Interesting Day!

Before I tell you about my day, let me just mention that if any of you have been trying to order more than one out-of-print book on my website, I know you’ve had problems! My webmistress promises to fix that page early next week, so please do try again then.
Now, on to today. The first exciting thing is that I’ve decided to change the setting of my book from Emerald Isle to Topsail Island, NC. Topsail will better meet the needs of the story, plus my wonderful next door neighbors have said I can stay at their condo while researching the area. I hope to do that in the next couple of weeks. The second exciting thing is that I contacted Jodee Kulp, an inspirational advocate for children and adults with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I want to be sure that my character, fifteen-year-old Andy, is an accurate representation of the syndrome. Jodee’s working on some fiction herself and gave me her phone number so we can chat this weekend. Wow! I can’t wait.
Finally, today I was interviewed for the local NPR station (in Chapel Hill). I don’t think I’ve ever been interviewed about anything other than my books and being a writer, but today was different. There’s a program on the local station called Your Story. I love it because it features average people dealing with life experiences, and I always find the interviews thought provoking. The other day, the host Dick Gordon invited people to email with their story. I thought about the memoir I’d started when I was between contracts. I wanted to focus on overcoming the fears, anxieties and phobias that dogged me as a child and young adult. Since I may never get that memoir written 🙁  I decided to email a couple of paragraphs about those experiences. They called me and I had my interview today, which they “banked,” so I don’t know when it will actually be aired. Not a word about books! How strange that felt. The interview was very short and focused, but I hope anyone who listens to it who can relate to the fear–or more importantly, sees their child in my words–has a better idea of what help might be available.
Needless to say, with all this going on, I didn’t get much writing done. I did figure out a motive for a Bad Thing that happens in the story, so all in all, it was a successful day.


  1. Brenda on September 23, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Nice neighbors…
    Enjoy your research…
    I am over my head in research and classes.
    I have to say-that you have enlightened many on the work put into one book…
    Since I teach English, I know how difficult writing can be…but this is good for others. I hope after you finish your MEMOIR, you do a book about writing.
    Good thing about the interview…making a difference one day at a time.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on September 23, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    Brenda, I can tell you’re stressed! such a short post for you. LOL. I hope you get a lot accomplished this weekend. Hang in there!

  3. Brenda on September 23, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    Remember, I am practicing “cutting the fat” as I teach my students to do the same.
    Write less…show me…don’t tell me…

  4. Brenda on September 23, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    P.S. Took a couple of hours very very early this A.M. to destress and read YOU…can’t wait to order the books.

  5. Brenda on September 24, 2006 at 11:48 am

    Wanted to catch up this A.M.
    If you guys read Hillbilly Gothic (certainly an oxymoron)–just reread it before I do something in a class…remember the writer is writing about WV as she remembers it (as with all memoirs). I can’t picture the Parkersburg in her mind–because Interstate has gone through/by there for years…I go there on the way to my son’s in Ohio and on the way to The Amish Country.
    Also-some other things bothered me-let me know what you think when/if you read it.
    School is hastening by…grad school is almost killing me this semester, and although I am keeping up in my classes, I am not up to speed studying for comps…
    As D. noticed, I am somewhat stressed but chugging along…the big birthday-59-coming up in a week-could be part of the reason-too old to be doing so much…
    Have a good week…I try to keep up with the BLOG…and D.’s writing…should be taking notes.

  6. Ann on September 24, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    We go to North Topsail Beach for a week every May and it is a wonderful, quiet place. I recommend Indigo Marsh Restaurant. It has wonderful food and a beautiful view. Have fun!!

  7. Diane Chamberlain on September 24, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    I’ve never read–or even heard of–Hillbilly Gothic, Brenda. Love the title, tho. I’m worried about you! Hope you get lots of help around the house when school’s in session.
    Ann, I’ve been to Topsail just once, but knew right away I wanted to set a book there. It’s all coming together in my mind. Can’t wait to re-visit the area.

  8. Margo on September 26, 2006 at 9:02 am

    Diane, If your still visiting Emerald Isle this month I hope you’ll still share with us what it was like…it sounds like a gorgeous, remote place. I’m looking forward to finding out more about Topsail Island…Brenda, take care and try not to be stressed (easier said than done, right?)…

  9. Diane Chamberlain on September 26, 2006 at 9:51 am

    Margo, we had to cancel on the Emerald Isle trip because John’s first art fair is this weekend. He’s been working dawn till dusk making prints, framing them, turning them into cards, etc. I’m excited to see how he does at the fairs. I LOVE his work. now we have to see if anyone else does!
    Emerald Isle isn’t remote, I’m afraid. And neither is Topsail. And neither are the Outer Banks. But I can always pretend. That’s why I like to set beach books in the non-peak season months, when they ARE more remote.

  10. Margo on September 26, 2006 at 10:11 am

    Oh, I thought it WAS remote )-: Well, I’m really glad the setting is ‘off-season’ because that’s what is so appealing (at least to me)!…Lots of luck to John this weekend! I know what it’s like to prepare for these shows (just finished another 1 of my own last Sun.) I’ll be anxious to hear how he likes it. Be sure and keep us posted.

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