Cassondra Windwalker graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA of Letters. She lived in Fort Collins, Colorado from 2006-2016, where she served as a manager for Barnes & Noble and as deputy sheriff for Larimer County. She resigned her post to write full time and spent a year in Keenesburg before moving to Anchor Point, Alaska.
Her short form work is found in many literary journals and art books. Two of her novels were published in 2018, and another novel and a full-length work of poetry will be released in 2019.
Learn more about Windwalker via:
Windwalker will be donating 50% of profits (or a minimum of $50) from Bury the Lead from 11/23-12/4 to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. If you’re not buying a book, you can still donate to Windwalker’s Colorado Gives Day campaign page, no purchase required.
Why Windwalker is participating in Colorado #ResistanceReads:
How did current politics become a part of Bury the Lead?
This novel, in which a journalist uses only facts to convince his community to believe falsehoods, and in which he proves the power of language by using his own words to successfully frame himself for murder, was conceived entirely in consequence of the last presidential election. It is even-handed in its approach, challenging not just the president but the press, the political establishment in general, and the citizenry who support it.
What do you believe is a writer’s place in the political landscape?
A writer’s first responsibility to tell a story well, and to tell it truthfully. His facts may be entirely fabricated, but the truth of the story should be unvarnished. Truth will always be a threat to someone, no matter whose truth it is, and the writer has to be willing to speak those truths clearly and forcefully regardless of consequence. Some truths are spiritual, some political, some intellectual, but all truths are rebellion against darkness.
Were you at all nervous about publishing about these political topics?
I haven’t experienced any nervousness about the impact of Bury The Lead. My main character, Jeff Paine, might be a little polarizing, and readers might engage in some spirited discussion of whether or not he really killed anyone or if Ada (one of his supposed victims) is even dead, but dialogue is a central feature of a healthy republic. As far as any outcry against my representation of the president, I only ever let his own words speak for him, so I’m comfortable with that.
Why do you think people should pick up these “resistance reads”?
People should never pick up a book because it preaches a great moral. That’s nothing more than propaganda, no matter who promotes it. Pick up a book because it’s a great read, because it challenges you, because it intrigues you, because it informs you, because it enchants you, because it makes you wonder. I hope people pick up Bury The Lead because they’re intrigued by the concept, and if it impacts the way they look at the world and evaluate information, all the better.
Tell us about your relationship with Colorado and, if relevant, your history with Colorado Gives Day.
I grew up in Oklahoma, and we came through Colorado on family vacations every summer. I used to ache for the sight of peaks on the horizon and the scent of pine needles on a cold morning. When I was researching a new home for my children and myself, I knew I’d find it in Colorado, I just didn’t know which town! Fort Collins was a beautiful, welcoming, safe, clean town that felt like home from the moment we arrived.
Discussion questions for Bury the Lead
Bury The Lead draws readers into the mind of a brilliant but highly unreliable narrator, forcing them to question their own perceptions of objective truth and the existence of a free press in a world where an unsubstantiated tweet can carry more power than an investigative report.
- Gauging the accuracy and objectivity of your news sources is one thing. How do you gauge how many stories are buried or underreported?
- Have you ever knowingly linked correlating facts as if they were causal in order to win an argument?
- If media conspiracies exist, what do you think are the primary motivations of the conspirators?
- Amazon: $14.99 paperback, $3.99 Kindle
- All major retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Tattered Cover, Book Bar, Boulder Bookstore and more. If you don’t find it, ask for it!