Read the First Chapter of Stony Kill
Not long before my mother died, she told me a story I’d never heard before. It was 1965, the year before she married my father. Spring had come to the Northeast nearly a season ahead of itself.
Wisewomen and Trauma
My novel Stony Kill tells the story of a complicated family, opening with the revelation of a family secret—the tragic story of a long ago shooting. The protagonist Joss Ryckman, a thirty-something Brooklyn baker, copes with the mystery of this shooting— was it accidental or not? This revelation soon follows the sudden death of […]
Pie as Antidote
“. . . My grandmother’s pies were another story. Her piecrusts had more flavor and were tenderer and more flakey. I wanted to know why?”
. . . My husband asks me from time to time, “Why did you marry me?” My answer is always the same, “Because you had a gas grill.” It’s as good a reason as any, because I cannot explain why or how I love him. I just do. . .”
Allure of the Woods
“When I was in high school, I used to pilfer cigarettes from my grandmother’s pack—Lark filters—and sneak off into the woods to smoke them one after the other.”
An American Epidemic
. . . The Washington Post reports that a toddler, a child under three-years-old, has killed or wounded either him or herself, or another person at least once weekly in 2015—and if past is prologue, we can expect a dozen or so similar tragedies before the new year.
But the toll is actually much higher. . .
Lessons for Writing a Second Novel
. . .There are cautionary tales about authors who change genre, or write far afield from previous work. Readers cultivated so carefully will look elsewhere for what they want, what they once found in that debut novel. . .
Publishers Weekly Review of Stony Kill
“In Small’s sprawling, evocative debut, Joss Ellen Ryckman stops running from her past and, after the death of her mother, returns to her childhood farm in upstate New York. . . Small’s expansive prose spares no expense on powerful and descriptive details. . .”