Friday, May 25, 2012

Write Now: Ron Rash and The Cove

I had the opportunity to hear Ron Rash speak at the Spartanburg County Library. He has been on a book tour for five weeks and was extremely happy to be back in the South, where nobody asks him to just say something so they can hear his accent. After all, we speak his language.

His previous novel, Serena, is being made into a major motion picture. The screenwriter asked if the Toby Jones, who portrays the sheriff could speak with Ron. When they spoke, Ron kept waiting for questions about the character, but it was just a conversation. Toby asked if there were any youtube videos of Ron speaking. It was all about the accent.

I love to hear authors discuss the way the writing process works for them. For Ron, it begins with an image. He doesn't outline and he has many pages that don't make the novel.

He also applauded our local press, HubCity Press. They offer many wonderful titles, workshops and readings. They also have a bookstore, where the staff is extremely knowledgeable and always helpful.

Superstition surrounds Laurel Shelton, a beautiful young woman with a port wine birthmark, which the townspeople are sure is a sign of misfortune. Since moving to the cove in this small town, her parents have died and her brother has returned from the war minus his hand.

She's also a bright girl, but had been asked to leave school before graduation. Books and her beloved teacher were her only friends.

She remains at the small homestead within the cove as her brother prepares the home for his new bride to be. Laurel is excited and concerned about sharing her home with another woman. She wonders how they will divide the daily tasks of cooking and cleaning.

One day while doing the wash, the melodic sounds from a flute come with the breeze. She searches and finds a stranger in the woods.

Laurel isn't the only person with a secret. Her brother has one. The stranger has one. And then of course there is Chauncey Feith, the local serviceman who has never seen combat, but is ready to persuade the young men of the area to enlist. Chauncey claims his skills are more important at home.

And then of course there is the biggest secret of all, what did the man from the TVA find in the well?

It is definitely a wonderful book to add to your summer reading list. I loved it so much that I went out and also got Rash's book, Serena. And so far it is just as captivating.

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