Sunday, April 22, 2018

Interview: Chris Manno, author of BLOOD AND REMEMBRANCE

BLOOD AND REMEMBRANCE
by
CHRIS MANNO
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Publication Date: March 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 321 pages

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Blood and Remembrance is the prequel to the award-winning Texas novel, East Jesus. This new, stand-alone story rampages from the west Texas plains to Huntsville's Death Row and back. Cowboys, ranchers, driven oilmen, desperate convicts and headstrong women grapple with truths of the heart, of life, and the coming of age in a dramatic struggle you'll live yourself and never forget.

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MINI-INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CHRIS MANNO

Q: Why a prequel?
A: Many readers and even a few critics suggested a sequel to East Jesus, but to me, the story felt like it was well ended, cataclysmically final at that. I talked it over with the publisher and we both agreed: if I felt the story was over, the matter was settled. 

But a prequel appealed to me, began talking to me as good stories do to receptive writers: who were these people, what forces shaped them, how did they grow to be the dynamic characters in East Jesus? And how did the next generation come about?

The story that unfolded burned hot and fast and became Blood and Remembrance.

Q: Do readers need to have read East Jesus to understand Blood and Remembrance?
A: Not at all—Remembrance is a stand-alone story. However, those who’ve read East Jesus will have “aha moments” throughout. 

Q: What was your goal in writing this story?
A: Exactly what I teach as a writing professor. That is, habitable prose, stories people live themselves rather than just read. Once you live the experience, the story—and the meaning— belong to the reader. 

Q: Explain the multiple viewpoints in Remembrance.
A: It’s simple; in fact, it’s the way we experience the world: variable, fast-moving and at the pace of modern life -- a virtual kaleidoscope of action and adventure we sort into meaning. Readers live the story through different characters and, in the same way our post-modern world unfolds, put the pieces together to create meaning. I trust the readers to do that; I give them credit for that ability to make their own meaning of the bricolage they live on these pages.





Chris Manno of Fort Worth, Texas, earned a doctorate in English from Texas Christian University and teaches writing at Texas Wesleyan University. 

East Jesus, his first novel, was named “finalist” (second place) for Best Fiction of 2017 by the North Texas Book Festival. The novel takes a close-up, visceral look at West Texas life in 1969 and the good folks who lived it, grappling with notions of family, patriotism and violence, both domestic and in a far-off, unpopular war. 

Blood and Remembrance is the prequel to East Jesus, tracing the roots of the main characters in both books, examining the harsh but classically All-American story of life in the Texas panhandle. 

Manno is also the author of a third novel, Voodoo Rush, winner for Best Fiction of 2018 by the North Texas Book Festival, and a collection of short stories titled Short Fiction for the Impatient Reader. Both books are available from White Bird Publications of Austin Texas. 


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