Kathy Hepinstall Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Kathy Hepinstall

Kathy Hepinstall

How to pronounce Kathy Hepinstall: HEP-in-stall (rhymes with pep)

An interview with Kathy Hepinstall

A Note from Kathy Hepinstall, author of The House of Gentle Men

Life is That Big

I lived in Texas and Oklahoma until I was about six years old. Then my father moved us to New Jersey. My Texas accent never recovered from the two years I spent there. The rest of my childhood I lived in Spring Texas, a couple hours from the Louisiana border.

After I received my bachelor's degree from The University of Texas in Austin, Texas, I moved to Houston to try to join the creative writing master's program at The University of Houston. Being declared "marginal," I never got into the program. Instead, I took the literature route and received my master's degree two and a half years later.

I then moved to Los Angeles and entered the world of advertising - doing work for Coca-Cola, Nike, Ortho Weed Killer, and just about any other product you can name. Then three or four years ago, I moved to Austin, Texas and began writing seriously. Much of the time I drew heavily on my relatives from Louisiana.

Every year the relatives get together in Louisiana and clean out the family graveyard. Last year we had our first official graveyard softball game because we liked the sound of it. Currently I'm working on a book set in a graveyard because the subject fascinates me. Our family cemetery is very spiritual and contains the grave of Rosella Havens Peddy, family saint and beloved grandmother of my childhood.

The House of Gentle Men came out of this part of the world. The historical society of neighboring Merryville helped me out with some of the stories, and I did some research at Fort Polk on the great maneuvers of 1941.

There are really two Americas to me: The America of the big cities, where technology prevails, and rural America, a truer form of country where people live much the same as they always have. I've been tempted to live in New York but I could never be far from these people for long. Someone asked Toni Morrison once what she thought of the criticism that her characters were bigger than life. She said, "No, they are as big as life. Life is that big."

That's why I love writing about the south so much. Life is that big.

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.