- Went to Louisiana State University on a visual arts scholarship.
- The first story he ever wrote was titled Ghost Birds and it was published in the Atlantic Monthly in 2002.
- His collection of stories, Between Here and the Yellow Sea was named as a top five fiction debut by Poets & Writers magazine in 2006.
- Published his first novel, Galveston, in 2010.
- Taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and DePauw University.
- Was the sole writer for the first season of True Detective.