Field Guide

On hatred of the artist as a young person

November 30, 2017
Posted in , , ,

I was listening to Neil Gaiman discuss why he waited to write the Graveyard Book until he was a good enough writer to do the story justice. He told about two aborted attempts to get into the characters. The years of thinking it had taken to try a third time, and how he’d been disappointed with that effort, too, until he’d shown it to his daughter and she’d asked for more. It’s curious to...

Read More

What is your tone?

November 22, 2013
Posted in , , ,

I didn’t really get tone until college. What is the author’s attitude, they’d ask us on tests. How the fuck should I know? Why can’t we just read it and have our own attitudes? But I get it now. It’s not much of a conversation if our reading experience is limited to our own response without any consideration of the writer’s perspective. In a similar way, as an adolescent I had a limited understanding...

Read More

Please praise what you love

April 10, 2013
Posted in , , ,

I used to dread the question: What’s your book about? Um. It’s a kind of love story. (Red Audrey.) It’s a tragedy. About martyrdom. And family.(Field Guide.) Yes. Yes, way to pitch, Jill Malone. But now, I look forward to you asking because fuck, I’m excited. I’m so excited. Giraffe People is the book I hoped to write. The story I meant to tell you. The one about being young and striving, about being...

Read More

Just a note

March 13, 2013
Posted in , , ,

Many thanks to Women and Words for posting my guest blog about Giraffe People today. This has been quite a week. My second novel, A Field Guide to Deception, won the Great Northwest Book Festival, which is particularly exciting because I can’t think about Spokane without thinking about that novel. Young family. Young adulthood. The horrible cost of getting away with things. I’ve been ill with the joint-aching sinus-infection thing that’s going around, and...

Read More

The Next Big Thing

January 30, 2013
Posted in , , , ,

Brett Norris, dynamic writer, tagged me to contribute to The Next Big Thing. A chance for writers to dish some dirt on their forthcoming work. Let’s get filthy. What is the working title of your book? The working title was Tales of a Vocabulary Black Belt, but happily that got dropped in favor of Giraffe People as I kept working. I don’t think I’ve ever had a title that suited the work as well...

Read More

Proximate violence

July 27, 2012
Posted in ,

After I read Alice Munro’s stunning collection, The Love of a Good Woman, I read an article that dissected the way violence turns her stories though the stories themselves rarely incorporate violence. In other words, violence is peripheral as an occurrence, and central as an action. When I began thinking about A Field Guide to Deception, I had a girl who has stolen something, and believes she has gotten away with her theft, only...

Read More

My interview with my wife. Not on video.

July 16, 2012
Posted in , ,

“Wanna interview me?” “Sure. Oh, you mean, now?” “Kinda.” “I don’t get time to think about my questions?” “No, you do.” “HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK? ………….. Jill, that’s the first question.” “Oh, we’re not interviewing on video?” “No. You can write it. Answer the question.” I wrote Red Audrey as a short story when I was in graduate school. The story had almost the entire arc: Emily, Audrey,...

Read More

Serious people don't write about sex. And other lies.

July 13, 2012
Posted in , ,

Long before I realized it, I was writing about power. My novels are concerned with sex. With the complex, troubling, joyous experience of sex. With the mess. With the fuck ups of fucking. With the vulnerability. Too often sex is portrayed in books as this unlikely experience — a kind of pyrotechnics to make flat characters seem more lifelike. Or it’s truncated as though we must not speak of it. Like some teaser from...

Read More

Blog Tour, Part 1

April 18, 2011
Posted in , , ,

Today, I visited Bett Norris’ blog for an interview. Check it out here: Bett Norris’ Interview.

Read More

Prized

May 28, 2010
Posted in ,

I write on the tiniest sliver of a desk.  In the space of wall between the sliding wooden doors of my bedroom and the built-in shelves of movies.  For Field Guide, I wrote here for hours nearly every day for 2.5 months.  Staring at this monitor, this weird photo of my kid in a black cowboy hat, the serpentine wires of the computer hardware.  I played Nada Surf’s See These Bones (Live) on repeat. ...

Read More