THE SEED OF A STORY

Much like a gardener planting seeds in the ground, authors' story ideas germinate from many sources, from the intentional mixing of ideas or seeds, if you will, that are first researched, experimented, and finally, with a deep breath, planted within a story, careful to make certain that, with a little luck and a lot of perseverance, something close to a miracle will happen. And not only will readers revel in the painstaking cultivation of the story, but the author, the gardener, will sit back and take a look at what they've created, at last hoping to be able to do it again next season. As with gardening, it's a risk. The soil could have changed, the weather completely unpredictable, but p

HONEYSUCKLE HOLIDAY & ITS "UNCOMFORTABLE" CHANT

Nationally syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, Leonard Pitts, Jr., reminded us last fall when To Kill a Mockingbird was removed from a Mississippi school board because it "makes some people uncomfortable" that it is supposed to make people uncomfortable. I am certainly not suggesting that my debut YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday, could one day sit alongside the classic read on a library shelf (although one reviewer did compare it to that most prominent work), I am beginning to look closely at the "why" behind educators' choice to reconsider teaching Honeysuckle Holiday, not because of the book's merits, but because of a chant that is part of the story. I

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