SALT LAKE CITY, UT January 9, 2014
Paul Yarbrough’s debut novel, Mississippi Cotton, published early in WiDo’s history as a publisher, remains one of their bestselling and highest-reviewed books. It is for this reason that WiDo’s submissions editor, Allie Maldonado, was excited about the new manuscript Yarbrough submitted to her called “A Mississippi Whisper.”
Maldonado states, “I was thrilled to see another book by Paul Yarbrough and even happier to see the title. Although not a sequel or even using the same characters, A Mississippi Whisper will all the same be an excellent follow-up work to Mississippi Cotton.”
When asked if he planned on writing more books set in Mississippi, Yarbrough replied, “I might. But I am working on a Louisiana story right now and reworking a Tennessee story I wrote seven or eight years ago.”
One thing Paul Yarbrough learned from his first novel that helped him with his second, is that “less explanation and description is better than I realized. Readers visualize more than I thought.” Yet, fans of Southern fiction come to expect a rambling nature to their literature, in the best tradition of William Faulkner. And Yarbrough, who is a student of the genre of Southern literature, knew that better than anyone.
With Paul’s first book, he kept saying to his non-Southern editor “this is the Southern way.” Rather than insist he cut and shorten long, rambling scenes, WiDo conceded to the regional writer’s instincts and realized very soon they were right on. “Paul’s writing strikes a chord with those who know and love the South,” explains Allie Maldonado. “It rings true– the cadence of the dialogue, the characters, even the long bus ride at the beginning– Mississippi Cotton is very reflective of how Southern fiction should read.”
Yarbrough has advice for those who want to write Southern fiction. “Read some of the great Southern authors, not the least of which would be Flannery O’Conner and William Faulkner.”
According to Maldonado, Paul Yarbrough could take his place as a classic Southern author if he can get the books written. “The way Mississippi Cotton has sold, Paul could easily develop a strong following of fans. If he can write the books, he will have the readers.”
Paul has worked for two oil companies and been an independent consultant in the oil business mostly as a landman for the past forty years in Houston,Texas. He is married with one son, Douglas, who now lives in North Louisiana. Paul has published a handful of short stories, flash fiction and essays in a variety of forums. Learn more about Paul Yarbrough at his website: www.paulhyarbrough.com.