I am absolutely thrilled to have Erin Z. Bass as my guest on Southern Creatives this week.
For some of you, Erin’s name will be quite familiar – she is the editor of Deep South Magazine.
For others, you should add her to your list of delightful people to get to know!
So, enough from me. Here’s Erin –
1) As the editor for Deep South Magazine, you have your thumb on the pulse of the creative arts in the South. Do you think we are in a Southern Cultural Renaissance? Or do you think we are in a preservation period?
I would definitely say renaissance. There’s a whole new generation of Southerners who are finding new ways to interpret the culture, although a lot of that does include preservation.
2) How did you get involved with Deep South Magazine, and what is your favorite part of your job?
I started Deep South Magazine in 2010 as way to connect the Southern states and Southerners to each other. Creating and maintaining the magazine has turned into so much more than a “job.” I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the South, meet some amazing people and hear some amazing stories. My favorite part of being in the journalism field has always been the stories. If you listen, everyone has a story to tell.
I’ve also been impressed with the quality of submissions we get to our Southern Voice section, which includes poetry, fiction and nonfiction. The South is still turning out some amazing writers who are presenting new perspectives on the culture.
3) What is your favorite southern road trip and why?
That’s a tough question. I’ve been on some pretty great road trips through the North Georgia mountains, my home state of Louisiana and rural Alabama. My first press trip outside of Birmingham may still be my favorite. We visited Monroeville, the hometown of Harper Lee and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and Gee’s Bend, where the famous quilts are made. Those towns truly represent Southern heritage at its finest, yet are still adapting and changing to remain relevant and modern.
4) How can people who are creating art in the South (painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, artists in general) do more to promote the rich artistic culture of this region?
If you’re creating something that’s “made in the South,” then you’re already promoting the culture, but you need to make sure people know about it. Today, social media is the way to do that. Set up a Facebook page, get a Twitter and Pinterest account and start connecting with people who are interested in what you’re doing. You’ll make some lasting relationships and probably increase your sales at the same time.
5) What is a classic Southern novel you would like to see made into a movie and why? And, who would star in the film?
I’m going to have to go with Faulkner for a classic, since he’s one of the few Southern authors whose works haven’t been adapted for the screen yet. We reported in January that HBO has permission to adapt his novels and short stories, so we should start seeing some of those in the next year or two. Actor James Franco is also reportedly working on a big-screen version of “As I Lay Dying.” I think this could help bring Faulkner’s work to a wider audience and make it more accessible for a younger generation.
As for a newer author whose works I’d like to see on film, I think some of Joshilyn Jackson’s books would make wonderful movies. They’d give the typical romantic comedy a Southern Gothic spin.
6) Does music play a role in your creative process? If so, what do you listen to when you are brainstorming new ideas?
It does! Lafayette is lucky to have a wonderful public radio station, KRVS 88.7. I turn on the radio in the morning, pour a cup of coffee and start the day with World Cafe. The station stays on all day, so I get local and national news, events going on around town, interviews with local musicians and all the great things that public radio has to offer.
7) What’s next for you- new projects, travels?
I’m excited to announce that our Literary Trail App will be available directly from the iTunes store very soon.
The Literary Trail App is available NOW! Here’s the link on iTunes – Deep South Literary Trail Guide
We’re also sponsoring two exciting literary events in Lafayette this fall. First, on October 25, Cory MacLauchlin, author of “Butterfly in the Typewriter,” the new biography on John Kennedy Toole, will be here signing books and talking about Toole’s Lafayette connections. Then, on November 9-10, we’re co-sponsoring a symposium on Flannery O’Connor at UL Lafayette. More details on both of those events will be on our site soon.
As far as upcoming travels, Montgomery, Alabama, and Jackson and Greenwood, Mississippi, are on the agenda for August and possibly Charleston in September.
You can connect with Erin and Deep South Magazine on Twitter – @deepsouthmagMany, many thanks to Erin for stopping by and answering questions for Southern Creatives. Please click on over to Deep South Magazine. You won’t be disappointed!