Archive | November, 2015

WIPS Conversation: Fate Kitchens on his work in progress

Fate Kitchens

Fate Kitchens grew up in Tennessee and now lives in New Jersey. He’s learned to love the northeast, but he’s still missing some things from the south. Until he can somehow unify those two, he writes fiction.



Fate, in this excerpt from The Fallow Land, Baines’ and Tommy’s plans for the day take a radical turn when Tommy finds a young woman’s dead body on Harp Hendrix’s expansive property. Does the narrative to follow focus largely on solving the crime that led to her appearance there, or does it become more of a subplot in the grander scheme of things?

It’s not strictly a whodunnit in terms of things resolving through some brilliantly plotted twist, but a killing is a major event in this little town. A whole lot of what happens is character driven, as far as how people react to this death. But yeah, I guess you’d say the crime is the center of gravity.

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Fate Kitchens: an excerpt from THE FALLOW LAND

Tommy Shanks couldn’t hold his piss, and he was lazy to boot. You’d hear worse if you asked around, but if it wasn’t for those two things, my life would’ve been a whole lot simpler. We were doing yard work that summer – landscaping, if you want to sound fancy – and it was the first time anyone had ever heard of Tommy having a steady job. I took him on as a favor. He wanted to get his life in order, but nobody would hire him.

Tommy’s truck was parked in the yard when I went by to pick him up at seven. The sun was still low in the sky. I wanted to start work before it climbed above the trees and punished us.

I knocked and waited. Nothing. An air conditioner hummed around back, outside the bedroom window. I beat on the door with the side of my fist. It was sheet metal and made a hollow, ringing sound. The trailer wasn’t set right on its blocks. The windows rattled with every blow.

“Tommy! Come on now! Get up and get out here!”

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