Sunday, January 28, 2018

Tyrell Johnson

Tyrell Johnson is a writer and editor. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside where he studied fiction and poetry. He's passionate about the outdoors and can often be found on the mountain with his Siberian Husky, or on his mother-in-law's ranch feeding her horses and a donkey named Jim. Originally from Bellingham, Washington, Johnson now lives in Kelowna, BC, with his family.

The Wolves of Winter is his debut novel.

Recently I asked Johnson about what he was reading. His reply:
I’m lucky enough to have a publisher who doesn’t mind sending me a book or two before the official release. So right now, I’m reading The Philosopher’s Flight, which Simon and Schuster will publish in February 2018. When I read the description, it reminded me of one of my favorite novels, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel—a bit of magic, a bit of history, and told with a literary flare. So I requested it right away. It’s the story of a young man named Robert Weekes and his journey learning and using a type of science called empirical philosophy—which we’d simply call magic. I’ve just started it, but it seems fantastically interesting.

I’m also listening to The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about it. I first encountered the novel when my own novel The Wolves of Winter was picked as an Indie Next Selection for January. I saw The Immortalists on the same list and since then, I’ve seen the novel pop up on almost every other list that Wolves is on. So I assumed it was fate and bought the audio version of the book right away. It’s the story of four siblings whose fortunes are told by an old lady in 1969 New York City. Having heard his or her prophecy, each sibling is strongly affected as the narrative travels from San Francisco, to Las Vegas, to the front lines of 9/11. So far, the novel strikes me as a mix of The Rules of Magic and The Lonely Hearts Hotel. Can’t go wrong there!

While I’m reading and listening to fiction, I usually try to keep sharp on my writing skills by reading a book on the craft of writing. Currently, I’m reading Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. It’s partly about her own journey into writing, partly a meditation on writing, and partly a guide to writing and living the writing life. The title originates from a story about her brother who, when they were children, was late in writing a report on birds. Their father’s advice was just to “take it bird by bird.” Anne Lamott compares this advice to her own writing theory. Thus far, the book is as insightful as it is humorous!
Visit Tyrell Johnson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue