Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Southern Gothic, by way of the North East

*click photo for direct link to reference site


My new novel is almost finished. And I have to say, it's been quite a ride, this one. The most intriguing part for me is that it takes place in The South. Those of you who follow me with a closer eye will recognize right away that I'm a North Easterner to my very core. New England-er to be specific. So how was I able to saturate myself with enough scenery to develop a rich Southern experience in my newest work? Well, like everything else... it's a little story.

When I was seventeen I met my father for the first time. (That's a lie. I knew him throughout my early childhood, but then he went missing and I re-met him when I was 17. Adult to adult. No expectations. No anger. Raw curiosity.)

My Daddy is seven generations of pure South. From Alabama to North Carolina, through Georgia and finally to Florida. And that's where his people stayed. And that's where he lives. Still.

When I flew into Tampa that first time, no one else but me knew the plan. You see... I wasn't going to come home. I was going to stay in The South with my father. I wasn't going to go to that fancy college that accepted me. I wasn't going to try to be a grown up with a mother who wanted me to stay a little girl. I was starting a NEW LIFE.

This made me look at my surroundings in a way that a shorter visit couldn't. I took it all in. The smells, the sounds, the light. The foliage, the growing season, the way the people moved around me.

Their Voices. Oh. Their voices.

I fell in love too. He was a beautiful blond boy with the eyes of a Husky and the scent of the Gulf of Mexico. But somehow, though I was determined to leave my North East life behind like a dress too small, I ended up back at the airport three months later. I waited there for that boy to come sweep me up and change my mind. But he didn't. And that's why I'm here with you.

The how's and why's of that particular chapter in my life are another story entirely.

Suffice it to say... I feel at home in my Southern Gothic world. So at home that I hate to leave it.

Oh... what's that you say? I must revise? GOOD! I don't have to leave these delicious creatures just yet. First I get to make them perfect. First I get to make the trees and the house and the misted island of Brouillard sing.

Hello South. You've come and stolen me again, haven't you?

6 comments:

  1. The South?,,,yes, The South...:)

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  2. How can anyone resist the lure of the Southland? Let me know if you need a new reader, I'd love to check it out!

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  3. This post has such promise and longing at the same time. Is that possible?
    So beautiful :)
    Thanks
    Luna

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  4. I grew up in the south; Alabama to be exact. Georgia and Florida were neighbors who became close friends to me for the first twenty-one years of my life.
    Like a fox with her tail on fire, I ran away to the midwest. I know, I must have been smoking poison ivy. Who would have left that climate for here. I am still here because I fell in love. When I thought about going back home, she chased me all the way to Alabama to catch me and bring me back. Crazy. It certainly wasn't the weather patterns. Love is so blind it can't read a weather map!

    Oh how I miss the south! It is all about the accents, southern hospitality, sweet iced-tea and rickety porch swings, magnolias in bloom and of course, the weather. I guess I am truly, madly, deeply in love, huh?

    Anyhoo, I can't wait to read your book.

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  5. @tere: When I'm done with this ZERO draft I might just take you up on that!
    @Luna: You are so welcome! I'm glad you enjoy it here.
    @Sharon: How beautiful you write yourself! Thank you for sharing that memory!

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