Something captivating -- very captivating -- happened from the moment Megan Easter of the Kanawha City (KC) Book Club invited me to meet with them to discuss my debut YA-novel, HONEYSUCKLE HOLIDAY . . . and every minute of the gathering became more and more captivating -- more and more engrossing. Nine avid, enthusiastic, and passionate readers greeted me warmly at Panera Bread at Southridge in Charleston, WV: Debra Parker, Linda Johnson, Susan Wright, Danene Hartley, Pat H
I’m following the new year cliché and working to clean out my spaces, to have a clean start. Last week, I uncovered the metal pencil tray in my desk drawer from beneath a mountain of clutter that had been crammed inside for far too long. Beneath the pile of paperclips and white erasers, underneath stickers that were meant to organize my day planner, a deck of cards shaped like Easter eggs, an old Valentine I hold onto, I found a folded piece of paper. Smoothing the folds, I f
If you've read my YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, you most certainly "tasted" Lila's fried apple pies. She fried "the juiciest apple pies in the universe." Lucy loved them, and so did I in the summer of 1966 when my family and I lived in the hot, humid heat of a Memphis afternoon and even still in the hot, humid heat of an Appalachian day. Like Lila and my family, I think I'll always love juicy, fried apple pies and the memories -- the bittersweet memories -- they conjure.
Not long after the release of my debut YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, I was invited to present the work to a group of low-income summer campers as a study in diversity and acceptance. I was honored and overwhelmed at the book's reception. The individual had read my novel and had expressed their appreciation for its focus on those topics. I expressed my gratitude to the individual who offered the invitation, and then what happened next was completely unexpected. They asked