I recently bought this little book from Amazon.com. It's a collection of essays about how McCrumb became a storyteller, her family background, the Celts who settled in Appalachia, and her thoughts on writing historical fiction.
I've been a Facebook fan of McCrumb's for a long time and had felt I was really getting to know her that way, but this book told me so much more. Now I feel like I know why she writes the kind of stories she writes; she comes by it naturally since it's a long family tradition. They told stories through songs frequently, and she still uses music to set her mood as she writes. In fact, she does a CD of appropriate music for the setting and the characters and the story before she begins to write. I find this fascinating.
McCrumb takes offense, and rightfully so, that her books are often shelved with mysteries. She doesn't write mysteries, she writes historical fiction that sometimes involves magical realism. Don't know what that is? She explains it beautifully in one of these essays.
Her books, especially the "Ballad" novels, are always best sellers. Now you can read this 65 page book and learn why they are so good and so readable and so much fun to read.