I have been most fortunate to make many good friends in the writing community. I began putting pen to paper on my first novel in the spring of 2001. I had an idea and a cast of characters but no real idea who my intended audience was or even a genre.
Not long after that I met Carla Stewart at a meeting of our local writer's group, Panhandle Professional Writers. We started talking. I described my plot. She asked to read a few pages. I let her and I'll forever be indebted to her for her response after reading those pages. "Your style reminds me of Anne Tyler. I can't wait until this gets published so I can read the rest."
Getting compared to Anne Tyler made my day. Carla moved away from my area not long after that and these days she calls Oklahoma home. But this Texan won't hold that against her.
I lost track of Carla for several years but through the magic of the internet I found her again not long ago. Even more exciting, was the fact her debut novel, Chasing Lilacs was about to be released. And one of Carla's friends was sponsoring a blog contest where I could win a copy.
And last night I finished reading Chasing Lilacs.
Great story Carla. I know how long and hard you have worked to see the book released and my hat goes off to you for a job well done.
Now I urge all of y'all my fellow writers, readers, and friends to go out and pick up a copy. help make Carla the literary star she so richly deserves to be.
From the blurb on the back of the book ...
It's the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for Sammie tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother's "nerve" problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.
As her life careens out of control, Sammie has to choose whom to trust with her deepest fears; her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious boy from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there's the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.
Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.
From Publishers Weekly ...
" ... Coming-of-age stories are a fiction staple, but well-done ones much rarer. This emotionally acute novel is one of the rare ones." (June)
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Be sure to stop by Carla's blog to say hi. Tell her Travis sent you.