It’s Sunday night and my book event this afternoon at the Anderson County Library went great. Thanks to all of you reading friends and family who came out to hear me talk about writing about the Sixties in Small Town, America. In my case, that’s Lawrenceburg.
When I decided to re-invent myself as a writer for the third or maybe it was the fourth time, I went back to basics and tried to write about something I knew really well. That turned out to be growing up in a small town back in the Sixties. A lot of the people who came to my book party today had already read some of my Hollyhill books so they knew that I had used how Lawrenceburg looked back then as the model for the town in the books, Hollyhill. I told them I had to change the name of the town because the Lawrenceburg Series just doesn’t have the same ring as the Hollyhill Series.
I think my Lawrenceburg readers enjoy trying to figure out if I based my characters on any specific persons, but I never do that except for maybe a minor character here and there. Still, as I told them today, writers take what they discover about everyone they meet along with what they know or feel about themselves and put it in a stew pot on a little stove in the back of their head that’s warmed by their creative fires. From those combined and cooked together characteristics come all our characters. This character might have somebody’s ill temper or sunny smile while that one might have somebody else’s fear of spiders or love of lilacs. I always feel as if my characters are totally a product of my imagination, but yet at the same time they become real enough to me that I sometimes think it might be nice if they would come by and have a cup of tea with me. Of course I wouldn’t invite the rude or mean characters in to stay long. At least not until they changed their ways or gave me some new plot ideas.
But back to my book party. I do appreciate everyone who came. I love to talk about writing and about my books. Oh, let’s face it. I just love to talk. And I love getting to know people. You know, so I can add all their fun characteristics to my pot of character stew for another book down the road. I gave away a lot of doorprizes and we played some just for fun Sixties Trivia. We focused in on some Lawrenceburg things, but we also talked about the Beatles and going to the moon. While some of the people there couldn’t exactly remember about the Sixties since they hadn’t discovered America by then. You know – been born. And some others of them were mere babies. But there were plenty of the rest of us who have been around a few decades and we had fun doing some remembering. Do you know what year the Beatles were first of the Ed Sullivan Show? What did the first man on the moon say? Stuff like that.
I’ve got a busy week ahead with a church workday Monday and my granddaughter in WV having a big fifth birthday. She was born on tax day, so her birthday is easy to remember. Then this weekend I’ll be going to the Southern Kentucky Book Fest in Bowling Green, Kentucky. If you live in the area and make it to the Book Fair on Saturday, please come by to say hi. I’ll be on a panel about My Old Kentucky Home Revisited; Novels about Kentucky at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Janna McMahan and Laura Benedict will also be on the panel. That’s sure to be fun. I was on a panel with Janna in South Carolina. She’s a great writer. I haven’t met Laura yet, so I’m looking forward to that. You can check out other authors there on their website www.sokybookfest.org. Harlan Coben and Mitch Albom are their headline authors. So come enjoy a fun day of books.
May you have a blessed week.