Mar 10, 2016

An Interview With Author Libby Cudmore

For our latest issue, former Editor-in-Chief Melanie J. Cordova spoke with author Libby Cudmore for a special interview. Cudmore is an alumna of Binghamton University, where Harpur Palate is housed. Her novel, The Big Rewind (William Morrow, 2016) is primarily set in New York City, but parts of it feature our fair city of Binghamton.

The fabulous cover of The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore

In The Big Rewind, Jett Bennett moved to New York to become a music journalist. What she found was a temp gig as a proofreader, but at least she’s fitting in with the artists and musicians in the tragically hip Brooklyn neighborhood she calls home. But when Jett opens up her mail and finds a mix tape meant for her neighbor KitKat, a local queen bee renowned for her “enhanced” baked goods and retro video game collection, everything changes. Jett drops off the cassette and discovers that it’s game over for KitKat: someone bashed her head in with a rolling pin…and left her pot brownies burning in the oven. KitKat’s boyfriend, Bronco, is MIA. Her sister is so desperate for answers that she asks Jett to snoop around. Then there’s that mix tape. Jett didn’t know KitKat well, but she knows music, and a tape full of love songs from someone other than Bronco screams motive—sending Jett and her best friend, Syd, on an epic quest through record stores, strip joints, vegan bakeries, and basement nightclubs to find KitKat’s killer, a journey that resonates with Jett, and her past, in unexpected ways.

The novel has received a starred Kirkus Review. In our interview, Cudmore describes the musical influences on The Big Rewind. She also speaks to its deep concentration on place:
"So while New York is often expensive and frustrating to [Jett], I wanted her to have the same sort of romantic wonder about it that I did when I was living there."

Check out a quick preview of the interview below, or go here to read the whole thing.

Libby Cudmore worked at video stores, bookstores, and temp agencies before settling down in upstate New York to write. Her short stories have appeared in PANK, the Stoneside Collective, the Big Click, and Big Lucks. Read more about her at her website here and find her on Twitter @LibbyCudmore.

Libby Cudmore

You can buy The Big Rewind here and at any bookseller.

Buy a copy of the latest Harpur Palate online here.