Thursday, November 26, 2009
Um, interesting. Not much, I think. I'm sure people who read my novels will say they see a lot of me in certain characters but I don't see it. Unless you consider Agnes's love of M&Ms.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Okay, so the definition of quirky is peculiar or idiosyncratic so I suppose my quirkiest stuff is that I never eat everything on a plate. I always leave something. My mother says I've done that since I was a little kid. Oh and I will drive for miles out of way to avoid traffic jams, I holler at the TV while watching football, I hate mayonnaise and have been known to leave the table if someone is glopping particularly large dollops on the their sandwich, I've never seen an episode of Dancing With The Stars, and I will someday inherit an 85 year old onion plant from my extra-quirky mother and the thought scares me because I am not a plant person and it will probably die ten minutes after I take possession.
I guess I didn't know onion plants lived that long. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In the third grade. Everything else, math, geography became superfluous after that. You can read about it on my site.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Oh boy, well pretty much anything from Crime Noir to Literary. But I suppose I enjoy novels with some humor and quirkiness like Fannie Flagg, Joshilyn Jackson, Lisa Samson, Nancy Rue. Not a fan of vampire novels.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I wrote a coming-of-age novel I'd like to see published some day. And I have two or three middle grade fantasies floating around that I think would be great fun to publish. Maybe someday.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
That assumes I have sanity to maintain. But I cross stitch, play video games, watch movies, sit in my son's tree house by myself and pretend I'm a nut.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Now that's a good question. But the simple truth is that they come to me already named. I never spend time thinking or researching names. And once named it is nearly impossible for me to change them. Is that weird?
No, I've given a character a name, and within three chapters that character changed it. Thank goodness for Find and Replace. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My children. Oh, and I recently flew in an airplane for first time in many, many years and I suppose you could count seeing my debut novel published.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
What is your favorite food?
I just had some Chocolate Covered Cherries Blue Bell at the movie theater, and now I can't find it in a store. It was awesome. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Worrying about every single word and whether it would ever be successful and I still haven't overcome that.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Be very certain you are a writer. Try NOT to write and see what happens and then keep going. Don't give up.
Tell us about the featured book?
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is the story of an unusual woman, Agnes Sparrow. No longer able or willing to leave her home, where she is cared for by her long-suffering sister Griselda, Agnes has committed her life to the one thing she can do—besides eat. Agnes Sparrow prays and when Agnes prays things happen, including major miracles of the cancer, ulcer-healing variety along with various minor miracles not the least of which is the recovery of lost objects and a prize-winning pumpkin.
The rural residents of Bright’s Pond are so enamored with Agnes they plan to have a sign erected on the interstate that reads, “Welcome to Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow.” This is something Agnes doesn’t want and sends Griselda to fight city hall. Griselda’s petitions are shot down and the sign plans press forward until a stranger comes to town looking for his miracle and Agnes's feet of clay are exposed.
Please give us the first page of the book.
If you get off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the Jack Frost Ski Resort exit, turn left and travel twenty-two and one quarter miles, you’ll see a sign that says: Bright’s Pond, Home of the World’s Largest Blueberry Pie.
While it is true that in 1961 Mabel Sewicky and the Society of Angelic Philanthropy, which did secret charitable acts, baked the biggest blueberry pie ever in Pennsylvania, most folks will tell you that the sign should read: Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow.
October 12, 1965. That was the day my sister, Agnes Sparrow, made an incredible decision that changed history in our otherwise sleepy little mountain town and made her sign-worthy.
“I just can’t do it anymore, Griselda. I just can’t.”
That’s what Agnes said to me right before she flopped down on our red, velvet sofa. “It ain’t worth it to go outside anymore. It’s just too much trouble for you—” She took a deep breath and sighed it out. “—and heartache for me.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Joyce, for spending this time with us.
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