Dallas-based author Julia Heaberlin’s writing room is her kitchen, and until recently it featured a giant Texas map posted on the wall. The map traced crime scenes in her latest thriller, Paper Ghosts—the story of a serial killer who claims to have dementia and a young woman who wants answers. Those answers slowly unfurl on a road trip that takes the pair to Marfa, Austin, Waco, and behind the Pine Curtain. Heaberlin’s attention to detail is super-sharp, and that’s perhaps because before she was a novelist she was an award-winning editor at The Detroit News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Dallas Morning News. In our interviews, Heaberlin talks dementia, photography, public libraries, and the craft behind making us ask whodunit.
Meanwhile, the University of Texas men’s baseball team is bound for the College World Series in Omaha. It’s the team’s 36th overall appearance at the tournament and their first since 2014. Senior Jake McKenzie is the team’s regular first baseman, but after walking on as a freshman, he’s been a man for all seasons—a utility player’s utility player. In April, he became a national newsmaker after he played all nine positions in one game. McKenzie also just graduated with a 3.95 in petroleum engineering and is an Academic All-American. On Wednesday afternoon, we did a quick check-in as the Longhorns geared up for Saturday’s first-round matchup against Arkansas.