Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where Writers Write: Alan Heathcock

Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!

Where Writers Write is a weekly series that will feature a different author every Wednesday as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where some of TNBBC's favorite authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happens.

This is Alan Heathcock. He is the author VOLT, an award winning collection of interconnected short stories that take place in the fictitious town of Krafton. He was featured as part of our Author/Reader Discussion series on TNBBC back in October. He also appeared here on the blog at the end of year, offering up his top three reads of 2011. 

Alan never hesitates to answer the call for my willy-nilly author series, and this month was no different. I am so incredibly excited to share the following video with you.... and so grateful to Alan for the obvious time and effort that was put into it!!!

Where Alan Writes

My writing studio is a 1967 Roadrunner travel trailer that for most of its life was an Idaho State Police surveillance vehicle, and is now packed with books and trophies and random oddities–in style, it’s urban-redneck-gypsy-writer chic. Having a wife and three kids, it’s perfect in that I can actually leave the house to go to work, to be out of earshot, to be away from someone asking me to open something or find something or wipe something, but also be close enough to come in to have lunch with the family, and get wifi from the house. 

Inside, there’s old beautiful wood paneling, which smells like woods and feels like wood and feels cozy and connects me with the past. With my wife’s help, I took pages from my favorite books and decoupaged them over the kitchenette area, so every time I get a drink of water, or heat up some tea, Hemingway and Joyce and James Dickey and Joyce Carol Oates stare me right in the face, daring me to bring my A-game. I’ve hung framed letters I received from authors I admire, my prize being a type-written letter Joy Williams wrote me after she’d read my book. 

Another favorite piece is a picture of “The Preacher” from the Charles Laughton movie, The Night of the Hunter. The Preacher hangs over my head, glowering down over me, H-A-T-E tattooed across one hand, L-O-V-E across the other, him always watching, always making sure I’m writing what’s right and righteous. In short, the VOLT-mobile (what my kids call it) is a magical place, a space that transports me from my side-driveway and deep into the recesses of my imagination, into all its fear and whimsy, its questions and concerns.

Check back next week to see where the magic happens for Under the Poppy author Kathe Koja!!


  1. I want one of those - sure beats my spare bedroom

  2. Great, great video! My absolute favorite of the series.