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Southern Spines Podcast: Katherine Scott Crawford and the Romance of Keowee Valley

When you read a book, do you picture the characters in your head? Do you imagine your favorite actors playing the roles of the heroes and villains? I do.

Many are speculating these days about who will play the male lead in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. I confess (profess?) that I haven’t read the Fifty Shades books, but recently reported that E. L. James, author of the Fifty Shades series, was partying with Robert Pattinson, better known as the actor who portrayed Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies. And even more recently, I was pleased to read that Ben Affleck is in talks to play Nick Dunne in David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling thriller, Gone Girl. And Diana Gabaldon championed the selection of Scottish actor Sam Heughan to play Jamie Fraser in the Starz movie version of her Outlander series.

Keowee Valley by Katherine Scott Crawford

All this talk of book couples becoming on-screen couples made me think of the last romance I “cast” in my head: Keowee Valley by Katherine Scott Crawford. I was in the throes of finals at school, but I couldn’t stop reading Keowee Valley, mainly because I wanted to know what would happen next between the novel’s main characters, Quinn and Jack. Unlike the couples in Fifty Shades and Gone Girl, Quinn and Jack have a very solid relationship and respect for each other. But Quinn and Jack do have an unlikely romance in this historical fiction set just before the American Revolutionary War. Quinn is a fair-haired maiden who grew up in colonial Charleston, South Carolina, and Jack is a half-breed tracker born to a Cherokee father and Irish mother in the untamed Blue Ridge Mountains.

Learn more in my Southern Spines podcast interview with the author of Keowee Valley, Katherine Scott Crawford. Listen to the podcast using the player below or download it from iTunes.

Katherine Scott Crawford, author of Keowee ValleyWho would the author cast in the roles of Quinn and Jack in a film adaptation of Keowee Valley? When asked, Katie said she truly didn’t have a good idea of who’d play Quinn and Jack in a movie version. “I could see maybe Rachel McAdams as Quinn. Jack is tougher–I can’t think of anyone who looks quite like he does. The closest I could come is a young Paul Newman crossed with a young Viggo Mortensen. Newman’s charm and humor with Mortensen’s ruggedness.”

To learn more about Katherine Scott Crawford, visit her website at

Read her blog, The Writing Scott.

Like her Facebook author page:

And follow @WritingScott on Twitter.

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Southern Spines Podcast: Amy Franklin-Willis, author of Lost Saints of Tennessee

Lost Saints of Tennessee by Amy Franklin-WillisI first met author Amy Franklin-Willis at last year’s Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. Afterward, she was kind enough to send me a copy of her debut novel, The Lost Saints of Tennessee. Being a Tennessee girl, how could I resist that title? And in the first few pages, I was hooked. Readers will be immediately drawn into the story of Ezekiel Cooper and his tattered mess of a life, which is bookended by bittersweet reminiscences of childhood with his twin brother, Carter, and a future that can only exist through redemption.

In honor of this month’s paperback release of Lost Saints of Tennessee, Amy and I chatted via Skype. Listen to the podcast using the player below or download it from iTunes. But definitely leave a comment because we are giving away a copy of the paperback to one lucky Southern Spines reader. You can up your chances of winning by posting a comment on the Southern Spines Facebook page.

To learn more about Amy Franklin-Willis, visit her website at Like her author page on Facebook here: And follow @amyfranklinwill on Twitter.

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Southern Spines Podcast: Collin Kelley, Author of Kiss Shot

Kiss Shot by Collin Kelley

For a limited time–Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7–Amazon will be offering a free copy of Kiss Shot, a book of short stories by poet and author Collin Kelley. Here’s the book description:

Award-winning author Collin Kelley (Conquering Venus and Remain In Light) explores his Southern roots with this collection of four short stories set in the town of Cottonwood, Georgia. In “How Fanny Got Her House,” a devoted maid recalls the hijinks surrounding her employer’s death from a brain tumor, while a teenage boy comes to terms with his sexuality during an unexpected game of pool in the title story, “Kiss Shot.” A woman escaping an abusive relationship arrives in New Orleans during a rain storm and wanders into the famed “Clover Grill” on Bourbon Street, and “I Got A Name” follows the trials and tribulations of an overweight woman looking for love at a community theater company.

Southern Spines contributor Stacie Boschma sat down for an interview with Collin at Thinking Man Tavern in Atlanta, Ga. They discussed everything from self-publishing to Margaret Atwood and her love for the “modern telegraph” of Twitter.

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Southern Spines Podcast: Joshilyn Jackson, Author of A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

Southern Spines: A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn JacksonOn the eve of the paperback release of A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, we talk to New York Times Bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson about the three powerful voices who narrate this book. Here’s a synopsis of the novel from Joshilyn’s website:

Every fifteen years, trouble comes after the Slocumb women. Now, as their youngest turns fifteen, a long-hidden grave is unearthed in the backyard. Headstrong young Mosey Slocumb is determined to find out who used their yard as a make-shift cemetery, and why. What she learns could cost her family everything.  As forty-five year old Ginny fights to protect Mosey from the truth, she’s thrown back into the arms of the long-lost–and married–love of her life. Between them is Liza, silenced by a stroke, with the answers trapped inside her. To survive Liza’s secrets and Mosey’s insistent adventures, Ginny must learn to trust the love that braids the strands of their past—and stop at nothing to defend their future.

Southern Spines: Joshilyn Jackson

Photo Credit: Troy Stains

And speaking of voices, Joshilyn has narrated all but one of her audiobooks. Her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, was selected by AudioFile Magazine for their best of the year list, has made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered a Listen Up Award from Publisher’s Weekly.

Just today, Publisher’s Weekly gave a starred audio review to Joshilyn’s narration of another writer’s work, Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer.

If you want to get Joshilyn’s picks for great Southern authors and other reads on her “spectrum of Southern literature”, grab a pencil and listen up.


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Southern Spines Podcast: Claire Cook, Author of Wallflower in Bloom

Southern Spines: Author Claire CookIn the debut episode of the Southern Spines podcast, we talk to bestselling author and midlife reinvention champion, Claire Cook. We also like to think of her as a newly-adopted Southerner with a Boston accent. She recently moved to Atlanta and is appearing at the 2012 Decatur Book Festival.

Claire wrote her first novel in her minivan outside her daughter’s swim practice when she was 45. At age 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood adaptation of her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Claire’s recent novel, Wallflower in Bloom, is an Indie Next pick, and Publishers Weekly called it “fun and inspiring.”

Southern Spines: Wallflower in Bloom Book CoverWallflower in Bloom is the most recent novel from bestselling author Claire Cook. Click here to read an excerpt from the book, or click on the image to buy it on

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