Episode 7 — Deborah Wiles

January 20, 2017

deborahwiles-closeup-hi-res-sonya-sones-200x133I need to make a confession to all of you before you listen to this episode.

Before attending the NCTE Annual Convention last fall, I had never heard of Deborah Wiles or read any of her work.

Shocking because I now know all the praise and awards her books have received over the years.

Born in Alabama into an Air Force family and spending her growing-up summers in a small Mississippi town with an extended family full of Southern characters. Today they live on in her stories.

The moment I heard her discussing her documentary novel Countdown and how she supplemented it with playlists, recipes and biographies I was intrigued. (It doesn’t hurt that the main character and I share a last name.)

This new approach to writing fiction, but filling it with large chunks of nonfiction is something I have never seen before and I wanted to have her share it with all of our podcast listeners. I think you’ll find Deborah’s approach to writing and belief in the importance of learning to write your own narrative highly informative.

After you listen to the podcast, give yourself a treat by reading her “life notice” written by one of her characters from The Aurora County Trilogy. I promise, it’ll make you smile.

I wish her books were around when I was being taught english and history. They certainly would have made me enjoy those classes even more.


photo credit: Sonya Sones

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