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The Great State of West Florida with Kent Wascom

June 18 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


We’re thrilled to welcome Virginia author Kent to the store! He’ll be in conversation with Steve Weddle and Jon Sealy at the store.


About the Book:

From the beloved author often compared to Cormac McCarthy and Joyce Carol Oates (Washington Post), a startling and unconventional neon-pink Western of vengeance, family, and first love as two warring factions vie for control of a blood-soaked Gulf Coast

It’s 2026, and Rally is thirteen years old. The long, hot Louisiana summer looms before him like a face-melting stretch of blacktop, and the country is talking civil war while his adoptive family acts more vicious than ever. Rally spends his days wondering about his dead father’s people, the Woolsacks of West Florida, who long ago led a failed rebellion to carve their own state from the swamp and sugarsand of the coast. That family might have been his too—if his mother and a crew of vigilantes hadn’t tried to kill them all back when he was a baby. Rally lives in the shadow of guilt and in fear of the only other survivors: his uncle Rodney, now a professional gunfighter on the app DU3L, where would-be shooters square off in armed combat, and his mysterious cousin Destiny, whereabouts unknown, whose own violence brought the massacre to a screeching end.

When the Woolsacks’ legacy is co-opted by Troy Yarbrough, a far-right politician leading a movement to turn the Florida panhandle into a white Christian ethnostate, Rodney bursts into Rally’s life, taking him on a journey into the wild heart of West Florida, where they join forces with a woman known only as the Governor—part prophet, part machine, with her own blazing vision for West Florida. Soon Rally will learn what West Florida means to the Woolsacks, and the lengths to which they will go to protect it, all while he falls for the machine-gun-toting, ATV-riding girl next door.

An explosive, genre-redefining take on family, violence, and the costs of preserving a legacy in a sun-soaked world of megachurch magnates, suburban guerillas, and robotic warriors, The Great State of West Florida is also the tender coming-of-age story of a young man caught in the wheels of something bigger than he knows.

About the Author:

KENT WASCOM is the author of The New Inheritors, Secessia, and The Blood of Heaven. He was born in New Orleans and raised in Pensacola, Florida. The Blood of Heaven was named a best book of the year by the Washington Post and NPR, was a semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, and was longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan Award for First Fiction. Wascom was awarded the 2012 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Prize for Fiction and selected as one of Gambit’s 40 Under 40. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia, where he directs the Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University.

Steve Weddle is the author of The County Line, a 1930s heist novel set in Arkansas. His previous book, Country Hardball, which The New York Times called “downright dazzling,” is a collection of connected short stories. A former newspaper editor, he is the cofounder of the crime fiction collective Do Some Damage, the cocreator of the noir magazine Needle, and has taught short story writing at LitReactor.

Jon Sealy is the author of four novels and the craft memoir SO YOU WANT TO BE A NOVELIST. A South Carolina native, he lives with his family in Richmond, Virginia. Subscribe to his newsletter and download a free short story at jonsealy.com.


June 18
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Fountain Bookstore
1312 E Cary St
Richmond, VA 23219 United States
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