Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Nobody An Author Loved Is Ever Really Gone

I don't know who originally penned the saying, Nobody An Author Loved Is Ever Really Gone, but I first encountered it on Facebook. Those words definitely hold true in my latest novel, RUBY LEE AND ME.

While RUBY LEE AND ME is fiction, it's inspired by events from my life. Mrs. Pauline Porter, my elementary school's first African-American teacher, taught me to read. Her gentle dignity influenced the character who became Mrs. Smyre in my book.

 I also modeled the characters George, Maybelle, and Robin Willis on my grandparents and on my sister. While the characters are inspired by real people, they took on lives of their own in the story. For instance, the character George Willis drives a beat-up red truck, loves to sing, and has a dog named Rowdy. I borrowed all those characteristics from my grandpa, but my grandpa wasn't as talkative as George Willis. George morphed into the character I needed to tell the story.

RUBY LEE AND ME is my way of paying tribute to the people and places I love from my childhood. All of the people pictured here are dead now, but they live on in my memories. On January 5th, they'll live on in RUBY LEE AND ME. The book is available for pre-order at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.