Archive for June, 2007

Shlemiel Crooks Author Anna Olswanger Interviewed on Children's Book Podcast

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 by Lyndsey

Shlemiel Crooks author Anna Olswanger has been interviewed by the online book review program Just One More Book. Just One More Book is podcast devoted to literacy and childrens books.

During the interview, Anna detailed the development of her career as an author and literary agent and gave hints to aspiring writers from the perspective of both a writer and an agent.

Anna explained that she began her education expecting to be a painter, but realized her niche was in literature. When asked why she began writing, Olswanger responded that she “remembered painting what I considered my last painting and making a decision that it would be writing from then on that would be my creative output. So it was not my first choice, I really wanted to be an artist. I turned to writing and what I discovered was I really liked the whole professional aspect of it.”

The transition from a writer into a literary agent seemed to come naturally to Anna, who described herself as being “very happy” with her career path. Says Anna, “It allows me to be involved with all kinds of genres and work with different kinds of authors. I’m free to do whatever I want and that is something that is very gratifying for me.”

When giving advice to authors seeking to hone their skills, Anna suggests that writers learn how to “open the floodgates and stop judging themselves because the problem for most writers is that from the very moment they try to write they say, ‘this is not going to be good enough, nobody is going to be interested, I’m not going to succeed’ you must give yourself permission to take a risk.”

Listen to the full broadcast of the interview at Just One More Book.

Shlemiel Crooks, written by Anna Olswanger and illustrated by Paula Goodman Koz, is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.

Audio Interview with Oracle of the Ages Author Dot Moore Available Online

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 by Lyndsey

A radio interview with Oracle of the Ages author Dot Moore is now available from Georgia Public Radio’s Cover to Cover book review program.

In March 2003, Dot Moore gave a fascinating interview with host St. John Flinn concerning her book Oracle of the Ages, a work of creative non-fiction about the legendary fortune teller Mayhayley Lancaster. During the show, many listeners called in to tell their stories of encounters with Lancaster and ask Moore questions about how she was able to research the enigmatic character when it seemed that her life was kept ultimately undocumented.

Moore recalled her experience searching through the archives in Heard County and piecing information together with the accounts of locals who personally knew the self-proclaimed “Oracle of the Ages.”

One caller commented, “Once you start reading it, you won’t put it down!”

Listen to the full broadcast or download a podcast of the interview at Cover to Cover.

Oracle of the Ages has just been re-released in paperback and is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.

Gerald Duff Story Now Available from Kenyon Review

Monday, June 11th, 2007 by Brian Seidman

The Kenyon Review literary magazine has just released their Summer 2007 issue, including the story “The Way a Blind Man Tracks Light” by Gerald Duff. Kenyon Review editor David Lynn calls the story “terrific, haunting, and rare.”

Gerald Duff’s new short story collection Fire Ants, will be published in the fall by NewSouth Books. Duff, the academic dean at McKendree College, is also the author of Coasters from NewSouth, which Publisher’s Weekly said was full of “wit and subtlety as simply satisfying as a tall cold one on a hot Gulf Coast afternoon.”

Read more about the summer issue of the Kenyon Review, or click here to purchase the issue.

Coasters is available directly from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online book retailer. Fire Ants is forthcoming from NewSouth Books.

World War II Veteran Jim Harrell Honored on Memorial Day by Alvin Benn

Monday, June 4th, 2007 by Lyndsey

February Mission has been reviewed by Alvin Benn of The Montgomery Advertiser, who calls author Jim Harrell a brave Alabamian who took part in one of the deadliest bombing missions of World War II.”

February Mission is the stunning collection of poems and plays that revolve around the life experiences of author and poet Jim Harrell. The poem for which the book is titled vividly portrays the bombing of Dresden, a mission Harrell will never forget. Throughout Harrell’s life, he has used poetry and writing as an outlet for the memories of his past.

Jim is adament about sharing his talents with others and urging young people to write as well. Benn praises Harrell for his generous donation to Alabama schools and his ardent promotion of literacy through reading, stating that he has donated more than 1,000 books so far” through his book donation program, and also sponsored the James Harrell Poetry Scholarship Award. Hes been giving copies of his latest book to libraries across the state, along with a book about the final days of the Civil War and an anthology of verse by Alabama’s poet laureates.”

From the article:

Harrell was a waist gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress during the raid and writes about it in [the poem] “February Mission.”

It’s not long and it’s in verse form, but it’s apparent the mission became a seminal moment in the life of a man who has used poetry to express himself since his school days in the little Marengo County community of Thomaston.

Published by NewSouth Books, February Mission contains a collection of poems and plays written by Harrell, who, in the past few months, has endeared himself to students and teachers across Alabama.

Cancer slowly is killing him, but his mind remains clear and positive even if his body is fading. He says his doctors give him about a year to live.

Poetry has a lot to do with keeping Harrell active. It has carried him through more than a few rough spots during his 83 years and it’s helping him now as his time begins to wane.

His poems contain personal reflections, his views on life, growing up in Alabama and much more, but it’s a day in February 1945 that became the cornerstone of his work.

Read the full article in The Montgomery Advertiser.

February Mission is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.

Longleaf's Wild Ride Praised by Blogcritics Books

Friday, June 1st, 2007 by Brian Seidman

Longleaf has been reviewed by Blogcritics Books, which called it “a well-plotted thriller.” The article praises Longleaf for its “wild ride that might have the added benefit of opening kids’ eyes to the natural beauty the world holds for them,” and notes that the book “will certainly lead many of its readers to learn more about ecosystems and the environment.”

Set in the real-life Conecuh National Forest, Longleaf follows two teenager as they survive a night alone in the forest, pursued by a trio of villains. Longleaf is a terrific adventure story and an excellent introduction to the plants and animals of the Alabama eco-system.

Read the full article at Blogcritics Books.

Longleaf is available now from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite online or local book retailers.