Paul Byall escaped from a small town in Ohio at the age of 18 by earning a scholarship to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where -- believe it or not -- he majored in physics. He went on to do graduate work at the University of California. In addition to Ohio and California, he has lived in Barcelona, Spain, NYC and currently resides and writes in Savannah, Georgia.
Paul Byall is the award-winning author of numerous short stories and the novel Ridgeland (newly-revised and looking for a home). His first published story, written while a student at the University of California, received mention as a “distinguished story” in The Best American Short Stories anthology. He is the recepient of the 2011 Porter Fleming Short Story Prize, the 2010 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Award and the 2009 New South Short Story Prize. His novel, Ridgeland placed runner-up for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom First Novel Award as a novel-in-progress. Paul's long short story, "The Genie at Low Tide", published by Ploughshares has been anthologized in Ploughshares Solos Omnibus 2.
Switching to 1st Person:
My novel,Ridgeland, a sort of parody of the classic crime novel, revolves around a car, a swank Mercedes with California plates, that a stranger drives into a repair shop in a small Midwestern town and never returns to pick up. From here the point of view shifts from Carl, the owner of the shop, a jaded war vet who feels trapped in his circumstances, to Millie, Carl's estranged wife, to Alexander Stavros, the stranger from California who left the car, to Miklos Popadopoulous, the LA mobster in pursuit of Stavros, to Amanda, a beautiful, but alcoholic, split-personality who takes up with Carl on a flight through the Midwest toward New York. Various other minor characters -- a small-time scammer, a mugger, a hit man and, even, a bordello madame -- also chime in, as the story careens toward its denouement. The abandoned Mercedes, of course, serves as a metaphor for lost ambitions, youthful dreams, second chances, etc.