James D. McCallister

author of the Edgewater County series


Writing update: I’ve been mum about this work lately, but progress on my epic literary novel DIXIANA goes quietly and diligently onward. Since the first draft back in August, what was already a formidable text has now grown to the Wolfeian length of 315,000 words, with still quite a few small chapters, scenes, and moments left to write and insert at various points. It’s no surprise to me, as there are many stories and characters within the main narrative, including historical segments covering WW2 through the present day, with a minor feint into the post-Civil War era of mythical Edgewater County as well.

There’d have been a time when I wouldn’t have dreamt this level of work possible, but I never stopped dreaming, trying, and most of all writing: the other seven manuscripts, all the short stories, etc. And so here we are. Four and a half months to go before the deadline to have this second draft in readable shape. I got this great American novel routine down, yo.

And yes, I know it will be difficult—impossible?—to find a traditional publisher with the fortitude and shared vision to be willing to publish such a lengthy, intellectually ambitious, 100% BDSM dystopian vampire romance-free work of art, but that part matters very little to me. Besides, we are all our own publishers now, and a four-part ebook release over the course of, say, a year or so (followed by omnibus edition), is starting to feel like the eventual berth for this life’s-work project of mine. But who knows?

All I do know is that, day by day, I am given signs and shown encouragement by the universe that I’m on the right track—signs, wonders, and visions. And that everything has led to this magic moment, which in many ways is the point of the story itself, which already stands as the most life-affirming and satisfying piece of fiction I’ve ever managed to write. So that’s where it all rests right now. Onward into 2014.

Oh, and here’s the logline, as much as I can reduce this sprawling piece to a single sentence: After hubristic, wealthy prodigal son Roy Earl Pettus inherits his grandfather’s rundown honkytonk ‘The Dixiana,’ he decides to remake his dying Southern small town in his own modern, moneyed image, but ends up remaking himself instead.

Dixiana Depot 2

About dmac

James D. McCallister is a South Carolina author of novels, short stories, and creative nonfiction. His latest book, a story collection called The Year They Canceled Christmas, releases in November 2017.

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