Joe Schuster (fiction, ’91): Joe’s first novel, The Might Have Been, which he began writing at a Warren Wilson MFA residency, will be available March 20 from Ballantine Books.  The St. Louis Riverfront Times ran a profile story detailing the nine-year story of the book’s creation:

For nine years Schuster’s vacation and sabbatical routine went like this: He’d get up in the morning and go to the coffee shop. He’d get coffee while the laptop booted up, then he’d plug in his headphones, turn on some music and start working toward his daily quota of 1,500 words. Sometimes it would take an hour or two. Sometimes it would take all day. The song was always the same: Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “I Say a Little Prayer” on endless repeat. Schuster estimates he has listened to that song 5,000 times. He’s still not sick of it. If he hears it now, it takes him right back into the world of the novel.

You can also read excerpts from the novel on the paper’s website.

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