ADVANCE PRAISE for Beginning with Cannonballs, which will be published in May, 2020:
From John Dufresne, author of I Don’t Like Where This Is Going: This lyric novel is a gorgeous mosaic, fragmented in a way that lets the reader into the gaps in order to complete the meaning, to connect the narrative dots. Beginning with Cannonballs reminds me of an Alice Munro story, one that looks at people’s lives over decades, like catching them in snapshots, so we can see how they relate to the people they once were. Jill McCroskey Coupe is one savvy, irresistible, and fearless writer.
From J.E. Irvin, author of The Dark End of the Rainbow and The Strange Disappearance of Rose Stone: Beginning with Cannonballs spans fifty years in a poignant yet difficult friendship. Through each episode, each explosive cannonball, the novel takes an unstinting and courageous look at how societal forces can seek to destroy the truth that lies beneath the surface of our skin: that we are all sisters and brothers at heart.
From Kim Bradley, short story writer and Assistant Professor of English at Flagler College: Jill McCroskey Coupe’s compelling story of an unlikely friendship in the segregated South is unforgettable. Hanna and Gail’s struggle to defy the odds of racism and social status is truly one of hope. Such lovely and deft writing from a masterful storyteller. A must-read.
From Joan Zelinka, MLA, MSW, former Medical Social Worker, Johns Hopkins Bayview: As little girls doing cannonballs off a diving board, Hanna and Gail produce big splashes. A number of minor characters, just by showing up, do the same. The ripple effects make this powerful and perceptive novel an engrossing read.
“Coupe employs short sentences that pack a punch . . . in the tradition of Southern writers like Flannery O’Connor and Harper Lee . . . She lays bare each character’s truths, allowing the reader to piece them together. . . The novel is a testament to the importance of connection and empathy, and feels both timely and timeless in today’s fraught social climate.” Jessica Crandall, Necessary Fiction Read the entire review HERE.
“Beginning with Cannonballs . . . takes on important and timeless issues of race, racism, and cultural shifts in America.” Jaclyn Bauer, Centered on Books blog.
Jill McCroskey Coupe has written a thoughtful novel about the meaning of friendship . . . Booksie’s Blog.
To order Beginning with Cannonballs, please click on an icon below.
2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards GOLD MEDAL for Regional Fiction (South). To order True Stories at the Smoky View online or to find an independent bookstore, please click on an icon below.
REVIEWS for True Stories at the Smoky View:
“What’s better than discovering a wonderful debut author? Discovering a wonderful local debut author. With True Stories at the Smoky View, Jill McCroskey Coupe, a former Johns Hopkins University librarian, delivers an offbeat tale of justice, happenstance, and the power of story.” To read The Ivy Bookshop‘s review by Rebecca Oppenheimer, please click HERE.
“You’ve got to love a novel whose protagonist is an emotionally adrift art librarian turned kidnapper and detective.” Read Paula Martinac’s review from Story Circle Book Reviews by clicking HERE.
And from Library Journal: “There is something for everyone in this light/dark Southern novel by a writer to watch.”
And from Booklist: “This debut author has a knack for storytelling and great characters.”
“Coupe has created fully human characters, with all their virtues and flaws.” Jeff Minick’s full review in Smoky Mountain News is available HERE.
July 9, 2019, reading in Taos, NM.
Yes, that’s True Stories at the Smoky View, on display at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2018 (just below the bottom left corner of the large IBPA sign).
Jill feels honored to have participated in this reading series moderated by Jen Michalski, on November 18, 2017. Also reading were Christopher Doyle, Lindsay Fleming, and Michelle Junot.
On July 29, 2017, Jill signed copies of her book at Greetings & Readings.
Pictured below are the July 2017 participants in a 5-day writing workshop in Taos, NM. Left to right: John Dufresne (workshop leader), Cully Perlman, Karen Kravit, Teddy Jones, Jill Coupe, David Norman, Peter Stravlo, and Jim Bob Jones. Photo by Garry Kravit.
On May 30, 2017, escorted by her son, Jill attended the Independent Publisher Book Awards ceremony in New York, where she received her first gold medal in anything, ever.
On October 22, 2016, Jill enjoyed signing books along with other local authors at Words & Wine, a fundraiser sponsored by Friends of the Catonsville Public Library, in Catonsville, MD.
Reading at The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore on Sept. 22, 2016, featuring John Dufresne and Jill McCroskey Coupe:
She Writes Press reading at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA, on May 20, 2016. Left to right: Dorit Sasson, Melissa Rea, Jill McCroskey Coupe, Donna Wilk Cardillo:
Baltimore’s CityLit Festival on April 16, 2016. Left to right: Cherrie Woods, Garine Isassi, and Jill in her favorite shirt: