Podcast

Meet the Board Members: John A. McDermott

“I hope my presence on the board helps the WLT reach out to those writers in their early twenties looking for a place to find advice and encouragement..“

— John A. McDermott

A member of the Writers’ League since 2019, John lives in Nacogdoches, TX.

Scribe: Welcome, writer! Tell us — what do you write?

John A. McDermott: These days I write fiction–I’m working on a novel–but I’ve published in all sorts of forms, including poetry, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and scholarly essays. Many years ago, I was a copywriter for a catalog company. It all seems connected.

Scribe: How did you come to join the WLT?

JM: I first learned about the WLT through the summer writing retreats. One year they were in our neck of the woods–literally, we’re out in the woods. After that, I wanted to get involved.

Scribe: If you could choose one author to blurb your book, who would it be, and what would you want it to say?

JM: That’s a tough one. Alice Hoffman? If she called my work magical, that would be pretty cool.

Scribe: You have one book you’re allowed to push onto all of your friends, and they’re forced to read it to remain your friend — which one would you choose?

JM: There’s so many to choose, but lately, I’d say Kelly Link’s Get in Trouble.

Scribe: What made you join the board?

JM: As a teacher of creative writing, I work with lots of young people and once they leave college, they often lack a writing community they’ve come to rely on in their school days. I hope my presence on the board helps the WLT reach out to those writers in their early twenties looking for a place to find advice and encouragement. I’m way past my youth and recognize that writing can be a lonely endeavor. The WLT is a wonderful organization to link like-minded writers, no matter their age, no matter where they live in this enormous state!

Scribe: Here at the WLT, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one book that has come out within the past few years that you couldn’t put down? (Bonus points if the book is Texas related!)

JM: “Five Tuesdays in Winter” by Lily King is a great collection of stories. I love novels, but nobody reads enough short fiction these days. There are so many wonderful collections out there.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!

JM: Oh, sure, I can do self-promotion (it’s a necessary evil of making art and wanting folks to see it!). My two poetry collections are out there in the world, “The Idea of God in Tennessee,” and “Writhe.Waltz.” My obsessions are parenting and pop culture–usually musically related–but my work goes all over the place, from ancient Egypt to Flannery O’Connor. I think the kind term is eclectic!

Scribe: Where can our readers find more of you?

My writer’s site is johnamcdermott.net, my Twitter is @jamcdermott1, and my Instagram is johnamcdermott. Now I should actually update all of them. I’m terrible at social media, but vow to get better!

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