Something happens when you invest yourself in the world of a book, when you sink down into a narrative and allow yourself to live and breathe that world for a while. Here at FoA, we’re interested in digging into that experience. Our reviews often try to engage with the connection between a book and the reviewer’s own experience, finding meaning in the intersection of a book and a life. We love books, and we want you to love them, too. We’re the Friends of Atticus, and we’re glad to meet you.
After graduating from Oral Roberts University in 2007, John Estes married his high school sweetheart, Stephany. John completed his PhD in mathematics in early 2012 at Ole Miss, and he, along with his wife and baby son, moved to Jackson Mississippi where John serves as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Belhaven University. Besides conducting mathematical research and reading books, John likes to play guitar and dabbles as a songwriter. John volunteers at Word of Life Church in Flowood Mississippi. For 140-character observations that fall on the vague spectrum between deep and moronic follow John on twitter.
Christopher Lowe was born and raised in Jackson, MS. Currently, he lives in Lake Charles, LA with his wife and daughter, where he teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University. He’s the author of Those Like Us, a collection of inter-locking short stories published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press and When You’re Down By the River, a fiction chapbook published by BatCat Press. You can find more information on his writing at http://www.christopherlowefiction.com.
Allie grew up outside of Memphis, TN and currently resides in Louisiana where she makes ends meet as an adjunct and freelance writer. When she’s not writing or teaching, she goes on adventures to everywhere she can. Her favorite books include To Kill a Mockingbird, Middlesex, Self-Help, and all things Atwood.
Joey R. Poole is a writer, English instructor and diaper-changer whose work has appeared in various journals online and in print. He just completed his first novel, Bastard, and hopes to find a publisher for it soon. He lives in Florence, South Carolina with his wife and toddler son.
Kelly Chase was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and currently lives in Jeju Island, South Korea where she works as an English as a Foreign Language teacher to super-cute Korean children. When she’s not studying from her “Teach Me Everyday Korean (for kids)” book, or exploring the mechanics of flat-tipped metal chopsticks, she occasionally finds time to read. Her taste ranges from William Shakespeare to Jack Ketchum.
Zach hails from Nova Scotia, Canada. He devoured horror books growing up, and though he’s branched out in his tastes since then, there’s still nothing he loves more than hearing a good ghost story. After graduating with a degree in Theatre he decided to forego the starving actor route and ran away to teach English in Japan. He’s been mostly abroad since 2008 and currently lives and works in Yecheon, South Korea. He enjoys writing fiction and maintains a clingy, yet solid relationship with a thesaurus. You can check some of his (nonfictional) adventures at http://www.zachmacdonald.blogspot.kr/.
Bethany is currently a middle school English teacher with a passion for reading and writing. She loves to travel, spend time with my sweet chihuahua Romeo, and skydive – none of which she gets to do often enough. She received her B.A.Ed. from Ole Miss in 2009. Hotty Toddy! And she hopes to soon begin graduate school and earn her degree in literature. She loves her family, NatGeo Wild, and her mama’s homemade biscuits. As a kid, she wanted to be a paleontologist – and still plan to be, one of these days. She does her best to live by the Good Book as a child of the Most High God. She tries as well to conduct myself as Mr. Shakespeare famously described: “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”
Sean Stanhill is an ESL teacher living in Andong, South Korea. He is an amateur musician and photographer and has written one self-published novel, Max R&B. He mostly enjoys non-fiction and has been all-ebook since 2010. He lives online at sstanhill.com.
W. Scott Thomason is a native of Winston-Salem, NC. He is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro and holds an MFA from McNeese State University. In 2013 his fiction appeared in The Lindenwood Review (which nominated him for a Pushcart Prize) and The Sierra-Nevada Review. He lives outside of Philadelphia with his wife and dogs.
Hunter is a Student Employment Administrator and Financial Aid Counselor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, which means that he works with numbers and figures much more than he works with words. As an MA grad from ULM’s English program, he’s not always sure how that worked out, but it keeps him balanced. If he’s not reading or attempting to recreate his childhood with SNES emulators, he’s hanging with his new (and only) wife, Emi.
Nick left England in 2011 to teach English in South-East Asia. After a year in South Korea and a year in Bangkok, he decided to uproot and start seeing a little more of this place called Earth. He’s been an avid reader since primary school and matured this passion at university where he studied English Literature. He’s currently traveling and working as a freelance writer along with whatever other jobs come his way.
Originally from Memphis, Lauren is currently living in Lafayette, Louisiana pursuing her graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling. She is generally interested in what makes people tick and click.
Adam grew up in Arkansas with an early love for reading, inspired by his dad’s sci-fi recommendations, the local used bookstore and his small-town public library. After graduating from ORU in Tulsa, OK, Adam taught French at an inner-city high school. Along with his wife, Lora, they were Peace Corps Volunteers at two primary schools in rural South Africa from 2008-2010. Now, along with their son, Matimu, they’re full-time missionaries living and working among an unreached people group on a remote island in Madagascar. Science fiction is still Adam’s favorite genre, but he loves it best when paired with speculations about culture, society, and the meaning of life. Adam and his wife write stories and essays about their life overseas on their website: www.madmissions.com
Holly Tseng comes from Missouri, Illinois, and Kazakhstan, and is presently teaching university English with her husband, Luke, in China. An actress and teacher, Holly loves all types of literature, from poetry to prose and playscripts.