southern authors Beth Duke (“Delaney’s People” and “Don’t Shoot Your Mule”)
and Kimberly Brock (“The River Witch”)
kindly invited me to participate in a question and answer session about my new
book, “Moon Over Taylor’s Ridge.”
Even if you have already read “Moon Over Taylor’s Ridge,” I think you’ll learn some things you
may not have heard before.
Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working
title of your book?
Over Taylor’s Ridge” is my novel that just came out in late August. I am working on another, but would rather
talk about “Moon.” Not only am I
superstitious, but I believe a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, or
in my case, a novel in hand is better than the two floating around in my
Where did the idea
come from for the book?
many years I lived in Los Angeles. When my elderly father needed help, I
started flying back home to Georgia. While there, I helped Daddy and also visited
with relatives. Our family loves to
share stories. My uncles and cousins kept telling me about the legend of a
Cherokee silver mine said to be on Taylor’s Ridge, a low mountain that runs
along the length of the valley. And in the quiet moments when my father napped,
I started thinking, “what if?”
What genre does your
book fall under?
literature would be the umbrella “genre.” But also “family relationships” and
“Cherokee history.” But the best way to describe it is “a little history,
mystery and romance.”
Which actors would
you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Colin Farrell can pull off a southern accent? He’d be Will. He’s the only one I’ve really thought about
because everyone keeps asking to meet Will. I would love to hear what my
readers think, who they would like to cast in the various roles. That way I
will prepared when Hollywood calls ; )
is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
best one was written by author Jennifer Youngblood (The Paper Rose Club and
Stoney Creek, Alabama) who said, “Strengthened by the sturdy Cherokee hills of
her youth, a woman’s unexpected trip home takes her on a journey into the
windows of her heart. Beautifully written and historically rich, this slice of
the South is very satisfying.” Now why
didn’t I think of that?
Will your book be
self-published or represented by an agency?
No agent, but I found
a small publisher, Little Creek Books, looking for stories of strong Appalachian women, which would
describe several of my characters—Avie, Xylia, Jolene, and yes, even Aunt
Ardelia! And let me add that going through the publishing process, it helps if you are a strong southern woman.
long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
first draft took about two years. I had
to do a lot of research on Cherokee lore and history. Then there were those
three billion re-writes after that. The
real work is in re-writing.
What other books
would you compare this story to within your genre?
have been told it’s like Sharyn McCrumb’s “Ballad” series, Adriani Trigiani's "Big Stone Gap" or Karen White's books,
without the ghosts. I’d love to know
what my readers think about this. Naturally,
I thought it was like “Gone with the Wind” only shorter ; )
or what inspired you to write this book?
Ridge and its rich history have intrigued me since I was little. And like my
main character Avie, I experienced strong feelings after the death of my father. I had to go through the tedious process of
settling an estate, although Avie had a much rougher time than I did. Again, I thought, “what if?” My mind is always
taking me to that “what if” spot.
else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
you like quirky characters, you’ll be in “hog heaven” as Jolene would say. And
by the way, many readers love man-hungry, flashy dressing Jolene. Me? I
love Xylia, the 70-year-old who runs the store and is the voice of reason. I
hope I “grow up” to be just like Xylia one day, perhaps a wee bit thinner.
cover of “Moon” is a tree that stands in the middle of my farm. I shot it on my cell phone, and the talented
Tara Sizemore, my cover designer, made it work—even though it didn’t have
enough pixels, whatever that means. Tara worked her magic.
something odd happened with the part about the Cherokee silver mine. When I
researched the legend further, I found out my late aunt, Mary Watts Mitchell,
had actually written up the story in a history book. It made me thankful to be from a family who
believes in writing down stories.
you enjoy a good plot, you’ll like my book. There are plenty of twists and
turns. And no, I am not going to tell
you where the silver mine is, so don’t even ask!
to Beth Dial Duke and Kimberly Brock for including me in this.
Next up will be two talented authors Victoria
Thurman www.victoriathurman.com and
Natasha Bauman www.natashabauman.com
. (Natasha’s website is being re-vamped
and will be live on December 13.)