The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.
It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.
Scarlett was the shrinking violet in the group. Faithful to her friends, and hiding secrets of her own. When Mercedes steps in to rescue her, she unknowlingly plucks the thread that unravels Scarlett’s whole world.
But as Scarlett strives to hold fast to what is familiar the fabric of her life continues to come undone and secrets that are best kept hidden are exposed.
I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!
I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design. I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years. My characters face many of these same demons.
I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.
1. Why did you decide to self-publish rather than go with a traditional publishing house?
I started writing without considering how to publish. As my first novel was nearing completion, I told a friend I had found a publisher. Turned out to be a vanity house and my friend directed me to KDP on Amazon, and then when I needed print copies I chose CreateSpace. I’d not be averse to traditional publishing although I’ve been told it’s “not my sandbox.” LOL
2. If you could go to lunch with one of the characters from The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, who would you pick and why? (great question!)
How to pick just one!! I’m gonna say Tierney. She’s got a story (more might show up in The Whispering Winds of Spring) but she speaks French and I want to learn!
3. Who was the hardest character to write in The Tilting Leaves of Autumn? The easiest?
Hardest probably was Fontaine. He’s such a complex character, two sides—before and after—the vile and hateful side was painful and heartbreaking to write.
Easiest was Scarlett because I feel her pain and struggle. I was never physically abused as she was, but the fight to break away from my dysfunctional past.
4. What inspired the idea for The Tilting Leaves of Autumn?It’s a part of the whole of Seasons. I really met the four main characters as I wrote The Long Shadows of Summer. Scarlett’s story was made evident and took on its own life in the second book.
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Tilting Leaves of Autumn?
I want readers to see that God is always with us, no matter our circumstance, that He pursues us in ways that we may not realize, ways that only have meaning to us as He seeks us.
1. The first bit I got of this series was the four names of the friends: Mercedes, Simone, Scarlett, and Pearl. They became the main characters of each of the books.
2. The story, however, is not what I had first thought it would be.
3. Nor is the setting—I didn’t know it was 1912 and 1913 until I started trying to place it. For a brief moment, it was set in the ‘60’s, and they were kids.
4. This is my first go at writing in first person. I like it, and have been told I’ve “found my voice.”
5. At one point, Simone calls Mercedes “pragmatic,” and I realized each of my four main characters is one of the four temperaments: phlegmatic, sanguine, melancholic, and choleric.
6. I knew the general setting, and used Google maps to find a town to “borrow.” Saisons is based loosely on Lake City, SC—until I moved it south a little on the Edisto River rather than the Santee.
7. I didn’t know the extent of Scarlett’s abuse until I was writing it. (And no, I’ve never suffered physical abuse.)
8. I know all too well the fight to let go of wrong thinking.
9. I didn’t know Scarlett was a fashion designer until I was writing it. I can visualize her style, and did my best to find images to represent it.
10. I find sanctuary being outdoors like Scarlett did. If there are trees and a river, even better.
Prize pack includes the following: Print copy of the book, tea cup, sample of Saisons Plantation Tea, Earings, Candy, Book mark, pocket watch necklace, and a secret Christmas surprise.