Join Me Tonight, Near Fort Bragg

I’m headed to Fayetteville, NC today to deliver a reading and host a conversation on “Where Research Meets Imagination” as a part of the Cumberland County Friends of the Library speaker series. The Fayetteville Observer published part of an interview with myself and library manager Jane Casto, earlier this week.From Jane’s article: “There is no other community more closely involved with the military experience than Cumberland County. North Carolina author Katey Schultz has written a collection of short fiction, Flashes of War, which uncommonly captures the human experience in war. Schultz is appearing at Headquarters Library on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. as the featured author for the annual Friends of the Library meeting.”

The library is a stone’s throw from Fort Bragg, a mythic place made real to me by authors such as Benjamin Busch (Dust to Dust). If I’d thought ahead, I might have been able to find a point of contact on base and arrange to see the inside of an up-armord Humvee. But something has held me back (and it’s not just the fact that I’m trying to travel less these days, or keep my trips short when I do travel). Half of my nearly-finished novel takes place in a Humvee, after all. Yet in researching and writing Flashes, I grew so accustomed to NOT physically experiencing what I was writing about, I learned how to lean into my imagination–hard–and now believe in the power of that creative space where research and imagination meet.

I’ve given this talk off and on over the past three years, but I know a lot more about myself as a writer now than I did on the heels of my book launch in 2013. I’m looking forward to a smart, engaged audience and provocative conversation. Meantime, I’ve gone on record saying that librarians are our “last great defenders of the printed page” and am very excited to spend the evening with a number of them.

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