Author Stories Podcast Episode 1145 | Nickolas Butler Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Nickolas Butler, author of Godspeed.
Why is it being built here, and why so quickly? These are the questions Cole, Bart, and Teddy, the three principals of True Triangle Construction, ask themselves when they are hired to finish a project for a mysteriously wealthy homeowner. Nestled in the mountains outside of Jackson, Wyoming, the house is a masterpiece, unlike anything they’ve done before. Once finished, it promises to be the architectural prize of Jackson and could put True Triangle on the map. But despite the project’s lure, the owner is intent on having it built in a matter of months, an impossible task made irresistible by the exorbitant bonus that awaits them if they succeed. A bonus that could change the course of their business, and their lives.
Up against the fateful deadline, and the looming threat of a harsh Wyoming winter, Cole, Bart, and Teddy are willing to do anything to get the money, even if it means risking life, limb, and family. And what becomes an obsession for all three quickly builds to tragic consequences for some. Struck through with heart-pounding danger and an arresting lyricism, Godspeed is a stark exploration of the haves and the have-nots, a cautionary tale of greed and violence that asks: How much is never enough?
Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He is the author of the internationally-best selling novel “Shotgun Lovesongs” and an acclaimed collection of short stories entitled, “Beneath the Bonfire”. His second novel, “The Hearts of Men” will be published by Ecco in early 2017. He is the winner of France’s prestigious PAGE Prix America, the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award, the 2014 Midwest Independent Booksellers Award, the 2015 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award, the 2015 UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award, and has been long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty Dunnan Award for First Novel and short-listed for France’s FNAC Prix. Along the way, he has worked as: a Burger King maintenance man, a tutor, a telemarketer, a hot-dog vendor, an innkeeper (twice), an office manager, a coffee roaster, a liquor store clerk, and an author escort. His itinerant work includes: potato harvester, grape picker, and Christmas tree axe-man. His short stories, poetry, and non-fiction have appeared in: Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review Online, The Lumberyard, The Christian Science Monitor, Narrative, Sixth Finch, and several other publications.
He lives on sixteen acres of land in rural Wisconsin adjacent to a buffalo farm. He is married and has two children.