Joe’s Bio starts out like this:
Joe O'Connell has met a mass murderer, competed in a Spam cook-off, prowled a crack house, and spat seeds at a watermelon thump. He's an Austin, Texas, native whose early career focused on small-town journalism in Texas cities including Lockhart, Temple, and Victoria. He specialized in politics and won awards for feature writing while telling the stories of both the ordinary and extraordinary.
Ya gotta like a guy like that. By the way, I’ve decided Joe and I might be cousins, since I spent a weekend doing research in a Texas women’s prison; I’ve lived in Austin for a little over 21 years; I went to high school in Lockhart; and they used to hold the Chili cook-off on the grounds of Aquarena Springs where I was a mermaid. I also lived one year in Luling where the annual watermelon thump is held. Holla, Cuz Joe.
His book, Evacuation Plan, was inspired by three months spent at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. As part of a competitively chosen group of writers and visual artists, he listened to the terminally ill, their families and the nurses and staff talk about death. From that, he wrote, not a nonfiction account of his experiences, but a novel-in-stories that has garnered much praise.
You can visit his blog, check out his website, then come back next week to ask questions or leave comments for Joe – and sign up for a chance to win a copy of Evacuation Plan.