Endorsements received

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“It may be fiction but it’s all true. Mandy writes razor-sharp, down-to-the bone southern tales about total strangers that you’ve known your whole life.  They jump off the page and grab you by the heart and they hang on long after the words have stopped.  She knows us better than we know ourselves.  This is the good stuff-get you some!”- Mike Henderson, Grammy award winning singer/songwriter, musician, and all around badass

“I loved these stories and the way that they reveal their truth with the slow, meticulous precision of a surgeon. This writer is not afraid to cut deep to reveal hidden truths and deliver justice in surprising ways the reader doesn’t see coming. Mandy Haynes is inventive, original and Southern to the bone.” River Jordan, author of Confessions of A Christian Mystic, Southern Writers on Writing *, Praying for Strangers, The Miracle of Mercy Land, Saints In Limbo, The Messenger of Magnolia Street, The Gin Girl

“In her debut short story collection Walking the Wrong Way Home Mandy Haynes captures the stark contrast between the beauty of the natural world and the darkness of the hurtful people whose brokenness trickles down to others in their lives. These stories of less than perfect relationships and the shiny souls that not only survive them but often thrive are set—where else?—in the South of Haynes’ childhood. Her lyrical prose, picturesque settings, and vividly drawn characters pull the reader in from the beginning of each story, keeping alive the seeds of hope that she plants as she works the rich soil of southern literary fiction.”—Susan Cushman, author of Friends of the Library (short stories) and editor of Southern Writers on Writing

“With the spirit of a barefoot, callous-kneed tomboy lifting stones to collect grubs, beetles, and wiggle worms for creek-fishing, Mandy Haynes never averts her eyes or shies away from the hard truths of rough living. She’s casting into the weeds, where silt-dwellers and mud bugs are circled by dragonflies, their brilliant sapphire blues and the lace of their wings darting and emerging, like Haynes’ tales, from all six directions, and with redemptive grace.” Suzanne Hudson, prize winning author of 2018’s Shoe-Burnin’ Season: A Womanifesto (pseudonym R.P. Saffire) and 2019’s The Fall of the Nixon Administration, a comic novel

“Words and sentences are like music, the rhythms and the cadences wrap around you and pull you along. Mandy’s work also like a heavy blanket on a good night’s sleep. You don’t want to end – the story or the sleep either one.” -Tommy Womack, singer-songwriter and author of Dust Bunnies, a memoir, Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock n Roll Band You’ve Never Heard Of, and the Lavender Boys and Elsie

“Mandy Haynes has storytelling in her bones. If you’ve ever driven down a country road at night, seen a lone light in a distant farmhouse, and wondered what life is like for the people in that room—Mandy Haynes knows. Her stories give voice to the humor, sorrow, and sometimes even horror in the lives of people in the small towns and down the dirt roads of the South.”

“Mandy Haynes has an amazing voice that reaches right into your gut. A talent like this is rare, and I look forward to seeing more from her soon.”  -Nadia Bruce-Rawlings, author of Scars

Mandy Haynes is a no-nonsense writer who cuts straight through to the core of what life is about with all the characters she creates. Every story is filled with an honest, raw, and beautiful dance that spotlights everyday people.  Such a treat to read. –Chuck Beard, freelance writer, editor, and author, owner of East Side Story

“Like the best songwriters, Mandy crafts her stories with people and places you can recognize, especially those of us from the South! Just like a great song, it’s the details that get you…some that are written and some that are only implied.” Tammy Rogers-King, Grammy award winning singer/songwriter/musician

“Mandy Haynes’ writing voice is as smooth as fabled Tennessee whiskey. And she’s a Southern front porch storyteller. The back porch is for those who wander all over the place and never get a good story told, them that don’t know what’s boring and what’s not. Mandy knows good stories and this collection, SHARP AS A SERPENT’S TOOTH, like her first, WALKING THE WRONG WAY HOME, proves her top shelf skill as a writer and gives readers more than they came for.”  –Sonny Brewer, author of The Poet of Tolstoy Park, and other novels.

“Flannery O’Connor’s stories have nothing on the wonderful novellas and short stories in Mandy Haynes’ new collection, Sharp as a Serpent’s Tooth: Eva and Other Stories. It is more than her strong female protagonists and powerful sense of place that establish Haynes’ prose as some of the best writing in today’s southern literary landscape. And it’s more than the stories themselves— full of silver-tongued, snake-handling preachers and arrogant moonshiners who don’t see the power of the women they victimize until it is too late. It’s the magic of her language, as she uses all the senses to bring the characters in each story to life.”Susan Cushman, author of Friends of the Library and Cherry Bomb, and editor of Southern Writers on Writing

“Mandy Haynes captures the authentic southern stories readers love. She writes, not with stereotypes readers can spot from a mile away, but with wisdom which comes from the calloused hands of a great author.” Renea Winchester, author of Outbound Train.

“Mandy Haynes writes about the poor and damaged, about simple folks with fire and crazy pulsing through their veins. In the story “Eva” she displays the ugly drippings of an evil soul beside the strength and wisdom of a child. With a warped sense of humor and an eye for sweet revenge, Haynes, in her collection of short stories “Sharp as a Serpent’s Tooth,” reveals herself to be an emerging talent with a command of southern dialogue and a tendency to create dirt-under-the-fingernails characters. She’ll be around for the long haul.” -Brenda Sutton Rose, author of Dogwood Blues, nominated for 2015 Georgia Author of the Year for First Novel, nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize in Fiction for her short story “Samuel’s Wife”.

“Mandy Haynes pushes us into the carnival tents of holy roller snake oil barkers wielding serpents against the hearts of innocents who see their nakedness. She shows us preachers both benevolent and malevolent. She places us behind the eyes of girls who chunk rocks and aim arrows at bad guys who might once have taken them in, but who figure it out and serve up just desserts. It’s no wonder such a young woman might be enthralled with a guitar strumming rebel who tangles with a serpent handler. This is a slithering snake pit of gothic tales that rattle and hiss with the truth we don’t always like to see.” —Joe Formichella, multiple literary award winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, finalist for a New Letters Literary Prize, and author of five works of fiction, including Pulpwood Queen International Book Club pick Waffle House Rules and three works of nonfiction, including Foreword magazine’s book of the year/true crime Murder Creek