Craig Lancaster in conversation with Scott McMillion

Jun 2, 2021 | Events

Billings novelist Craig Lancaster will discuss his latest book, And It Will Be a Beautiful Life, with Montana Quarterly publisher Scott McMillion on Tuesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. The free event will stream live on Elk River Books’ Facebook page.

Lancaster, in his first stand-alone novel since 2017’s Julep Street, examines the pitfalls of balancing family, career and friendship through the character of Max Wendt, who spends too much of his time on the road, “chasing a pig” — the term pipeline workers use for following a pipeline inspection gauge along its run through a pipe.

Jamie Ford, author of Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, describes the book as, “An absorbing blue-collar meditation on marriage and meaning at midlife. A coming-of-age story, but that age just happens to be 55. We’ve all been there, or soon will be.”

Lancaster is the author of nine other books, including the High Plains Book Award-winning 600 Hours of Edward; the short fiction collection, The Art of Departure; and a romantic comedy, co-authored with his wife Elisa Lorello, You, Me & Mr. Blue Sky. He is also a senior editor for The Athletic and the senior editor for design at the Montana Quarterly.

His boss at the Quarterly, editor and publisher Scott McMillion, will join him for this event. McMillion is an award-winning journalist whose articles and essays have been published in magazines and newspapers across the country. He is also the author of Mark of the Grizzly: True Stories of Recent Bear Attacks and the Hard Lessons Learned.

To view the event, navigate to at 7 p.m. on June 8. You do not have to have a Facebook account in order to watch.

Lancaster’s book will be available for purchase from Elk River Books before, during and after the event, online at Signed copies will be available, and Elk River will provide both pickup and delivery options. For more information, send an email to or call (406) 333-2330.