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'Big Fish' Author Pens Fifth Novel

Daniel Wallace's new book, The Kings and Queens of Roam.

Daniel Wallace is best known for his debut novel “Big Fish,” which became a Hollywood movie.  which became a Hollywood movie and is soon debuting as a musical. But he's written four more novels since then. His latest is called "The Kings and Queens of Roam," and it follows two sisters as they grow up in an imaginary former textile town.

The sisters are opposites. Helen is ugly and conniving, Rachel is beautiful and blind. Rachel relies on her sister for a proper understanding of the world, but Helen takes advantage of her blindness and spins tall tales of a dark variety.

 "It's all about storytelling and what you believe," Wallace said on The State of Things. "She has power because she's in control of the story. And her beautiful little sister goes through most of her life believing that the world is a dark and terrible place."

Wallace, a professor of English at UNC-Chapel Hill,  said that his latest novel came to him first as a paragraph, and that he revisited it steadily over time.

"I had written the first paragraph of this book years ago..." he said. "Periodically, I would go back to it and try to figure out what it was. Eventually, I did."

Daniel Wallace talking about his new book

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.