I first met Erin Flanagan through our mutual involvement in a writers’ workshop. I was struck by her devotion to the writing community, and then quickly became a fan of her ability to create literary gems out of human foibles in her two short story collections–The Usual Mistakes and It’s Not Going to Kill You and Other Stories.
Just as amazing is her debut novel, Deer Season, which examines relationships and what we will do to protect those we love, in a small town setting that rings so very true. This novel and her story collections are all published by The University of Nebraska Press in their Flyover Fiction series. Erin Flanagan’s next novel, the thriller Blackout, is forthcoming in fall 2022 with Thomas & Mercer.
Erin has held fellowships to Yaddo, MacDowell, The Sewanee Writers’ Conference, The Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, UCross, and The Vermont Studio Center. She contributes regular book reviews to Publishers Weekly and other venues. She is an English professor at Wright State University–my alma mater. Go Raiders!
Erin joins me on Tea with Jess to talk about the importance of writing realistic small town and rural settings without either pandering or idealizing, the similarities and differences in writing short fiction versus longer forms, whether the 1980s count as historic in fiction, and setting goals as an artist even when motivation is a challenge.