Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Our bookshelves and window sills are cluttered with remembrances of those who used this piece of land before us. One of the real pleasures of hoeing tobacco, back when we grew it, was the possibility of turning up a spear point or a piece of flint or some other evidence of the Native Americans who camped in the big, mostly flat, bottom at the lower part of our farm. There is no record of permanent Indian villages in our county but the region was evidently a hunting ground and we think we can point to the part of our field where flint knappers plied their trade, leaving lots of chips and partially finished points. The big rose quartz spear point in the picture was my most spectacular find but we've also found innumerable points and scrapers and even a small cowrie-type shell with a drilled hole that suggests it once adorned a garment.
In the same fields we've found marbles and the china legs from small dolls -- children playing at the edge of the field while their parents worked a crop? The little bottle with the applicator was stuck between the logs of one of the barns on our property -- horse liniment? -- and the blue bottle turned up in a creek as did the flat rock with a hole in it.
The rock was, of course, my inspiration for Maythorn's Looker Stone (Old Wounds). The blue bottle was what I had in mind for Mr. Tomlin's laudanum (Signs in the Blood). And I only have to look out my bedroom window to see the cabin that is the original of Ben's (and Little Sylvie's) cabin. Inspiration everywhere!
June 1o - Speaking at a luncheon at Montreat College Library
June 25-July 1 -- John C. Campbell Folk School. I'll be teaching A Practical Guide to Writing Popular Fiction. Your novel starts here with this intense, week-long class. We will focus on writing realistic dialogue and creating characters that move through and interact with a fully realized setting. We will discuss different approaches to plotting, tricks for building suspense, means of ensuring continuity, and the avoidance of info dumps. We'll also talk about forming or joining critique groups, the ins and outs of self editing, agents and how to query them, as well as the various publishing alternatives available today. All levels welcome. Link to JCC HERE.
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I'm the author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle Farm Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell. The series includes SIGNS IN THE BLOOD (LA MONTAGNE DES SECRETS in France), ART'S BLOOD, (LE SECRET DES APPALACHES in France,) OLD WOUNDS,IN A DARK SEASON (Anthony Nominee, Best PBO), and UNDER THE SKIN. There's also THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS (a spinoff/standalone)chronicling the unexpected life story of Miss Birdie, one of Elizabeth's neighbors.
Currently I have just completed a historical novel, dealing with a massacre in my county during the Civil War.
I came to this weird business late (my first novel was published in 2005) and am still trying to figure it out.
As my novels are set in a place much like my real life home, I thought I'd use this blog to share pictures of our farm and county. I've been blogging for nearly nine years now, on an almost daily basis, and the topics have ranged from writing, chickens, food, books, quilts, flora and fauna of all sorts, to the occasional tiny rant. There's no plan, but there are lots of pictures.
There's more information about me and my books on my web site: http://vickilanemysteries.com/