Lou Berney is the USA Today-bestselling author of THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE, WHIPLASH RIVER, GUTSHOT STRAIGHT, and a collection of short stories, THE ROAD TO BOBBY JOE. He's won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Oklahoma Book Award, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He's written screenplays and created television pilots for, among others, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC, and Fox. He teaches in the Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University.

A Few Details

• My two older sisters liked to play school with me, whether I liked it or not, and so I learned to read, whether I liked it or not, at a very early age.

• Between the ages of 12 and 19, I was fired from approximately nine different jobs. A representative sampling: newspaper delivery boy (dereliction of duty), grill cook (lying about my age to get the job), apartment complex maintenance man (general incompetence), photo darkroom attendant (dereliction of duty, general incompetence), junior-high summer-league pitching coach (5.39 team ERA).

• Since the age of 19, I have not been fired from a job.

• A few (among many more) of my favorite writers, musicians, and obscure crime movies: Elmore Leonard, Flannery O'Connor, the Replacements, SILENT PARTNER with Christopher Plummer and Elliott Gould, Jenny Lewis, Walter Mosely, Kate Atkinson, CHARLIE VARRICK with Walter Matthau, Lindi Ortega, Laura Lippman, Social Distortion, Megan Abbott, Professor Longhair, Stephen Harrigan, George Pelecanos, and just about any movie Roy Scheider was in.