photo-earley-pub--190x190What is your debut novel, A Map of Everything, about?

It’s about “everything,” of course. But at its core: The narrator’s sister has a terrible car wreck as a teen and suffers traumatic brain injury and physical debilitation. The novel thus becomes about family and family tragedy; accident and injury; addiction, sexual identity, and healing; and love. The structure is based on the periodic table, with each subchapter based on one of the elements. The excerpt here, for example, is element number 51, Antimony, described as “Metalloid; Primordial; Solid.”

Map-Cover-Color-small51. Antimony (Metalloid; Primordial; Solid)

Take June to the tanning salon where you work and give her a free tanning session. You will have to help her undress. Feel the tension that comes with regarding her scarred nakedness. It lifts your shoulders and hardens your abdomen. Help to maneuver her into the coffin-like bed of glass. Once she’s secure, go to the front desk and offer to cover things while the other girl working there goes on a break. As soon as she walks out, find the pill bottle in the drawer. Take one of the red pills—it’s the mildest of them.You have to drive June back home, after all.