Who is Author Darryl Wimberley?
DARRYL WIMBERLEY has been recognized for both novels noir and literary work.
A Tinker’s Damn won the ForeWord Award for “Best Literary Novel” in 2001.
The King of Colored Town was the first novel to garner the Willie Morris Award for Fiction in 2007.
Darryl writes, works, and lives with his family in Austin.
What’s your latest book all about?
For a long time you could almost take for granted that any child in grammar school would hear of Johnny Appleseed, or Pecos Bill, or Paul Bunyan. That is no longer true.
In fact, many characters from America’s oral tradition are not widely taught in school at all anymore, which is a shame.
We think of characters like Batman and Superman, etc as being American-grown, but in fact these heroes derive largely from European antecedents.
The tall tales featuring Paul Bunyan– not a real-life figure, though possibly drawn from the lives of many lumberjacks– have no clear etymology because those yarns arose from an oral tradition, and that intrigued me.
So I posited a what-if: What if there actually was an individual logger named Paul Bunyan whose feats in the forest and whose life spawned the exaggerated tales of his life that we know today?
And then the next question: How would a real-to-life Paul Bunyan feel about the buffoonery and exaggeration that characterize his life? That was a good starting point to come up with an origin myth of my own for Paul, Babe the Blue Ox, Johnny Inkslinger, Sourdough Sam and other characters who are caricatures in the oral telling of Paul’s tale..
How did you get the idea of writing this book?
I began my writing career as a screenwriter at the William Morris Agency and in the years since have had eleven novels published, four of which have won national awards.
Your readers might also want to know that I have deliberately varied my work from titles in genre, as the Barrett Raines series published by St.Martin’s Press, to literary and historically-based fiction.
PAUL BUNYAN is a stand-alone novel taken from American ethnography–and also one of my favorites. You might know that this novel won the INDIEFAB Award sponsored by Forward Review in the category of General Fiction.