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Jason Headley's Biography

Member Info

Dec 2007

Have you always written?
The first thing I remember writing was my name. And I was shocked that my entire existence could be summed up in five small letters. This was, of course, before I learned I had a last name. Twelve letters seemed much more sufficient. If not excessive.


How did you come to write Small Town Odds?
Equal parts bravado and drink. I was just delusional enough to think I could sit down and write a novel. And there was no one around to tell me otherwise. So I started, often late at night, often with a drink or two by my side, and just kept at it until I finished.

Did writing advertising prepare you for writing a novel?
Fiction is fiction, no matter what you call it.

How do you know so much about small town West Virginia?
Eighteen years of unmercifully endless research will really drive some points home.

So is Small Town Odds set in your home town?
In a way. I didn't have the energy to make up a whole story and a whole town at the same time. So I used my home town of Paden City, WV as a template at the beginning. Used the same team colors and mascot, stuff like that. But populating it with fictional characters slowly turned it into a whole different place.

Isn't writing a lonely endeavor?
Being me is a lonely endeavor. Writing is an excuse.

Any favorite adjectives you'd like to share?
Autumnal. Syphilitic. Turgid. Mayoral.

Are you working on another novel?
Yes, I am. It's a tale of a husband and wife moonshining team set during Prohibition and the Depression.

How's it coming along?
Well, I'd be able to get back to it if you'd stop with all these incessant questions. Oh yeah, "incessant." Can I add that to the list of favorite adjectives?

It's too late now.
Come on. We have the technology. Just put it up there.

I'm supposed to capture your first, initial response to the questions.
Oh yeah? Are you supposed to use two synonyms back-to-back in a sentence?

Okay, I think we're done here. Do you have anything else to add?
Yes. I find you unnecessarily rigid. Oh yeah, "rigid." Can I—?

See, this is exactly what I'm talking about.


Richard Russo


Kim Witherspoon/InkWell Management

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