I grew up in Savannah, Georgia, birthplace of Flannery O’Connor and home of Conrad Aiken. My best friend and I decided we’d put the place on the literary map forever by emblazoning our names on it just like the aforementioned, so he wrote a novel that was published and made into a movie . . . just subsequent to his death by cancer at age 30.

So much for the importance of literary maps.

Me, I attended the University of Georgia where I studied under poet Coleman Barks—a badass by any standard, and now of some international renown due to his rabid devotion to translating the 13th century mystic-poet Jelaladin Rumi. Though I published poetry during my college years, I turned my attention to fiction and have devoted myself to it ever since.

After a somewhat peripatetic post-collegiate life, I at last landed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I have lived for the past 23 years. Due to the fact that my fiction has gotten me nowhere near the literary map, I work at Davis Library on the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus.