Welcome to In Conversation…! This month you are in for a real treat. Tara Stillions Whitehead joins me as we discuss her debut book Blood Histories, which was released on July 14, 2021 (Galileo Press). We talk about many things from her journey through the process of writing and publishing Blood Histories and The Year of the Monster (due for release in September 2022, Unsolicited Press), to how filmmaking influences her writing. (You can see her full bio below.)
I first became aware of Tara in December of 2019 when we were published in Issue 12 of Bending Genres. Immediately drawn to her title, Blood Histories, I read her story and thought I would love to have her as a guest on The Burning Hearth. At the time, I hadn’t started doing interviews, wasn’t on Twitter, and didn’t really know how I would find my way to her. Time, however, and twitter, led me to her DM and here we are. During our interview, I found Tara to be spirited and quite passionate about writing, her projects, and life.
Our interview ends with her reading from Blood Histories. Something you definitely don’t want to miss!
I hope you enjoyed this edition of In Conversation. Next month I will be interviewing Anne Kissinger, the head children’s librarian at the Wauwatosa, WI public library. Join us for what I’m sure will be a fact filled conversation about children’s literacy, and if I know Anne (and I do) she will have a lot of great recommends.
Please, stop back in a few days when my daughter and I bring to life Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie. I will read, and she will puppeteer, There Is a Bird on Your Head.
A native Southern Californian, alumna of University of Southern California’s historic School of Cinematic Arts, and graduate of San Diego State University’s MFA writing program, Tara Stillions Whitehead is a multi-genre writer and filmmaker teaching in Central Pennsylvania.
After working as a DGA assistant director and then as assistant to the executive producers of two number one prime time television shows, Tara left Hollywood to pursue scholarship and writing that subverts celebrity worship and the dangerous narratives promoted by mainstream American media.
Tara’s writing has been published in or is forthcoming from various award-winning journals, magazines, and anthologies, including cream city review, The Rupture, Fairy Tale Review, Gone Lawn, PRISM international, Chicago Review, Pithead Chapel, Jellyfish Review, and Monkeybicycle. She is Assistant Professor of Film, Video, and Digital Media Production at Messiah University, where she is also faculty for the renowned Young Writers Workshop, and has given public lectures on monsters, media, and film.
Tara’s writing has been included in the Wigleaf Top 50, has been nominated for Best of the Net, the AWP Intro Journals Award, and a Pushcart Prize. She is the recipient of a Glimmer Train Press Award for New Writers.