The war begins in paris

While things may have looked slow around here the last couple years, I’ve been busy writing away on a new novel. With that in mind, I couldn’t be more pleased to share that my fourth book will be published by Little, Brown & Company! 

The War Begins in Paris is a suspenseful work of literary noir, equal parts Patrick Modiano and Lara Prescott, about two female foreign correspondents—a provocative American fascist and an introverted young pacificist—whose fates intertwine behind enemy lines during World War II. As hostilities intensify following the November Pogrom, Mielle’s life is propelled by a series of prophetic visions that take her from a Mennonite farm in Iowa, to a job as a foreign correspondent in Paris, to what she comes to see as a secret mission to assassinate a Nazi propagandist in wartime Germany. Similar to my previous work, The War Begins in Paris blends historical and fictional characters amid a backdrop of true events. 

I started writing this book in earnest in 2020. The project was aided by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Arts Council, which funded research trips to Paris and Germany. The War Begins in Paris will mark my “Big Five” publisher debut and a reunion with editor Vivian Lee, whom I previously worked with at Little A. Vivian made the move to Little, Brown a couple years ago, and I feel very lucky to be following her.

More to come. Much, much more. In the meantime, CHEERS!

NAC IAF

Some bright news as the worst of winter settles in. This week I was awarded a literature fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council! It’s really such an honor to be included with so many great Nebraska authors whose work I admire and who I consider friends.

The program recognizes “exemplary work by Nebraska artists” and rotates through different art forms on a three-year cycle. This is the fourth time I’ve applied for the fellowship. Only a decade of futility there before breaking through–so not too bad!

I’ve been hard at work on a new novel over the past year, the last few months especially. This recognition is a great validation of that project and will help me with research at some point. Of course, this comes a year after I won an National Endowment for the Arts fellowship to work on the same project. Hopefully someday soon I’ll be able to use these awards to fund the travel for which they were intended. Last March I made it to Paris just before everything shut down, with that trip having to be cut a few days short because of uncertainty that I’d be able to get back into the US. I’d had things lined up to return to Paris and visit Bad Nauheim and Stuttgart toward the end of 2020, but you know the rest. Someday–hopefully before the book is published–there will be some travel to Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, and Salzburg, and maybe the Extremadura region of Spain.

Thanks so much to the Nebraska Arts Council for helping to make those trips possible, once they’re possible again. Cheers!