I first heard about James Hannaham’s work from Martha Southgate, who’d read an early galley of his first novel, God Says No. “He’s the real deal,” she said. And when I got the chance to read his writing myself, I agreed. There is a beauty and scope to James’s work that is simply classic–just like the music that turns the plot of “Interrupted Serenade.” The prose is clear, precise, and devastating–and yet James puts his own special stamp on these characters. It feels very fresh to be exploring a relationship between a stepmother and her stepson. Lopey and Erika stayed with me–I found myself thinking of her holding in that scream at the police station, and later, I began downloading Debussy and Chopin, so that I could hear the music Lopey was practicing. Whenever I become that involved with a story, I know it will be a good fit for our magazine. I hope our readers enjoy this taste of James’s work, stop by our Q&A with him to learn how he wrote it, and then go out and buy his novel, God Says No.