Timothy Schaffert captured critical attention with his first novel The Phantom Limbs of the Rollow Sisters, which Janet Maslin of The New York Times called "blithe, spirited . . . quirky, offbeat." And Schaffert again goes off the beaten path with his second novel The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God, a story of off-kilter characters whose misadventures are set to the quirky cacophony of their bluesy down-home lives.
Schaffert says his writing is largely inspired by experiences growing up in the 80s-era Nebraska farm belt, where modern times did not always mean modern ways. "I suppose you could say I grew up around a hodgepodge of decadence and tradition," he says. My family was a traditional Lutheran farm family, but outside of our home, particularly in the small town near where I grew up, boredom provoked a fair amount of decadence."
In real life and between the pages, Schaffert blooms on home turf. He lives in Omaha, where he makes a living as a freelance writer and makes his mark as an arts activist, organizing literary festivals and cultural events. And during down time, he goes back to the family farm to help his parents cultivate their vegetable garden.