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Author Talk: November 10, 2020

Katey Schultz’s debut novel, STILL COME HOME, revolves around three characters, each of whom are searching for the best way to be and the best way to live --- all the while fighting cultural, societal and political forces far beyond their control. In this interview, Schultz talks about the book’s plot, what she is reading now, the advice she has for aspiring writers, and her next work in progress.

Question: Please tell us about your work.

Katey Schultz: My latest book is STILL COME HOME, a novel that explores how three very different protagonists experience the same wartime circumstances, and the surprising similarities between their innermost desires. Set in the summer of 2009 in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan and the Black Mountains of North Carolina, the events that coincide over the course of three days highlight the interdependence of all life --- no matter what continent, or what side of war --- we find ourselves on.

Q: What is your next work in progress?

KS: I’m about halfway through a collection of short stories set in Appalachia. As of now, the stories take place in the 2000s and focus on unassuming, complex characters with deep ties to landscape, family and a shared sense of longing.

Q: What are you reading now?

KS: I just finished Louise Erdrich’s TRACKS, Brady Udall’s THE MIRACLE LIFE OF EDGAR MINT and Vivian Gornick’s THE ODD WOMAN AND THE CITY. Right now, I’m into Peter Ho Davies’ novel THE FORTUNES, which so far contains some of the finest crafted dialogue I’ve read in years.

Q: What message would you send young writers?

KS: Read widely and obsessively. Study writing at the level of the sentence until you have a sense for your own unique abilities as a sentence-writer. Next, look at structure. What is it, how does it show up and to what purpose? Study that. And always, keep writing. You don’t have to write everyday, but you do have to feed your spirit and your sense of creative receptivity. When you’re ready to “write that book,” don’t talk about it more than you do it. Just do it, and once you’ve gotten to that first, fully completed draft from start to finish, take a break. Run in the sprinkler. Take classes in a different discipline. Do karaoke. Bake something you’ve never baked before. Keep reading. Fill pages and pages of your journal. And only after much time, and growth, return to that draft and begin again.

Q: Where can we learn more about your work?

KS: I’d love to hear from readers and writers alike, and my work mentoring other writers toward publication or into their second or third books is something I’m very passionate about. Please learn more at and drop me a line!