Sunday, July 26, 2015

S. M. Hulse

S. M. Hulse received her MFA from the University of Oregon and was a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her stories have appeared in Willow Springs, Witness, and Salamander. A horsewoman and fiddler, she has spent time in Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.

Hulse's new novel is Black River:

From her Q & A with Stephanie Mezzanatto for Midwestern Gothic:

SM: Black River is your debut novel about a man who returns to his small Montana hometown after receiving news that the man who took away his ability to play his beloved fiddle during a prison riot has been released. You describe the main character, Wes Carver as “a man who always keeps his word, holds strong moral convictions…unforgiving of imperfections…stoic to a fault.” Is Wes Carver loosely based on anyone you know or have known at some point?

SMH: No, he’s not. I’ve never been one to base my characters even loosely on real people, but I certainly know plenty of people who share some traits with Wes. In many ways, Wes—though his story is contemporary—is the quintessential Western man, the sort you might find in an old cowboy movie. His job as a corrections officer has only reinforced his inherent and cultural tendencies toward stoicism and independence, but those aren’t traits that always serve him well during the events of Black River. As the novel unfolds, the reader comes to understand the ways in which Wes’s past has shaped his personality and realizes that he’s a bit more complex than he first appears.

SM: You were inspired to write Black River while reading about the prison riots that took place in the Montana State Prison in the late 1950s. What about the riots inspired you, and sparked the creation of Wes Carver within this setting?

SMH: I’ve always been interested in...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Black River.

Writers Read: S. M. Hulse.

My Book, The Movie: Black River.

--Marshal Zeringue