Three Authors Who Made a Novelist of Manil Suri

My interview with Manil Suri appeared in GalleyCat.

18 February 2008 | interviews |

Melanie Wells’s Bumps on the Road to Tupelo

I met Melanie Wells at a book festival in East Texas last month—she’ll tell you a little more about that—and I’ve become a big fan of her series of novels, which center around a psychology professor in Dallas who finds herself at the center of ongoing spiritual warfare, real angels versus demons territory with human souls in the balance. The book’s covers call them “suspense,” I think of them as horror novels with strong religious themes, and you’ll probably find a descriptor somewhere in between once you read them—which you really ought to. (You don’t have to start with When the Day of Evil Comes and work your way up to the latest, My Soul to Keep, but that’s how I did it.) Melanie blogs with her friend, Trish Murphy (who you’ll also hear about in her essay), at a blog called “Thelma & Louise.” Melanie’s Louise.

I did my best to convince them to blog a little bit more often—not about their projects, although those are cool, but about their friendship and their creative lives, because I believe those things make for a compelling story that will convince you that they’re very cool people whose projects are worth a look, and that’s when they’ll really reel you in. Which is pretty much how I feel about blogs for creative people in general…

melanie-wells.jpgThis is my wacky friend Lynette Shirk‘s idea of a brain explosion prophylactic:


I met Lynette at Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, TX, a fantastic blur of leopard print, fuchsia, and well-crafted words, and this headwear would have fit right in. I was there with my best friend Trish Murphy. Do all my friends have websites, you might ask? Only the interesting ones.

Which brings me to the topic of brain explosion. This happens to me regularly, which is why I’m so grateful to Lynette for her suggestion. A more sane person in a more sane profession (read: not a writer) would simply get her life under control rather than risk the ridicule of wearing a rubber headpiece with big orange flowers on it. A sane person would simply learn to file instead of pile. To fold while there’s still fluff. To pack up a trailer and move out of the time management disaster zone. Things of this nature. But this is not my destiny.

Trish, who is a rock star—really—and who, like me, was raised by creatives in a home with no office supplies, where the only snack in the refrigerator was olives (for martinis), and I complain regularly about the perils of the creative life. We talk daily, just to make ourselves feel better about the chronic disorganization that infects every single thing we do. And we buddy-breathe through the creative process. We take writing trips together to jolt ourselves out of the tar pit inertia that comes, for example, when you turn the corner in a novel (for me it’s always around chapter 10) or get your wheels stuck in the middle eight. All songwriters hate writing the middle eight.


17 February 2008 | guest authors |

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