writers.

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Bidwell Hollow © 2021

Poe is best known for his work in the horror genre, having penned short stories like The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House…

An interview with the author of Womanish

Kim McLarin wanted to be a reporter. But while at The New York Times, she realized the kind of reporting she wanted to do didn’t involve working at The Gray Lady.

McLarin’s the author of a few books. Her most recent is Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life (paid link), an essay collection about being a Black American woman. McLarin’s also written novels and teaches English at Emerson College.

Before the books and teaching, though, McLarin was a reporter. It was while at The New York Times that she decided a change was in order. …

By Andrew Sanger

Throughout his writing career, Jonathan Carroll has inspired and baffled readers with his unique brand of genre-defying fiction. He launched his career with his first book, The Land of Laughs, in 1980 and has delivered dozens more to date. Critics and audiences have tried to assign his novels a traditional genre label like fantasy, magical realism, or even the convenient catch-all of “slipstream.” But even his earliest books continue to disregard genre boundaries decades after publication.

Often compared to other hard-to-label writers like Jorge Luis Borges or Haruki Murakami, Carroll’s work has been a lynchpin of fiction that lies just…

An interview with the author of City of Hate

Timothy S. Miller’s mother saw President John F. Kennedy moments before he was assassinated. Did his mom’s experience destine Miller to write a novel infused by that tragic event?

Miller’s debut novel, City of Hate (paid link), is about a man suspected of murder in Dallas at a time when the Virgin Mary’s appearing near the site of Kennedy’s assassination. The book’s described as hardboiled crime noir. And it’s earned comparison with Raymond Chandler’s novel The Long Goodbye.

In the interview below, Timothy S. Miller talks about his growth from all the various jobs he’s worked, why he doesn’t want…

By Emily Quiles

In late Oct. 1914, Langston Hughes moved from Lawrence, Kan., to live with his mother, Carrie, in Lincoln, Ill.

During his first day of eighth grade, already four weeks into the school year, “the teacher was explaining the duties of class officers,” recalled Hughes, speaking to UCLA’s Communications Studies Department in 1967. The class was to hold an election the following day.

Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Source: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Collection

“The president needs to know how to run meetings,” his teacher explained to the class. “The secretary needs to know how to write.” She then got to the duties of the class poet, “a poet must have rhythm.”…

Nicholas E. Barron

Freelance writer covering writing, history, and entrepreneurship | he, him, his 🏳️‍🌈

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