Archive for May, 2013

Rod Davis, Gerald Duff inducted in Texas Institute of Letters

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 by Robert Carter

Texas Institute of LettersNewSouth authors Rod Davis and Gerald Duff join an illustrious list of writers — including Cormac McCarthy, J. Frank Dobie, Larry McMurtry, and Shirley Ann Grau — with their induction into the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters last month. They were among seven whose contributions as writers were recognized at the Texas Institute of Letters annual meeting and awards ceremony on April 6.

Rod Davis is author of Corina’s Way (NewSouth, 2003), winner of the PEN Southwest inaugural Award for Fiction, as well as other works including American Voudou. His next novel, South, America, is forthcoming from NewSouth Books. Mr. Davis is a longtime magazine editor and writer, formerly at The Texas Observer and D Magazine. An eighth-generation Texan, Rod Davis lives in College Station.

“It was a great honor to become part of an organization with a long history of representing such a distinguished group of writers, whose works reach far beyond the Texas border,” said Davis. He continued, “I think sometimes the state’s literary presence is lost in some of the other distractions, from politics to sports. But, really, those who tell the stories of the many different kinds of people and cultures in Texas have always been a powerful and critical force.”

Gerald Duff’s Fire Ants and Other Stories (NewSouth Books, 2007), was a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction. NewSouth also published his novel Coasters (2001), and his recent short ebook essay Fugitive Days (2012). At the induction ceremony, Mr. Duff read a selection from his recent novel Blue Sabine, which had been earlier in the month named by the Philosophical Society of Texas the best work of fiction published in 2012. Gerald Duff is a native of the Texas Gulf Coast.

Mr. Duff offered some thoughts on his induction, offering that “an old saying declares that a prophet is without honor in his own country. I can’t claim the status of prophet, but as a writer I’m much gratified to be recognized in my home state with my induction into the Texas Institute of Letters. Especially gratified given the many oddball characters and situations I’ve created and set in the Lone Star state. Thanks, Texas, for not taking these personally!”

Learn more about Rod Davis‘s and Gerald Duff‘s books at their NewSouth Books author pages.

Skip Tucker talks Pale Blue Light with Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness

Friday, May 10th, 2013 by Brian Seidman

Author Skip Tucker missed meeting General Stonewall Jackson by 150 years, but while traveling to promote his novel Pale Blue Light, Tucker might’ve encountered the next best thing. While talking about his book at the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Chanellorsville in Virginia, Tucker took the time to pose with a Jackson impersonator, as well as a host of men and women in period dress there to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle.

Skip Tucker and Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville

Skip Tucker and Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

That event, at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, was just one leg of Tucker’s 1,500-mile journey that included stops in the Shenandoah Valley, Atlanta, and New Orleans. At each stop Tucker has been sharing with readers his unique Civil War spy thriller Pale Blue Light, in which Tucker suggests Stonewall Jackson’s death by friendly fire might not have been as clear-cut as it seemed.

Book industry journals Publishers Weekly and Shelf Awareness each took notice of Tucker’s trip and spoke with NewSouth publisher Suzanne La Rosa about the book.

Pale Blue Light is “not simply straightforward literary fiction,” La Rosa told Shelf Awareness. “There’s a lot of history [represented in the book], and it’s full of Civil War details, but the jumping off point is a big ‘what-if’ question. Tucker weaves a very believable, even sexy story about the possibility that Jackson maybe did not die by friendly fire.”

Skip Tucker with interested readers at a Pale Blue Light event at the Battle of Chancellorsville

Skip Tucker with interested readers at a Pale Blue Light event
at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Tucker really tried to get in the spirit of his rugged adventure, “rough-camping” along his journey from his home in Alabama to Virginia and back, along with “Jack and Jim” — his dog jack and a bottle of Jim Beam. Tucker told Publishers Weekly that “one of the reasons for my lengthy mountain trip is to visit the areas in which Stonewall Jackson trod and fought, looking for tidbits” for his planned follow-up to Pale Blue Light. “There will certainly be flashbacks in the sequel.”

Read the Publishers Weekly and Shelf Awareness articles at their websites.

Skip Tucker’s Pale Blue Light is newly available in paperback and also as an ebook from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.