Friday, August 24, 2012

Tune in for a Converation with Award-Winning Novelist Michael Loyd Gray

It’s 1966. The Beatles have taken over the airways, Star Trek is in its first season on NBC, and 389,000 American troops are stationed in Vietnam.  This is the setting of Michael Loyd Gray's latest novel, King Biscuit.

A war is going on Argus, Illinois as well, between sixteen-year-old Billy Ray Fleener and his father.  While his father dreams of Billy Ray joining the family business,  Billy Ray dreams of moving to California, becoming a surfer, and getting into Margie Heinrich’s pants—not necessarily in that order. Instead, he gets a summer job laying pipe and the dubious distinction of town hero after saving Purdy Boy, the mayor’s wife’s dachshund.
When his beloved uncle and role model Mitch is killed in combat, Billy Ray feels like he must leave Argus or be stuck there forever. With little more than the clothes on his back, he hops a bus for Helena, Arkansas to visit Mitch’s grave.  Along the way he meets up with a cast of characters as varied and polarized as America itself, from a marine captain home on leave to a band of hippies bound for Graceland. Each teaches him something about love, loyalty, and the true meaning of freedom, but what Billy Ray really learns is that everyone has the power to define who they are. He may have left Argus a boy, but he returns a man. 

Click here to listen to the interview

Like what you heard? Order King Biscuit here.

Michael Loyd Gray is an award-winning author, journalist and college professor. Born in Arkansas, he has lived and worked all over the country, including Illinois, New York and Arizona, Texas, and Michigan. He has a MFA from Western Michigan University and a Journalism degree from the University of Illinois. His novels have earned several awards, including the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Award, the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation.  King Biscuit was originally written under the title December’s Children and was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. To learn more about Michael Loyd Gray's work, visit

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