Thanks to John Sheppard

smalltownpunkThanks to author John Sheppard for his kind review of Romance for Delinquents on Amazon:

“A short story writer must compact an entire world into a very limited amount of space. Every line, every word should be well placed and must add up to something. It’s a neat trick, almost like magic. In the best of this collection of stories, Hampton gets it right. He also writes in southern dialect in some of these stories, which is a fine line to walk. Go too far, you end up with corn pone. The first story in the collection, “Rabbit Blood,” nails everything, to include getting a child’s voice right as well. My favorite of these, “The Man Who Fell Through the Sky,” involves a fat man who is buying a Ukrainian bride through an agency (and is probably getting fleeced by that agency), and works at a tourist trap in Ohio. In lesser hands, the reader would be looking down on Henry, sneering at him, dismissing him as white trash, but in this story we are right there alongside him, feeling both the humiliations and the hope.”

Pick up a copy of his book Small Town Punk now. You won’t regret it.

My Life in Writing 3/14

writingMarch brought on the deluge of school work that always hits hardest when the semester is close to an end, and due to that I was only able to write during the brief moments I stole between teaching, committee work, crafting assignments, and day-long grading marathons. I’m fortunate to be able to do what I love however, and in only a few short weeks I’ll have nearly an entire summer to complete the two books I’m working on currently.

Last month the journal Blood Lotus was kind enough to feature both an excerpt for my forthcoming novella Roller Girls Love Bobby Knight as well as an interview with me on my writing. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and support.

I spent a week last month completing the final edits for the novella, and it’s set to be released on May 27th of this year. You can pre-order your copy here.

Editing took up most of my writing time since not only did I have to do final edits on the novella, but I also had to start the long process of re-writing my punk rock YA novel to better meet a younger audience. Learning to write for readers outside literary fiction has been a blast, and I’m happy with the new direction the novel is going. At present I’ve written a 40 page drafting and editing guide, and new versions of the first two chapters. I’m making progress, and with luck I’ll be able to finish the new version by late May if not sooner.

The only original writing I was able to finish in March was the first draft of a new flash fiction story. I hope during the upcoming summer months I’ll be able to finish the two books I have in process, and still have time left to dive back into short fiction before starting my next book project. There are other writing projects in the work too in early stages, but it’s difficult to find the time to do all that I’d like to and still have a life away from my desk.

April has already brought some great news which I’ll be sharing soon, but now I’m focused on finishing the semester strong and doing as much as I can to stay with the words. The days are getting longer. The temperature is rising. I’m beat, but moving ahead.