Smashwords and Amazon. Currently, she's working on her first novel, to be published later this fall.
Please tell us a little about your collection. What sort of style or tone is it?
It's about a variety of people from all walks of life, thrown into challenging situations. The tone is maybe dark comedy. The style ... well, I don't know if it has a style at all! It includes the story "Uncle Frank," which is about a Vietnam War hero who is now a cross-dressing farmer. Another story is "Dandelion Wish," the story of a mother driven by desperate circumstances to live as a fugitive with her young son. "Angry Nipple," is a cautionary tale of extreme jealousy. And the title story, "Death by Clogging" is about exactly that.
Are the stories primarily set in the South, and if so, do you consider yourself a Southern writer?
They are all set in the South. "Angry Nipple" could be set anywhere, though. Yes, I consider myself a Southern writer. I try to set my stories in Southern locales because the South has always been a unique place to live, where people still hold on to old-time traditions, and not everyone has been culture-washed by television shows like MTV and VH1.
You have a master's in creative writing. Do you think those who want to write (and get published) should go to school for it, or is it more about learning as you go?
I think it's more about learning as you go. I know of successful writers who didn't earn their master's degrees, and they did just fine. I think you need to study the authors in your favorite genre and see what they're doing -- what techniques they are using to draw the readers in. What are they doing right? I ask myself when I'm reading my favorite authors' works, "Why do I like this story so much? What is this author doing to get me to feel this way about this passage? How is he/she pushing my emotional buttons?"
Why did you decide to publish your collection on Kindle?
I read about a young author Amanda Hocking who has become an indie ebook sensation. She's become a millionaire in, like, 10 months by selling her vampire adventure/romance novels. Reading about her success made me decide to just do it and see how many I can sell online. Plus, there's a lot more freedom to publishing on Kindle, Nook, and other epublishing venues. You have more control.
Who are some of your favorite Southern writers?
Truman Capote is my favorite of all time. His descriptions and scenes are so vivid. I can only hope to write half as well as that. I also like Flannery O'Connor's work.
What's your "guilty pleasure" reading?
Anything Stephen King. He's a wonderful writer and really draws you into the story.