Wow… I can’t believe it’s 2021. I’m sure a lot you of are feeling the same way so I know I’m not alone. So much has happened in a time where it feels like NOTHING is happening due to months of self isolation. Last April I decided to leave my job temporarily at the bookstore until the numbers of covid-19 on the island started to fall. That hasn’t happened yet and in June the temporary leave turned into a permanent one. For now – who knows what the future holds. It was scary at first, but I have been busy. Thanks to a new friend and fellow writer, I was offered a freelance job writing for Amelia Islander magazine about the same time I was starting to make myself sick worrying about what I was going to do. It was the boast I needed, that little bit of validation to keep doing what I love – what I left Nashville to do. Write.
In case you didn’t know, I published my second collection of short stories last September. Sharp as A Serpent’s Tooth – Eva and Other Stories is a collection that features a cast of all female protagonists. Like the first collection, Walking the Wrong Way Home, the stories touch on some pretty tough subjects but they leave you feeling hopeful.
The characters range in age from ten to ninety-five years of age. As Junebug Fischer would say, they are as different as doves and starlings, but they have one thing in common. Set in the south, you’ll follow these young women and girls as they learn that they’re stronger than they ever thought possible.
It starts off with Eva. The young daughter of traveling Pentecostal preachers catches snakes while her parents hide behind the bible and a large wooden crate. Eva’s life changes when she makes her first friend and realizes there’s more to life than fear.
In Plans for Sweet Lorraine, you’ll meet Lorraine’s mama, Cordelia – a fiery red-head with a temper to match, and a mind as sharp as the sting from a leather strap. She’ll do anything to keep her daughter safe. Even if she has to beat the devil himself.
Laurel, the young girl in The Day I Threw the Rock has no idea that she saved someone’s life, or that she may have killed someone to do it. She just knows that she should be allowed to wear overalls and play ball like the boys. Well, ain’t it true that she can throw a baseball harder and faster than Luke or John Randall? Just ask Sarah Rose’s Uncle…
Junebug Fischer is ready to set the record straight and let you know what really happened the summer she turned fifteen. It’s true she killed someone, but she never killed nobody on purpose. That was purely accidental.
When Charlotte’s world is turned upside down, her aunt is there to put it back on its axis. Charlotte learns that everything she’s been told about her long lost aunt has been a lie, and her aunt teaches her many important lessons. The most important lesson is forgiveness. Cussing Snakes and Candy Cigarettes is proof that there’s magic all around us, all we have to do is open our hearts and minds.
Publishing a book in the middle of a pandemic was weird. Book events were all cancelled like The Louisiana Book Festival my little sister was going to fly down and travel with me to, and plans of going back to Tennessee, Fairhope, AL, and visiting all the bookstores in between were squashed. But thanks to the support of readers who read Walking, I hit the ground running with 200 pre-orders. It’s been a challenge but it’s been an adventure – even if I haven’t been able to get out and meet new readers. We’ve all adapted to Zoom meetings and different online outlets and found that the community for readers and writers is a great one. Here’s a small sample of some of the reviews the second collection has received:
I guess I’ll sign off now, but I’ll be back soon to tell you about some more exciting things that have happened since we last “talked”. It feels a little weird to boast when I know so many are struggling, but it’s also important for us to hang on to any good news we can. I hope you all have something good to hang on to. If not, reach out to a friend. You are not alone. We’re all in this together – and there are brighter days ahead.