Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 52: Michael Wayne Hampton, Romance for Delinquents


This week’s book is a story collection from Foxhead Books, and features small-town characters whose lives have fallen short of their dreams. We talk about the difference between generous and stereotypical portrayals of small-town Southern characters, how to put together a story collection, and why Americans keep shooting each other.


If you’re interested in the workshops we mention on this week’s show: the bad news is the poetry workshop is sold out; the good news is there are still spots available for fiction and nonfiction. You can register here. And check out the Barrelhouse site, where you can order Issue 12, get information about our upcoming books, and register for our annual D.C. writers’ conference (so much Barrelhouse stuff!)

While we’re bossing you around about clicking things on the internet, we’d be remiss not to mention our regular sponsor, Powell’s Books, where you can shop online while supporting an actual brick-and-mortar bookstore. If you use any of the links around our site to get to the Powell’s page, we’ll get a little cut from every purchase you make (whether it’s something we’ve recommended or not). So far those referrals have bought us some much-appreciated beers, and we’re looking forward to more. You read, we drink, everybody wins!

As always, you can stream the episode for free on our site, or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another installment.

Thanks for listening!


Download Episode 52 (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

4 thoughts on “Episode 52: Michael Wayne Hampton, Romance for Delinquents

  1. Pingback: Romance for Delinquents on Book Fight! |

  2. Hi Guys, Another great podcast. I really enjoyed Mike’s thoughts on character complexity, and yes, of course you made sense! I think that the southern characterisation might be prone to simplistic figures where, as you said, the exterior reflects the very uncomplicated interior. And we know that human nature is nothing of the sort. I don’t think there is anything wrong with using stereotypical features to create a character but it all comes together with the ‘layers’. Or I could be talking horse s%&t.

    I’ve read lots of short story collections (doesn’t everyone go through that phase?!) I spoke to an author one day, Steven Amsterdam, whose book, ‘Things I didn’t see coming’ was curiously being called a short story collection sometimes and a novel sometimes. I viewed it as a short story collection and I asked him how he viewed his book. He said that he sees it as a novel because the stories are linked and you couldn’t dip in and out of the book without getting confused. I didn’t have this issue because I always read collections from beginning to end, like a novel. I found out that most readers don’t do this. What?! It was interesting to hear about Mike’s experience with putting together his own short story collection and the questions it raises.

    p.s. I’m sorry that it looks like we’ll be reading Silver Linings Playbook but I have to admit I am secretly eager to listen to Tom’s demons come out to play with that one….

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Sonia. I think what you said about being able to use stereotypical features in characters is right; some people do fit stereotypes sometimes, and it’s just as dishonest for writers to ignore that fact.

    I’m shocked there’s even a competition in the poll, to be honest. I thought SLP would run away with it, at least 60% or more. But Understudies has put up one hell of a fight.

  4. Pingback: My Life in Writing 1/14 |

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