Friday, June 26, 2020

Author Interview & Giveaway: ALL THINGS LEFT WILD

James Wade

Genre: Adventure / Rural Fiction / Coming of Age
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Number of Pages: 304 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!

After an attempted horse theft goes tragically wrong, sixteen-year-old Caleb Bentley is on the run with his mean-spirited older brother across the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Caleb's moral compass and inner courage will be tested as they travel the harsh terrain and encounter those who have carved out a life there, for good or ill. 

Wealthy and bookish Randall Dawson, out of place in this rugged and violent country, is begrudgingly chasing after the Bentley brothers. With little sense of how to survive, much less how to take his revenge, Randall meets Charlotte, a woman experienced in the deadly ways of life in the West. Together they navigate the murky values of vigilante justice.

Powerful and atmospheric, lyrical and fast-paced, All Things Left Wild is a coming-of-age for one man, a midlife odyssey for the other, and an illustration of the violence and corruption prevalent in our fast-expanding country. It artfully sketches the magnificence of the American West as mirrored in the human soul.

PRAISE for All Things Left Wild:
"A debut full of atmosphere and awe. Wade gives emotional depth to his dust-covered characters and creates an image of the American West that is harsh and unforgiving, but -- like All Things Left Wild -- not without hope." — Texas Literary Hall of Fame member Sarah Bird, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

"James Wade has delivered a McCarthy-esque odyssey with an Elmore Leonard ear for dialogue. All Things Left Wild moves like a coyote across this cracked-earth landscape—relentlessly paced and ambitiously hungry." — Edgar Award finalist David Joy, When These Mountains Burn
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Interview with James Wade
Author of All Things Left Wild

How has being a Texan (or Texas) influenced your writing?

Texas has produced historically good writers, from J. Frank Dobie and James Michener to Edna Ferber and Molly Ivins, and so many others. And as cliché as it sounds, Texas authors, more often than not, have that hard-scrabble tint to their work. Also, our state is a big place, so there are different styles of Texas writing—from Joe Lansdale’s East Texas capers to Larry McMurtry’s wind-swept stories of the Texas Plains. As a reader and a writer, Texas encourages you to explore different genres, different geography, and different voices. I was lucky to grow up with so many literary influences from my home state. 

Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work? 

So many. The first few to come to mind are Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, Larry McMurtry, and Owen Egerton.

What are some day jobs that you have held? Have any of them impacted your writing?

People say this a lot, but I’ve had almost every job there is, and every one of them has made my writing more informed. I’ve worked in a warehouse, in a handful of kitchens, in retail, and at a call center. I’ve delivered beauty supplies to salons, taught summer school to Hispanic students learning English, and worked at a bank for almost a whole month. I’ve worked on lobby projects for the Texas Water Development Board, served as a legislative director in the Texas House of Representatives, and spent a couple years as a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Transportation. I’ve written and edited for online news outlets and magazines, and my longest job was as a reporter at my hometown newspaper, the Lufkin Daily News. Every one of those positions exposed me to different industries, different people, and different circumstances, which all play a part in storytelling.

How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing?

My informal education has had a much larger impact on my writing. And even though I only owe student loans for my formal education, I had to pay for the other in plenty of ways.

What did you find most useful in learning to write for publication? What was least useful or most destructive?

The most useful advice I’ve ever received (thanks, Joe) was to put my ass in the chair and write. That’s it. That’s the endgame. Other things that helped: striving for routine and discipline, and also reading as much as I could. Oh, and coffee. Lots of coffee.

I don’t know that there’s a lot of destructive advice or practices out there, but certainly there are things that work for some folks and not for others. I’m not a big workshop guy. It doesn’t help me to have a room full of people tell me how they would’ve written it. My wife was the only person to read All Things Left Wild before I sent it to my agent. Feedback can be valuable for writers, but at some point, you have to trust yourself, close your eyes, and hit send. 

James Wade lives and writes in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter. He has had twenty short stories published in various literary magazines and journals. He is the winner of the Writers' League of Texas Manuscript Contest and a finalist of the Tethered by Letters Short Fiction Contest. All Things Left Wild is his debut novel.

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TWO WINNERS: A signed copy of All Things Left Wild
JUNE 18-28, 2020

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