Catching up with Siobhan Fallon

Since I last graced MilSpoFan screens…

I am back in Abu Dhabi, which has been a pretty terrific place to live for the last four and a half years. This past fall I cobbled together what I like to self-indulgently refer to as “The Confusion of Languages Middle East Book Tour,” making stops at book clubs, schools, embassies, here in Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai, Oman, and Bahrain.

One thing I am trying to figure out, and please help me out, ladies, is social media. I feel like I am in a constantly evaluating whether I am doing the expected book advertising or indulging in disgusting self-promotion; where is the line between necessity and vanity? Twitter, Facebook, and this new frontier (for me) of Instagram. Does a tweet really sell books? And, of course, there is the more prosaic daily tug of war of being the mother to two wild little dancing girls and, like many working moms, trying to figure out how I can support and foster their creativity while supporting and fostering my own creativity.

If any of you have figured out either of the age-old dilemmas above, please do share your wisdom.

In terms of actual writing, I have a few different projects I’m working on. I want to write about Abu Dhabi and have an idea for a story collection but, unfortunately, it’s still just an idea, a few notes in my journals, but not much substance yet. I’m finding it difficult getting the slippery voices and plot and characters pinned down enough to trace on paper, like Peter Pan chasing his shadow. It’s been easier throwing myself into reading up on women who have been remembered as footnotes in the history of great men, like Lucia Joyce, daughter to James, and Kay Summersby, driver, confidant, and perhaps lover of General Dwight Eisenhower. Their voices are loud and clear in my head. Right now I’m researching Libbie Custer, wife of the doomed General. Libbie followed her husband wherever the Army sent him, even during the Civil War, and continued to travel after her husband’s death, writing books about him and giving speeches all over the country in an attempt to make sure he was remembered as a hero. That sort of military spouse determination and resourcefulness is pretty inspiring. I have to do lots of “research” still. Which really means I am having a delightful time procrastinating and being a promiscuous reader, which is lovely after having been under the whip of a deadline for my novel for so very long.

More concrete examples of my work are upcoming in the anthology The Kiss, out by Norton on February 13, edited by the great poet Brian Turner. I’ve read some of the selections and they are amazing, so if you need a last minute Valentine’s Day gift, please pick up a copy at your local book store.

And the paperback of The Confusion of Languages, with a new cover, will be out on June 5, 2018! I’m hoping to hit a few bookstores on the east coast when I am home in the states this summer. Please ask your local bookstore to order copies and maybe have me stop by for a reading.

Can I end with this lovely quote from Van Gogh? “One must work and dare if one really wants to live.” I just attended a Van Gogh exhibit here in Abu Dhabi and I was struck, as I always am, by the amount of work he managed to create in his brief and tortured lifetime. HE ONLY SOLD ONE PAINTING! But he forced himself to continue, living, breathing, creating. And ever single one of us knows who he is, this depressed, poverty stricken, suicidal, self-trained artist. So keep it up ladies, all of those projects you are pouring your passion into. It’s worth it.


Take a look at:

The Kiss:

Paperback of The Confusion of Languages:


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