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Welcome to BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS, Steven! We’re excited to learn about your brand new release DELPHIC ORACLE, U.S.A.
JH: What’s the blurb for your book?
SM: It is 1925 when a love affair between enchantress Maggie Westinghouse and con man July Pennybaker upends the small town of Miagrammesto Station, tumbles it about, and sets it back down as Delphic Oracle, Nebraska. Will their love fulfill its destiny? The narrator of this wry, entertaining novel, Father Peter Goodfellow, weaves back and forth in time to answer that question, introducing the Goodfellows, the Penrods, and the Thorntons—families whose members include a perpetual runaway, a man with religion but no faith, a man with faith but no religion, a boy known as Samson the Methodist, a know-it-all librarian who seems to actually know everything, a quartet of confused midsummer lovers, and a skeleton unearthed in a vacant lot. Funny, poignant, and occasionally tragic, their histories are part of how a place at the confluence of the Platte, Loup, and Missouri River Valleys became home to the long-lost Oracle of Delphi.
JH: What inspired you to write DELPHIC ORACLE, U.S.A.?
SM: It began as a short story that I couldn’t place in a literary journal as it was considered too long. So, I filed it and began a second short story, soon realizing that the characters in both pieces lived in the same town. Subsequently, I went through my “Ideas” file and found the rest of the people who live in Delphic Oracle, U.S.A. The original draft was a monster–185,000 words–but with the help of editor/novelist Mary Rakow and my Regal House editor, Jaynie Royal, I was able to “unbloviate” the thing to a tidy 89,000 word
JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?
SM: In a world that often seems out of control, I can make my characters do whatever I like. Is that a God-complex? If so, I won’t apologize. I prefer that good things happen to good people and that bad people get their comeuppances. As a young writer, I too often inverted those things–a combination of unmerited cynicism and navel-gazing. Age has tempered the former and enveloped the latter in belly fat.
JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?
SM: My next book, The Penny Mansions, will be released by Regal House in the fall of 2023. It’s about a mountain hamlet in Idaho that tries to stave off extinction via eminent domain by selling four abandoned mansions from its gold rush days if the buyers agree to live in them long enough to be counted in the 1920 census. As with my last two books, this one is in a small town and has heart, humor, and a dash of crime. Otherwise, I’m writing a new book and revising another.
JH: How can readers contact you?
Steven Mayfield is the award-winning author of Treasure of the Blue Whale (Regal House, 2020). He lives in Portland, Oregon and can order beer and wine in four languages. His wife can say, “Pay no attention to this man” in five.
JH: Thanks, Steven, for this awesome visit. DELPHIC ORACLE, U.S.A. sounds like a terrific book and like it has a little bit of everything in it. A must-read for sure! Good luck with the new book, and please come back to update us on The Penny Mansions!
All good things,
Note from SM: Sexual content: 1; Profanity: 3; Violence: 2