Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TLC BLog Tour: This Dark Road to Mercy - An interview with Wiley Cash & A GIVEAWAY!

Wiley Cash is one of my favorite authors.  In May 2013, I reviewed his debut novel
A Land more Kind than Home which was subsequently chosen to receive the Maine Readers Choice Award for the best literary fiction of 2014.

Then in February of this year, after I had the chance to meet Wiley Cash at an appearance in Portland,  I reviewed his next book This Dark Road to Mercy.   It was every bit as enjoyable as the first one.  Now the publisher is releasing Dark Road in paperback and asked if I was interested in blogging again about this talented author.  To herald the paperback version, we have a copy available to giveaway, and an interview with Wiley.
While I didn't have the opportunity to sit and have a beer with Wiley (that would have been my preferred venue to interview him),  I did get to submit some questions which he graciously answered for us.  Here's what we came up with.

  • Where do you get your ideas for stories?
    The idea for A Land More Kind Than Home took hold of me after I learned of a similar tragedy occurring in Milwaukee: a young autistic boy had been smothered to death at a store-front church during a healing service. The two girls from my second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, were inspired by two foster children I knew while growing up in Gastonia, North Carolina. And my third novel, which I'm hard at work on right now, is based on a violent 1929 textile mill strike in Gastonia that has nearly been erased from history.
    • What are you reading now?
    I'm always reading more than one book at a time. Right now I'm about a third of the way through Eliot's Middlemarch, a quarter of the way through Aslan's Zealot, and I have a handful of stories left in Klay's Redeployment.
    • Are you working on another book? Can you tell us a bit about it? When do you think it will be published?
    Right now I'm at work on a novel about the 1929 Loray Mill strike in Gastonia, North Carolina, which is my hometown. The novel centers on the life of Ella May Wiggins, who, by 1929 at the age of 29, had left the Tennessee mountains and settled in Gastonia, given birth to nine children (four of them died from poverty related illnesses), attempted to integrate the National Textile Workers' Union, and testified in front of Congress in DC. And then she was murdered after being turned away from a rally in support of jailed strikers. The novel is about Ella May's life and how her murder affects two generations of women: her now 96 year old daughter who's being interviewed by her great niece in an attempt to solve the mystery of Ella May murder, a murder for which no one was ever convicted.
    • You used the device of three different narrators/points of view in both of your books. What was the reason for that, and will you continue with that format in the next book?<
    I don't know that I'll ever use three narrators again, but I think I'll rely on different perspectives, whatever the form they take. I like to investigate the community's role in stories and how those stories affect the communities in which they unfold. These multi-perspective stories are great vehicles for that.
    • What writers influenced you to become a writer?
    Ernest Gaines, Thomas Wolfe, Toni Morrison, Jean Toomer, Charles Chesnutt, Flannery O'Connor, and many, many others. Contemporary writers who keep me going are Alice McDermott, Tom Franklin, Colson Whitehead, and many, many others.
    • Besides your own books, if you could give a gift book to a friend, what would it be?
    Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. I'd say, "You need to read this before it wins the Pulitzer."

     In preparing for this post, I re-read (and re-listened to) several sections of this gripping tale of abandonment, betrayal, and family dynamics.  It has stood the test of time for me.  It was every bit as enthralling as it was the first time I read it. 

    The publisher has made a copy available for giveaway, so if you want a copy of this one, leave me a comment saying why you want to win.  You can get an extra entry if you go back and read Tutu's earlier reviews (just click the links in the opening paragraph above) and then tell me about something you read there.  Two reviews = two extra entries (each comment should be a separate entry including your email.)

    The giveaway is open to readers in the US and Canada.  Contest is open until 6:pm  (EST) Saturday November 8th.  Random.org will choose a winner on November 9th.

    Finally, I'd like to thank Wiley Cash for his gracious interaction with his readers.  And thanks to Harper Collins for the chance to re-blog this one. I'm looking forward to getting a chance to review the next one (HINT Hint.) 
    photo by Tiffany B. Davis

    New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy William Morrow/HarperCollinsPublishers.


    1. Thanks for this giveaway. This novel sounds compelling and emotional. Wiley Cash is an author who writes from the heart and his books are memorable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    2. I am entering for another book review. To Dwell in Darkness. I read this book and I have read all of Deborah Crombie's mysteries. Her writing, descriptions of the locale and her realistic characters have always been captivating. The novels have been enjoyable and unforgettable. I was, though, disappointed in her latest one. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    3. This interview was very interesting and this book would be unforgettable. An author whose writing I enjoy greatly. Many thanks for this giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    4. To bad that you couldn't get together for a beer but I enjoyed the interview all the same!

      Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    5. This sounds like an intriguing book. I read A Land More Kind Than Home and enjoyed it. Thanks for the giveaway.
      mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    6. Thanks for the great giveaway—I absolutely loved his first book, A Land More Kind Than Home!

      skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

    7. I agree with you that there was a very intense sense of the South in A Land More Kind Than Home. Interesting review.

    8. Read your review on this book. This story of sisters growing up in a dysfunctional setting sounds very intriguing. The baseball background makes it interesting too.
      mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    9. I read A land More Kind Than Home and your review for The Dark Road to Mercy gives me great deal to think about. A captivating and intriguing novel. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com


    Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.