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: Hot Milk
    Hot Milk
    by Deborah Levy
    When people reach their early 20s, they often choose to go abroad – they want to get away from...
  • Book Jacket: Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of religious fiction - not even books ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach

    "An auspicious, gut-wrenching, wonderful debut." - Kirkus, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

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.