Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ask Wednesday: How about novelist Michael Hanson's new website?

Michael Hanson reading from
This Sweet Intercourse
Yes, indeed!

Interviewed by Morris Dean

We learned only this week that Chapel Hill, North Carolina novelist Michael Hanson, several of whose writings we have excerpted, recently launched his new website. We liked its clean, understated layout, and its art! We followed up by asking Michael a few questions [in italics]:

Website’s main image, with links
How did the website come about?
    It came about because so many people had encouraged me to do it, and I was considering a “crowdfunding” venture to publish a novel, so thought a website would help. I’m not pursuing the crowdfunding (for now) but I went ahead with the site anyway.

James Dickey
Why did you choose the excerpts you did?
    The excerpts were taken straight from your fiction columns, pure and simple. (All of them save the Dickeyland essay.) I’m too lazy to do much else.

Lazy? We can’t believe that – you’re working on a novel almost every day of your life. Plus you have a day job.
    But anyway, you mention poet & novelist James Dickey. We think the first thing of yours we ever read was the Dickeyland essay we see on your website. How well did you know Dickey, how important was he to you?

    Dickey was an enormous influence in all ways. His best work (his poetry from the 50’s and 60’s primarily) moved me; his enormous creative intellect and passion inspired me; and his belief in me bolstered a belief in myself. Even his flaws (and they were numerous) influenced me by alerting me to dangerous pitfalls I’d be best served by avoiding. In short, there is little in my literary life that he didn’t at some point have an impact upon.

How do you expect the site to change over time?
    I honestly have no idea — I’m awfully new at this. I suppose I can post excerpts from other novels, and even try out new things I’m working on (as is already indicated with the excerpts from my novel-in-progress), but I don’t really plan to change or update the site all that often. I’m not doing the site myself, so changes end up costing me, and I’m not swimming in money.

Who is helping with the site?
    Durham artist Catherine Howard designed the website. Some of her paintings grace the links to excerpts. I am very grateful to her.

Copyright © 2015 by Michael Hanson & Morris Dean


  1. Good luck with the new website. I know a lot of writers have them. I have wondered how useful they are so you will need to keep us or me anyway informed as to the benefits you experience.

  2. It's great to have this new site online. Any contact I can have with Michael's writing is a benefit!

    1. Me too, David! I very much want to read another chapter from either Michael's work in progress or an earlier novel. In fact, I hope he submits it to me for our fiction column before he excerpts it on his own website!