Establishing a clock in your book adds tension and interest to every page. A clock can be the simple sense of time passing in the background of your story ensuring us that everything in the front story matters, an expected upcoming event that adds interest or anxiety, or the pressure on a character to accomplish a goal/desire within a set period of time. It’s the container for your book. It’s why you’ve chosen to write it in that time period in the first place. To help us wade through these ideas are authors Sabina Murray and Steve Yarbrough.
Steve Yarbrough Steve Yarbrough is the author of twelve books, most recently the novel Stay Gone Days, due out in April 2022. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the California Book Award, the Richard Wright Award and the Robert Penn Warren Award. He has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The Unmade World won the 2019 Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction. The son of Mississippi Delta cotton farmers, Steve is currently a professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College. He has two daughters—Lena Yarbrough and Antonina Parris—and is married to the Polish writer Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough. They divide their time between Boston and Krakow. Steve is an aficionado of jazz and bluegrass music, which he plays on guitar, mandolin and banjo, often after midnight.
Sabina Murray is the author of three short story collections and four novels including her most recent, The Human Zoo, set in the Philippines under Duterte's presidency. Her third collection of short stories, Vanishing Point, a collection of stories with gothic themes, is due out soon. Murray is also a screenwriter and wrote the script for the film Beautiful Country, released in 2005. Murray has been a Michener Fellow at UT Austin, a Bunting fellow at Radcliffe, a Guggenheim Fellow, and has received the PEN/Faulkner Award, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a UMass Research and Creativity Award and Samuel Conti Fellowship, and a Fred Brown Award for The Novel from the University of Pittsburgh. She now lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Massachusetts.