Debbi Hicks Wins Free Book Friday!
Congratulations on winning Free Book Friday!
Please PM or email me ([email protected]) your address so the book can be shipped off to you pronto!
Now to the questions about Southern fiction, which were, have you ever thought why we have Southern fiction, but not Northern fiction, or Mid-west fiction, etc.? Why do you think it’s in a category of its own?
I really enjoyed reading everyone’s answers. No doubt history deeply influences many books written by Southern authors. It’s influenced my own work, a little in THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE (enough to establish time/place) but particularly in my last three novels. Some of the opening scenes in THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET include the historic 1940 flood in western North Carolina. In THE FORGIVING KIND, it’s the lifestyle of the 50s (party lines, TV shows, clothing, etc) along with techniques of planting/harvesting cotton, the racism, bigotry, and homophobia that swept the land then and beyond. In my next novel, THE MOONSHINER’S DAUGHTER, well, it’s obviously about the making of moonshine, and running it. It takes place in Wilkes County, known as “the moonshine capital of the world,” but as with the others, I include other small historic facts that lend to the period.
Some of you mentioned the weather and that certainly impacts the success of farming crops in the southern states; all it takes is one good storm to ruin a season’s worth of work. Then there were the deeper issues of Civil Rights, (not to mention the Civil War), the regional food, the manner of speech, the “ways” of the people living here. All of you were right, because depending on your own experiences, (plus what you might be reading that’s Southern fiction) your perceptions are uniquely your own.
What no one mentioned, or maybe it was briefly hinted at, is that many Southern writers tell about the darker, tragic side of life, the violence sometimes only whispered about among the closest kin and/or friends. Often Southern fiction is about conflict, about the difficulties of making a living, about encountering trouble or causing it. Southern fiction is often about challenged relationships within the family or outside of it, about run ins with the law, about our dark and difficult history, and acknowledging it – or not. And sometimes, like a prop in front of all of this are those porches with swings, the balmy evenings with glasses of sweet tea – maybe with a splash of moonshine – the casual invite,”y’all come sit a spell.” Here, on the waning of a hot day, sipping that cool drink, listening to cricket toads, and cicadas, the talk on the porch could lead anywhere – good or bad. There’s church on Sundays, eating at Mama or Grandma’s dinner table and afterwards a nap wherever you can find to put your feet up. There’s waving at strangers passed on the road, (just a wiggle of fingers), the southern drawl and those blessings of hearts smattered throughout any conversation.
Part of my bio says, “Donna Everhart writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in a bygone south.” And those of you who’ve read my work, know this is true! 😉 Some have said my work is Southern fiction with a hint of gothic. Or maybe Southern noir. But what I care most about, is that you want to read it!
Last, there is another question, what IS Southern fiction. I gave an answer, as did a few other Kensington authors in this Publisher’s Weekly article.
This upcoming week, I’m giving away the audio book of THE FORGIVING KIND!
See y’all Friday!
Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of THE MOONSHINER’S DAUGHTER here, and be included in the sweepstakes to win a ***leather -bound journal like the Sassers use!
Also, if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to add THE MOONSHINER’S DAUGHTER to your Goodreads To Be Read list!
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