In a new series Loaded Questions will be featuring Author Update in which past Loaded Questions authors are asked to write about what's been going on since the last time we chatted.
We begin with Hillary Jordan author of Mudbound her first novel and winner of the 2006 Bellwether Prize. Mudbound takes place in Mississippi Delta, 1946 and focuses on Laura McCallan, a college-educated Memphis schoolteacher who struggles to adapt to her new life on a farm she rightly names Mudbound. Living without modern comforts is a challenge for Laura added to caring for her daughters and striving to live up to her loving husbands expectations. Mudbound, told from the point of view of a number of characters, is a great novel and has been doing very well on Amazon, landing on several bestselling lists and continuing to do so in paperback.
Jordan and I last chatted in July of 2008. We discussed the fact that her mother and her life on a farm in Arkansas was an inspiration for the novel, the research and texts that Jorden read in order to research the period and a quote in which Jordan said she knew "more than should be legally allowable about mules, boll weevils, fertilizer, and the like!"
Click here to read my entire interview with Hillary Jordan for the release of Mudbound.
I wrote to Hillary and simply asked her to write about what life has been like since Mudbound's release and what she's currently working on ...
The fifteen months since Mudbound was published have been a whirlwind. Thanks to Algonquin, which has championed the book in a way that most first novelists never get to experience, I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time on book tour, doing readings, signings and festivals all over the country. It has been exhilarating, exhausting, fascinating, gratifying and occasionally humiliating (like the Memphis talk show I was on where I was clearly second fiddle to a guy eating a 7-lb. hamburger). I’ve gotten to meet so many wonderful book-loving people: fans, booksellers, and other authors. In between, I’ve been going to artists colonies — in Switzerland, Saratoga Springs, the Santa Cruz mountains, and this autumn, Scotland — to work on my second novel. It’s called Red, and it’s set thirty years in the future in a right-wing dystopia (not to be confused with the last eight years). I hope to finish it by the end of the year.
Being published is an amazing thing, and Mudbound has succeeded beyond my wildest fantasies. It was the NAIBA Fiction Book of the Year and won an Alex Award from the American Library Assoc. It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and one of IndieNext’s top ten reading group suggestions. Recently, the trade paperback spent a thrilling six weeks on the NY Times extended list (my highest rank was #29). Mudbound has done very well in the UK also, thanks to the “Richard & Judy Show” (their Oprah), which picked it as a book of the month. It has been translated into Serbian and will be published in French and Italian in 2010. There are over 200,000 copies in print worldwide, a number I can hardly believe. Life is good!-- Hillary Jordan
Thanks Hillary for participating! Interested in learning more about this fantastic new author? Here is a link to her website. Support Loaded Questions by purchasing a copy of Mudbound from Amazon.com (currently under $11.00) by clicking here!