I’ve Got Questions for Heather Newton

Editor’s Note: This exchange is part of a series of brief interviews with emerging writers of recent or forthcoming books. If you enjoyed it, please visit other interviews in the I’ve Got Questions feature.

McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
  • What’s the title of your book? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Who is the publisher and what’s the publication date?

McMullen Circle; Fiction: Linked Stories; Regal House Publishing; Pub date 1/17/22.

  • In a couple of sentences, what’s the book about?

In 1969, as Karl Wallenda prepares to tightrope walk across the gorge in the tiny town of Tonola Falls, Georgia, faculty families at the McMullen Boarding School learn about war, racism, and what makes a hero.

  • What’s the book’s genre (for fiction and nonfiction) or primary style (for poetry)?

Literary fiction.

  • What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the book so far?

“These deeply literary, heartfelt, and heartbreaking characters call to mind the work of Elizabeth Strout, Gail Godwin, and Richard Russo, but Heather Newton is her own writer. Her characters are shot through with longing and hope, and in this small community we watch as big dreams and big desires are dreamed and felt, run toward and away from. This is the kind of book that readers return to to re-immerse themselves in Newton’s world, and it’s also the kind of book that writers return to to see how she pulled it off.” -Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home

  • What book or books is yours comparable to or a cross between? [Is your book like Moby Dick or maybe it’s more like Frankenstein meets Peter Pan?]

Olive Kitteridge meets Moonrise Kingdom.

  • Why this book? Why now?

Linked stories are perfect for a pandemic. Distracted readers can consume a bit at a time but still enjoy the satisfying arc of a novel.

  • Other than writing this book, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

Camp counselor for musical theater kids.

  • What do you want readers to take away from the book?

I hope I capture this particular time and place, and get readers thinking about what has and has not changed in 50+ years.

  • What food and/or music do you associate with the book?

Frozen hotdogs and Brunswick Stew.

  • What book(s) are you reading currently?

The Good Luck Stone by Heather Bell Adams, and Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field.

Learn more about Heather at her website.

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Buy the book from the publisher (Regal House Publishing), Malaprops Books, or Bookshop.org.

About the author

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