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.
- What’s the title of your book? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Who is the publisher and what’s the publication date?
Delphic Oracle, U.S.A.
October 11, 2022
- In a couple of sentences, what’s the book about?
A love affair begun in 1925 realizes its destiny 90 years later, the mystery of a skeleton discovered in a vacant lot is solved, and the entangled lives of the citizens of a small town in Nebraska are untangled in this funny, poignant, and occasionally tragic story of how a place once known as Miagrammesto Station became home to the long-lost Oracle of Delphi.
- What’s the book’s genre (for fiction and nonfiction) or primary style (for poetry)?
- What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the book so far?
“I needed a refresher in my love for (John) Irving because I was so reminded of his work in the brilliant novel Delphic Oracle, U.S.A. by the gifted author Steven Mayfield.” Jim Alkon, Booktrib
- 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?]
It’s Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio meets anything by Jean Shepherd or perhaps Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street crosses paths with Carl Hiaasen’s Squeeze Me.
- Why this book? Why now?
This book went through several incarnations over a number of years. Thus, the “whys” of it evolved. Originally, it was an attempt to address a number of large issues and themes in a single narrative. The resultant grandiosity brought me back to Earth and I herded my big ideas into something readable. In the end, it’s about people trying to do the right thing despite their flaws and inclinations.
- Other than writing this book, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
The last time I answered this question, I flippantly mentioned my gig in high school as a movie theater projectionist. However, my actual best job was in medicine. I was a neonatologist for about twenty-five years.
- What do you want readers to take away from the book?
I’d like them to feel a bit better about themselves and the world. That’s not always easy these days. Bad people get a lot of press. I thought it would be good to give some ink to folks who are simply doing the best they can with what they have to give.
- What food and/or music do you associate with the book?
It’s an American saga, so I should say, “apple pie.” However, there are a lot of ingredients in Delphic Oracle, U.S.A.’s recipe, so let’s go with “gumbo.”
- What book(s) are you reading currently?
Phillip Hurst’s Regent’s of Paris. Just finished Karla Huebner’s In Search of the Magic Theater, Barbara Quick’s What Disappears, and Michael Bourne’s Blithedale Canyon. All good reads. Next on my list: Loving the Dead and Gone by Judith Turner-Yamamoto.
Learn more about Steven on his website.