In Scott Mitchel May’s latest novel, a serial killer who believes he’s possessed by an Irish demi-god haunts Madison while a city detective tracks his patterns for years. A former Capitol intern becomes a separationist working to retake the American Southwest. The US is led by a President who speaks gibberish except when on the air, and a Wisconsin state senator who is past his prime casts a deciding vote to secede from the nation amid growing continental conflict.
Plots collide and timelines overlap in Breakneck: Or, It Happened Once in America (Anxiety Press, April 2023) a full-length novel from Madison author Scott Mitchel May. It could be described as cynical, neo-noir, postmodern thriller, with plenty of authentic Madison geography (Mickey’s Dairy Bar! Edgewood and UW-Madison! Eken Park! Apartments on Doty Street!).
As May tells us on Madison Book Beat, it’s “my book that I wanted to put Madison at the center of, and highlight a different kind of Midwest sensibility.” Scott Mitchel May joins us on Book Beat to tell us about his latest work, out April 28 from Anxiety Press.
About the guest:
Scott Mitchel May is a local writer whose work has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Maudlin House, Rejection Letters, The Bear Creek Gazette, The Maryland Literary Review, Bending Genres. He’s the winner of the 2019 Poem or Page Contest at the UW Writers’ Conference in the category of Literary Fiction and was a shortlist finalist for the 2022 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Award. A former legislative aide in the Wisconsin State Senate, he now works an administrator for a charitable foundation, and is an avid skateboarder.
May’s debut collection of short fiction, DeKalb, Illinois is a Paradise What Eats its Own, was published by Alien Buddha in 2022. His forthcoming novelette All Burn Down is expected in October 2023 from Emerge Journal, and next novel Awful People is set to publish in winter 2024 from Death Print. You can find more about him on his website, scottmitchelmay.com, or on twitter @smitchelmay.