Today we are talking to Book Country member John Franklin, whose book SIERRA OVERDRIVE is a June Editor’s Pick. Connect with John on Book Country, and read on to find out more about his book and how he’s using Book Country to write and revise a story that’s been thinking about for ten years.
Lucy Silag: How did you find out about Book Country? What made you want to be a part of the community?
John Franklin: I first heard about Book Country on National Public Radio. I’d had an idea for a novel that had been rattling around in my head for probably ten years. I decided that if I could write some of it out I could put it up on Book Country so people could read it. If it got good reviews I would keep working on it. If it got bad reviews I would at least be taking on a new challenge. I didn’t know if I had enough talent to write a story that people would want to read but I really wanted to try. Sometimes I’m still surprised I had the courage to put it out where people could read it. People I don’t even know! Continue reading →
One of the absolute best books I’ve read this year is Phil Klay‘s debut short story collection REDEPLOYMENT, now out from The Penguin Press. Addictively readable and full of searing, uncomfortable imagery and detail, these stories take us on an unforgettable journey through the Iraq war as it is experienced and remembered by those fighting in it. You can learn so much about writing about war from Phil–his is a book I will be thinking about a lot as we celebrate Memorial Day this weekend.
Lucy Silag: Why do you think that so few literary writers have written about the war in Iraq from the perspective of those fighting it?
Phil Klay: There are a few civilian writers who have written about the military, like Ben Fountain, Lea Carpenter, and Roxana Robinson. I think to do it right takes a lot of time and research. Plus, there’s the old cultural trope that you can’t know about war unless you were there. I don’t think that’s true, but perhaps that steers people away. If so that’s unfortunate, since I think we need thoughtful engagement with the wars from both civilians and veterans alike. Continue reading →