Kentucky and Arkansas, I’m Coming for You

I’m heading south!

First up is a stop in Kentucky for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest on April 20 and 21. I’m on the Appalachian Voices panel (I’m actually from the Ozarks, please don’t tell them, our regions are almost like copy + paste). I’m SUPER FANGIRL-ISH to be on a panel with Crystal Wilkinson, whose The Birds of Opulence blew me away. One of the best books I’ve read this year. Lyrical, evocative, haunting. So damn good.

Then, after stops in Nashville, Dollywood (hell yes), Muscle Shoals, and to multiple Waffle House and BBQ establishments, I’m headed home to Arkansas. I’ll be at the Arkansas Literary Festival in Little Rock with Jarret Middleton, whose book Darkansas is on my agenda for tonight. Our panel is called Ozarkian Gothic and it is my fave panel description yet:

“The devil didn’t do down to Georgia, he went to Arkansas,” to tell two hauntingly fierce tales that could be the spawn of Shirley Jackson and Daniel Woodrell. “Unraveling with the ferocity of addiction” Kelly J. Ford’s Cottonmouths explores crime and desire while Jarret Middleton’s Darkansas “has it all—sex, song, sadness, and a history as dark and twisted as the Ozark hollers…”

“…the spawn of Shirley Jackson and Daniel Woodrell.” Yes, that will do just fine.

It’s my first and maybe only visit to Arkansas as an author (tbd, y’all, tbd). It’s gonna be a far cry from reading to folks in Massachusetts. I may not even have to explain shit, like when I say trailer, I mean a mobile home, not something you add to the back of your car (poking fun at a California friend here).

I’m looking forward to being home even though it’s bittersweet for reasons that maybe one day I’ll share.

Hope to see some southern readers along the way. Come on out and say ‘hi’ if you’re around, especially if you’re queer. My yankee wife will talk your ear off while I’m in the corner shoving as much deep fried food in my mouth as I can handle before the trip is over.

See you on the road. Follow along via my Instagram, where I’ll post too many pictures of food.