Today’s special guest author is Katrina Parker Williams, who has written a book of short stories focused on the south.
Thanks for coming, Katrina! Could you tell us a little bit about your book?
Trouble Down South and Other Stories is a short story collection of historical fiction chronicling events spanning more than 150 years and addressing a wide range of experiences from African-American perspectives. The collection of stories is set in the South amid a changing landscape in which the characters are forced to wrestle with the social issues surrounding Native Americans, slavery, racism, Prohibition, World War I, the Korean War, Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, health, religion, mental illness, and education. The short stories take the reader on a journey to the past through a collection of interestingly crafted pieces of flawed humanness, social injustice, and redemption, and even humor.
What makes a successful short story?
A successful short story, I think, is one that has an interesting plot, a unique voice, and intriguing characters, which leaves the reader wanting more.
Your stories are set in the South. What makes this region intriguing?
I grew up in the South, North Carolina, and I spend much of my time observing the people, places, and language of this region. I am intrigued by the South because of its rich and colorful characters and its interesting yet complicated past. I think there are many stories about the South that have not been told, and I like to tell some of them in my collection of short stories.
What authors inspire you? Do you have any regional favorites?
My favorite author is Toni Morrison. I also like Maya Angelou, Ernest Gaines, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, and Terry McMillan. Some regional authors I like are Sue Monk Kidd, Kaye Gibbons, Suzy Barile, and Maureen Sherbondy.
What is the best advice you can give to other writers?
Read as much as possible, write everyday if you can, share your work with people who can give you an objective opinion on your writing, and never, never give up, even when times seem bleak—there’s always another day.
Thanks for stopping by, Katrina! What great advice.
Trouble Down South and Other Stories is available on Amazon.