Thursday, October 16, 2014

Taking Pre-Sales for This River

Wrap-around cover of This River, due out December 1, 2014


I have the go-ahead from antoinette nora claypoole, my editor, that I can begin pre-sales now for this new poetry book coming out December 1, 2014, from Wild Embers Press, of Oregon, under their Watersongs Imprint.  

This journey to publication has a fast  pace, but quickly to my astonishment things have all come together.  We have, at Antoinette Nora’s persistence, with the help of Natalya Ilyina, in Kostroma, received permission to use Sergei Rumyantsev’s small painting on the cover, a painting of the Volga River which flows through the ancient city of Kostroma, Russia. We also found Edmund (Mike) Keeley, still teaching creative writing at Princeton, who gave us permission to use his translation of C.P Cavafy’s little poem “Growing in Spirit,” which is the epitaph for poem 18.

This River is about love across boundaries, once hostile, and about rivers and how they water our lives and our spirits.  My new friend Mikhail’s love of his Volga stirred me profoundly.  I, too, in 1990, when we met, lived by a great North Carolina river, the Haw, and it was my custom to go there on a Sunday morning to write a new poem.  So in 1990-91 This River was born as I yearned toward the Volga and was comforted by the Haw.

The books will become available early in November, and you can order them now for $14 + $1 tax, and $3, mailing cost.  So they’re $15 to pick up, and $18 to have them mailed.  If you order two, it’s only $33 to be mailed, or $30 for picking up. I can send two books for the price of one today in the U.S. postal service.  After two, the postage is free from me.  Buy them for gifts in the upcoming holiday season.  Your purchases help me pay for review copies, which I want to get out in early November.  Here are some more comments from fellow poets on This River.

In This River the speaker’s observations of nature are liquid with impassioned drive. The phrases in this poem are smooth flowing, and this fluency in language seems a reflection of the river where she studies and meditates.  Each eddy, and bird, and leaf is clearly drawn and vital to the sense of place and self.  Identities of the self and qualities of desire are pulled into her observations and transformations and move us as the river moves.

Foster Foreman, Poet (Soundings) and Co-Editor of Hyperion Poetry Journal and Thorp Springs Press.

In This River, Judy Hogan takes paths forged by Proust and Virginia Woolf down and in to the deepest most nuanced passages of the soul. Using a great Piedmont river as matter, metaphor, and muse she shows one woman’s transcendent journey beyond vulnerability to a place of abiding grace. 
This River is not only beautiful poetry, but a compelling story as well. 

Joanie McLean, author of Place and Up From Dust

Please celebrate with me.  This River has waited 24 years to come into print.  You’ll love it! It may be my best poetry book that has been published so far.

Thanks to my intrepid editor antoinette nora claypoole.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

More About This River Coming Dec 1

Sergei Rumyantsev's painting of the Volga River looking toward the city of Kostroma, Russia.  This is the cover painting.

This River, due out December 1, as a Watersongs imprint from Wild Embers Press is coming along beautifully, and by October 26, I’ll know the price and you can pre-order it from me.  I’ll also be doing some readings in the new year, and I’ll launch the book at my Hoganvillaea Farm on Sunday, December 7, 3-6 PM.  If you’re in the area, and you don’t get an invitation, do contact me and I’ll be happy to invite you.

We had three lovely images of the Volga River in Kostroma to choose from, and we settled on a little study I was given by Sergei Rumyantsev, a wonderful Kostroma painter, of the Volga, looking across the river at the city of Kostroma (above). 

One of my friends who gave a blurb for the cover is Jaki Shelton Green, and on October 12, Sunday (tomorrow), she is being inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. I will be there, so proud of her. When I first came to North Carolina in 1971, she was one of the first poets I got to know and whom I published, first in Hyperion Poetry Journal, and later through Carolina Wren Press (1976-91 were my years as founding editor).  Dead on Arrival came out in 1977, and Jaki has been reading poems, teaching folks to write poetry, often as a way of healing, and winning honors ever since.  Here is what she said about This River:

This River holds our hands up to the magic in the dark moon with figurative language that pulls shards of tenderness from a world that is bloody with sting of sunlit longing and a psychic quest for redemption. These poems resurrect an ancient enchanted necklace worn by a herstorical aching that Judy Hogan bears into utterance.

This collection is a meditation on time, memory, and the fleeting nature of life.  Decoding the threads of aching and the heart of the language of two separate rivers is at the core of This River. These poems are a beautiful terrain forming the powerful backdrop for the magnificence of fragility. 

Part primordial, part philosophical, powerful story inhabiting fluid boundaries between hearts, breaking the pedestrian parameters of space, time, and sensory experiences…. This River is a lesson for weaving the baskets that are needed for carrying water to the Light. 

Jaki Shelton Green, Author of Dead on Arrival, Conjure Blues, breath of the song, singing a tree into dance, Feeding the Light. 2003 recipient of the NC Award in Literature, The Sam Ragan Award, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Induction. 

Here is poem 23 of This River:

T h i s R i v e r

Twenty Three

Does the holy always come into our life
in the heart of a conflict? I think so.
The heron, his feet in the cold water,
wading and calling throatily to the fish,
agrees with me. “You will suffer,”
he says. “The rain falls, doesn’t it?
So will your tears. But joy enters inevitably
when you are this clear, this content with
what life pours out and into your arms.
“Like those wild grapes you found.
Hundreds of them ripening on vines low
enough to reach by bending down the
little tree they clung to. Keep asking your
heart what to do. Then you’ll know.
Every cove where the water runs shallow
and the fish swim in it has a heron stalking,
one foot at a time, determined on his dinner.
“He comes for you. Take what is given
to a pure heart, a spirit cleansed by the tears
you have shed and will shed. There is no
end to the tears, but joy is in them. Like
light turning muddy water pale yellow or
as blue as the sky over your head, eternally
confident and serene, as you are, as you
will be. It is the gift the gods gave you:
your willingness to take in this love
and give him your beauty back. Let
nothing disturb that clear gift, that joy
which he’ll see in your eyes every time
he looks at you. It will feed his spirit
as well as it feeds yours. This love is
given like the sun and the rain. Turn
your face to its blessed light, bathe
yourself in its unwardoffable * tears.”

*unwardoffable a made up word from a Greek word used in
battle depicting the idea that you can't "ward off" or keep away
the enemy.

To learn more about Watersongs and Wild Embers Press:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Review: Two More Jesse Damon Novels by KM Rockwood

Send Off for a Snitch: A Jesse Damon Novel.  K.M. Rockwood.  2013.  238 pages.  e-book ISBN: 978-1-61937-783-7.  For paperback, send email inquiry.  Cost: $10 (includes postage) to 

Brothers in Crime: A Jesse Damon Novel.  2014.  ISBN: 978-1-62713-039-4, 247 pages.

I have become addicted to K.M. Rockwood’s Jesse Damon novels and all the characters, whether cruel or helpful, who populate these pages.  Jesse’s life on parole seems to move one step forward only to be shoved two steps back.

In Send Off for a Snitch, the fourth novel in the Jesse Damon series, he now has union status, and he has not so far violated his parole, though suspense keeps building because one way or another he always ends up in circumstances that make him look guilty.  One of the characters who has consistently pestered him, trying to buy drugs, is Aaron Stenski.  Jesse is sure that Aaron is kept on at Quality Steel Fabrications because he’s a snitch to the police.  

When Jesse arrives home from his midnight shift, in pouring rain, he finds Aaron’s younger brother waiting on the steps down to his basement apartment.  Aaron has disappeared, and Benji decided to drive the truck where his brother had left him and got it stuck on the railroad tracks.

Jesse persuades Benji to come in, dry off, and have something to eat, and then they go to try to move the truck off the tracks.  Jesse moves it successfully, only to have the police show up, see that he’s considered dangerous because he served twenty years for murder, and arrest him despite Benji’s pleas that Jesse was helping him.  Benji is taken to Social Services.

Meantime it continues to rain, and Rothburg is flooded, the bridge goes out, and so does the power.  When Jesse is finally released, his basement apartment is flooded, and soon his company shuts down. Cars are told to stay off the streets, but one lady and her two young children get stranded in their car in high water, and Jesse rescues them.  His picture appears in the paper.  You would think this would change people’s attitude toward Jesse, but it doesn’t do much, though Mandy, the friendly librarian, actually sees the rescue and takes him home with her to dry out and get some food and sleep.  Then Aaron is found dead in Jesse’s stairwell, and there’s a BOLO out for his arrest.


In Brothers in Crime, the fifth in the series, Jesse is due to receive a $5000-reward for finding a missing jeweled cat collar, but that doesn’t keep him from being a suspect when an ATM machine is broken into   The bank’s videotape shows a man who looks like Jesse, who was at work at the time, and at his workplace his bosses verify this.  

Jesse agrees to stay in Mandy’s cottage to keep an eye on her big house while she’s away.  The timing is good because his apartment is unlivable, but a young woman named Eileen, the niece of Mandy’s partner, Nicole, shows up with a baby.  Eileen’s husband threatened to kill the baby, and Nicole had offered to help her niece, but Jesse doesn’t know how to reach them, so he lets Eileen stay with him.  There was also a potassium cyanide spill at the factory that Jesse discovers when he is asked to move the huge and very dangerous containers of cyanide, and he is suspected there, too.  In every book in this series (five so far), the more Jesse tries to do the right thing by other people, the more trouble he gets into.

Few of the characters seem to figure out that Jesse is a good man trying to do what is right and also to survive against the odds when the easily available information about him calls him a “potentially armed and dangerous murderer.”  When pressed, he explains that his older brothers killed the drug dealer, but left him holding the bag of dope and the gun.  At sixteen he was sentenced to forty years in prison.

I’ve read a lot of books all the way back to Homer as well as many mysteries, and Jesse Damon is a character to remember and be glad for his existence in books.  Writers try to create memorable characters, but not many succeed like Rockwood does.  Trollope’s Mrs. Proudie, the Bishop’s wife, and Mr. Slope, the Bishop’s chaplain, still live.  Homer’s Odysseus, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache, Josephine Tey’s Alan Grant, Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey, and many others.

Jesse Damon will continue to live, too.  He’s also a new archetype in modern fiction: The prisoner on parole who does everything he can to live a good life, working hard and carefully, loving a woman and her children who let him into their lives, helping people in trouble, and solving the crimes he is accused of, and yet he has the Damocles sword of being labeled a murderer over his head, and even so, he accepts that and continues to do his best.  If you have any compassionate bones in your body, this character of Jesse will get to you and he’ll live in your memory.


KM Rockwood draws on a varied background for stories, among them working as a laborer in a steel fabrication plant, operating glass melters and related equipment in a fiberglass manufacturing facility, and supervising an inmate work crew in a large medium security state prison. These jobs, as well as work as a special education teacher in an alternative high school and a GED teacher in county detention facilities, provide most of the background for her novels and short stories.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking

No fracking signs in Judy's front yard.

Food and Water Watch, a national non-profit organization has released a new report, which dovetails well with the New York State Concerned Health Professionals compendium of fracking research.  Much more is being learned in 2014 about the harms and risks of fracking.  If you would like to read the whole report from Food and Water Watch, try this link:

Here is Wenonah Hunter's introduction to the report.  It's a PDF.

The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking.  

By Wenonah Hunter, Food and Water Watch.

As this report lays out, there is mounting evidence that fracking is inherently unsafe. Evidence builds that fracking contaminates water, pollutes air, threatens public health, causes earthquakes, harms local economies and decreases property values. And most critically for the survival of the planet, fracking exacerbates and accelerates climate change.

We are facing a climate crisis that is already having devastating impacts and that is projected to escalate to catastrophic levels if we do not act now. President Barack Obama came into office touting fracked gas as a “bridge fuel,” yet mounting evidence suggests that rather than serving as a bridge to a renewable energy future, it’s a bridge to a climate crisis.

While the environmental, public health and food movements have looked at mounting evidence and rejected fracked gas and oil, President Obama and his administration have aggressively promoted natural gas and domestic oil as a critical part of the United States’ energy future. President Obama repeatedly touts domestic gas production and has said that “we should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer … [I]t not only can provide safe, cheap power, but it can also help reduce our carbon emissions.” His Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has close industry ties and has claimed that he has “not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater” and that “the issues in terms of the environmental footprint of hydraulic fracturing are manageable.”

Obama’s Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has bragged about fracking wells in her prior career in the industry and has, despite radical changes in how fracking is done, called it a “technique [that] has
been around for decades,” and even implied that directional drilling and fracking can result in “a softer footprint on the land.” And the person charged with protecting communities’ water, Environmental
Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, has claimed “There’s nothing inherently dangerous in fracking that sound engineering practices can’t accomplish,” all while the EPA has ignored or buried findings that fracking has contaminated water in Texas, Wyoming and Pennsylvania. Most recently,the administration and several legislators have been pushing exports of liquefied natural gas abroad to countries where it will fetch the highest price, stoking already massive oil and gas industry profits at the expense of our rural communities, our water and our climate.

This support for fracking at the highest levels has caused unnecessary confusion and created political space for otherwise-concerned environmentally leaning governors to pursue fracking. In California, Governor Jerry Brown has been supporting fracking despite his stated desire to fight climate change. In Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley has pursued a more cautious approach, but still has spoken favorably about future production and recently referred to natural gas as a bridge fuel. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has not lifted a popular de facto statewide moratorium on fracking due to significant public pressure, but has also not moved to adopt a permanent ban. Citing President Obama’s support for fracking, the industry has criticized Cuomo.

Despite what President Obama and his administration claim, there have now been over 150 studies on fracking and its impacts that raise concerns about the risks and dangers of fracking and highlight how little we know about its long-term effects on health and our limited freshwater supplies. It’s time for President Obama and other decision makers to look at the facts and think about their legacy. How do they want to be remembered? What do they want the world to look like 20, 50 and 100 years from now?

We first made the case for a ban on fracking in 2011, but this new report shows that there is an urgent case for a ban. The evidence is in, and it is clear and overwhelming. Fracking is inherently unsafe, cannot be regulated and should be banned. Instead, we should transition aggressively to a renewable and efficient energy system.


No fracking billboard on U.S. #1 as you enter Lee County from the South.  Is this what we want North Carolina to look like?

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Volunteer zinnias, July 2014, Judy's flower garden.

Note:  You can learn more about the September Sinc-Up Blog at

We, as members of Sisters in Crime, were asked to answer all or any of the following questions.  I answered them all.  Then we were to tag another mystery writer, and I chose Carolyn Mulford, also a SinC member.


SINC-UP BLOG for September 21, 2014 

1.  Which authors have inspired you?

I learned to write mysteries from reading the Golden Age authors like Josephine Tey, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, Michael Innes, Marjorie Allingham, and others.  I especially loved Tey and Sayers, and I’ve read them at least twice.  Contemporary mystery authors I learned from and who especially inspired me by their books as well as by their treatment of me have been Julia Spencer-Fleming and Louise Penny.  I have also enjoyed and learned from Margaret Maron, Sara Paretsky, Susan Hill, and Sue Grafton.  

I read mysteries regularly as a way to relax and let other problems go to the less conscious parts of my brain.  Some authors say they can’t read other mystery authors while writing a book, but I do and I can.  The plot and character work goes on at a deep level, while I go off into another world and enjoy other characters.  Published so far are Killer Frost (, 2012) and Farm Fresh and Fatal (2013).  I have already written another 12 mysteries.

2. Which male authors write great women characters?  Which female authors write great male characters?

I probably read more women authors than men, but I think Peter Robinson writes great female characters and also Michael Connelly, Stephen Booth, Alexander McCall Smith, and Reginald Hill. 
Women who write great male characters?  Definitely Louise Penny and Julia Spencer-Fleming.  Tey, Sayers, Marsh do, too, and Susan Hill, Cora Harrison, and Barbara Hambly.  Charles Todd, of course, but there you have a man and woman team.

3.  If someone said, “Nothing against women writers but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men,” how would you respond?

I’d say, “You don’t know what you’re missing.  My very favorites over the years have been woman crime writers.”

4.  What’s the best part of the writing process for you?  What’s the most challenging?

The best part is the actual writing, though it’s work, too.  I like it when unexpected things come up, or the characters reveal things that I didn’t consciously know about them.  I always learn things I knew but didn’t know I knew about other people and myself when I write a novel.  The most challenging part is plotting it, which I do by following Elizabeth George’s plan in her book Write Away

Once I get an idea, I work on the characters and make sure I have lots of conflict between them, then figure out who gets murdered and who the murderer is, and then I sketch out all the scenes. That’s the hardest part for me, getting it planned.  The plan is adaptable, but it guides me.  That way, I don’t get stuck.

5. Do you listen to music while writing?  What’s on your play list?

I listen to my local classical music station all the time, at home and in the car: WCPE-FM or (it also streams online).  My favorite composer is Bach.  That’s a plus, when there’s Bach, and if WCPE is fund-raising, I get out my Bach CDs and have a J.S. Bach feast.

6.  What books are on your night stand right now?

I’ve begun reading Frankie Y. Bailey’s The Red Queen Dies.  I loved the character Lizzie in Bailey’s first five novels.  I have three books I’ll be reading soon and then reviewing on my blog and on DorothyL mystery fan listserve: Two by K.M. Rockwood: Sendoff for a Snitch and Brothers in Crime.  I’ve reviewed three by her on my blogs for June 8 (Steeled for Murder), July 13 (Fostering Death), and August 17, 2014 (Buried Biker).  She’s a treasure, and I love her Jesse Damon novels.  I also have Maya Corrigan’s By Cook or by Crook, which I’ll review in early November when it appears.  Last Sunday, September 14, I reviewed Sara Hoklotubbe’s third novel in her Cherokee series, Sinking Suspicions. I’m also looking forward to getting copies to review of her third novel from Carolyn Mulford (Show Me the Gold) and from Gloria Alden, her fourth garden novel that includes a re-enactment. I would note that I have met all of these authors through Sisters in Crime org and at Malice Domestic convention, most through the Guppy subgroup of SINC.

7.  If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?

I would say that you shouldn’t expect to make much money, but the joy of writing and the excitement of getting published is very worth the trouble.  Also I would urge you to write what you wish to write, stick close to what is important to you.  Be prepared to use and share your own emotional experiences.  I myself love books best which explore the emotions of their characters and also let me into their inner lives.  Our characters reflect back on us, and we are the creators out of our own mysterious inner life.  I like to get to know the inner lives of other people.  Fiction is a great way to do that.

I would like to link my blog to Carolyn Mulford, whose mysteries set in Missouri I enjoy: Show Me the Murder; Show Me the Deadly Deer, and soon to come: Show Me the Gold.  Check out her blog at  Carolyn is also a Guppy and SINC member.  Judy Hogan, SinC member since 2007.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Sinking Suspicions by Sara Hoklotubbe

Sinking Suspicions.  Sara Sue Hoklotubbe. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, September 4, 2014.  ISBN: 978-0-8165-3107-3.  Paper, $16.95.  Also available in e-book format.  224 pages.

In Sara Sue Hoklotubbe’s third novel in her Cherokee mystery series, Sinking Suspicions, Sadie Walela goes to Hawaii.  She has a new job as a travel agent arranging trips to Hawaii.  Her boyfriend, Lance Smith, chooses not to go with her.  Then Sadie’s neighbor Benjamin (Buck) Skinner goes missing.  He is upset because the IRS is claiming he owes back taxes, and Buck knows he has paid everything.  Someone has stolen his identity, which the IRS can’t seem to grasp, and they are threatening to take his 200-acre farm, which he owns free and clear and loves.  He can’t understand why the government won’t leave him in peace.  Buck is an aging World War II veteran.  He won a Purple Heart as a Marine with the 4th Division in the Pacific.  He was wounded and shipped home, and he doesn’t like to think about the war or the Hawaiian woman he loved and lost.

Meantime Lance Smith goes to a chicken plant in a nearby town because the phone number was on a pad in Buck’s house.  A man was murdered at the chicken plant just before Lance arrives, and then the identity thief, using Benjamin Skinner’s name, is found dead at the trailer where his girlfriend lives.  Charlie McCord, with the police in Sycamore Springs, is investigating and welcomes Lance’s help.  Lance had trained under him and now, as Chief of the Liberty Police Department, he wants to find Buck, but he doesn’t think he’s the murderer.  Charlie keeps pointing out that Buck had the motive.

Sadie is enjoying Hawaii, its tropical lushness and kind people.  She becomes friends with Pua, who works for the travel agency at the Hawaiian end, but Sadie is worried about Buck and decides she’d better go home.  Then the island she’s on has an earthquake, which cancels flights and makes life difficult for the islanders until power and normalcy is restored.

I enjoy Hoklotubbe’s books.  I always learn more about contemporary Cherokee culture from the inside.  I didn’t know that so many Indians had served in World War. II, a higher percentage of their American ethnic group than in any other.  The connection between the Oklahoma Cherokees and the native Hawaiian family, with Japanese ancestors, was interesting.  Both groups had similar experiences with the dominant white Americans, who mistreated the Cherokees from the Trail of Tears up to the present day, and Hawaiians were not treated well by the U.S. military during World War II.

I like the quiet, almost reverent tone that Hoklotubbe uses to tell her story.  It’s a good story, simply told, with plenty of puzzles along the way.  I recommend it.

Margaret Coel, author of the Wind River mysteries, wrote: “Another intriguing mystery from a gifted storyteller.  With a sure hand, Sara Sue Hoklotubbe ratchets up the suspense while exploring the myths, passions, and fears of modern-day Cherokees.”



Sara Sue Hoklotubbe , a Cherokee tribal citizen, is the author of the award-winning Sadie Walela mystery series.  The American CafĂ© received the New Mexico-Arizona Mystery Book of the Year Award, the WILLA Literary Award, and the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers Mystery of the Year Award.  Sara won the Writer of the Year Award from Wordcraft Circle for Deception on All Accounts.  She and her husband live in Colorado.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Interview with Ruth Moose

Ruth Moose's debut mystery, winner of the 2013 Malice Domestic First Best Traditional Mystery from St. Martin's Press, 2014.


1. When did you begin writing? Why? 

My grandfather was a Baptist preacher and one of my earliest memories was watching him write sermons with a leaky fountain. When he left his desk, I picked up his pen and "wrote" all over his sermon. I was severely scolded, maybe even spanked, but I knew even then I loved to write.
2. When and why did you begin writing mysteries? 

As a short story writer I had trouble plotting (I still do). Doris Betts, my first creative writing teacher at UNC, told me to write a mystery to teach myself to plot.
3. Are you writing a series or a stand alone? Explain your basic idea for your series. 

I simply wrote a book.
4.Tell us about your journey to publication with this book. 

Doing it at the Dixie Dew was written in l987 on a Kaypro word processor, converted to a Dell, then later to an Apple. In 2013 I entered it in the Malice Domestic competition at St. Martin's Press and it won, was published 2014. 

5. Why did you choose to write about the topic, community, issues you chose? 

I love small towns, the South. This is what I know. 

6.How have you found it to be published? Share that experience. 

I've published 3 collections of short stories, 6 books of poetry and nobody much noticed. A novel gets attention. And reviews. I have been so pleased and proud to have "readers" and glowing e-mails. 

7. Comments from readers/reviewers. 

Wonderful comments from people who liked my characters, wanted to live in my mythical town. People who want more of these imaginary people. 

8. What other books have you published? 

My collections of short stories have been published by university and small presses. St. Andrews University published The Wreath Ribbon Quilt and Other Stories. August House published Dreaming in Color and Main Street Press published Neighbors and Other Strangers. 

9. Do you have a work in progress now? Is it part of a series? 

Wedding Bell Blues is the sequel to Dixie Dew and it's to be out from St. Martin's in 2015. 

10.Do you belong to Sisters in Crime? 

Yes, I am a member, and I find the local chapter supportive. It's an organization that really promotes work by women writers. 

11. Is it a benefit to go to mystery conference like Malice Domestic? 

Yes, you meet great people/readers and writers.
12. What else can you say about your books?  

Reviewers have said Dixie Dew was "laugh out loud" and more humorous than frightening. I see such odd and unusual things in everyday life that beg to be included in fiction. The new book has some even funnier events, yet there is always an underlying theme of social concerns and life in a small Southern town, with unusual characters. I never plot out a book, but work for character as in my short stories, then let the characters become the story.


Doing It at the Dixie Dew is Ruth Moose’s first novel.  It was published by St. Martin’s Press in May 2014, after she won the $10,000 Malice Domestic First Best Traditional Mystery award in 2013.  In the past forty years she has published 1200 poems, short stories, book reviews, and columns.  She has three collections of short stories: The Wreath Ribbon Quilt, Dreaming in Color, and Neighbors and Other Strangers.  She has had her work published in Holland, South Africa, England, and Denmark as well as all over the U.S.  Of her six collections of poetry, the most recent is The Librarian and other Poems.  She received a MacDowell fellowship, and in 2009, a prestigious Chapman fellowship for teaching.  Originally from Albemarle, she now lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where she continues to write and teach since her retirement from the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Creative Writing Department in 2010.  With an authentic Southern voice, her characters resonate the humor and tragedy of everyday lives.