Thursday, January 19, 2017

Bookish Rambling from the South

There’s no disputing the fact that we are all born with DNA, and the instant we make our appearance in this world, we’re affected by the environment. There are some psychological experts who believe that our personalities are formed by the time we’re four years old. I’m not sure about that, but it sounds right.

You are You 

We are who we are who we are … Why do some people fight it? Are they ashamed or embarrassed by some part of themselves that will reveal a hidden secret that will make them seem less than desirable if people ever find out?

In my opinion, that’s just silly. It doesn’t change anything, and if someone thinks less of you for any part of you, that’s their problem, not yours.

Even though my dad was in the Air Force and I’ve moved all over—from Alaska to Hawaii and Japan to a bunch of places in between—deep down, I’m a southern woman since both of my parents were from Mississippi. I grew up saying, “y’all,” without thinking there was anything different about that. And I like a sushi appetizer before chowing down on fried chicken and turnip greens.

As an author, I enjoy writing stories set in the South because I can relate to the culture, the relationships, and the food. (I mean, it’s always about food, right?) I like to show that everyone has the same feelings and needs, regardless of where they come from.

Old Insecurities 

Something I've learned over the years is that everyone has insecurities. While some people may project an image of total self-confidence, somewhere beneath that veneer is a real person who has the same issues we all have. They might be concerned about what you think, wonder if they're actually as good as people think they are, or worry that people will think they're a fraud. That's normal.

My 3-book Class Reunion series has characters from all walks of southern life, and when they come back to this fictional town of Piney Point, Mississippi, for their 10-year, 15-year, and 20-year reunions, they resort to some of their old behavior until they realize a few things about themselves and their classmates. Some of them take a little longer, but they all eventually see the world through a more mature and developed viewpoint. I think the takeaway from this series is that everyone has insecurities, even those who seem to have all the confidence in the world.

Messed Up Family (Gotta Love 'Em)

Now I’m working on a 3-book Family Reunion series set in another fictional southern town—Pinewood, Mississippi. The people in these stories come from farming roots, and they find their way through life the best way they know how. Some start out as poor rednecks, strike oil, and become rich rednecks. Others work hard and find a way to accomplish their goals. All of this is done with southern sensibilities and of course plenty of food. I’ll let y’all know when these books are available. It should be sometime in 2017.

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