Friday, June 15, 2012

Write Now: Porch Lights and Sea Change

 This was a great week for book lovers of women's fiction. Hub City Bookshop hosted two wonderful authors, Dorothea Benton Frank and Karen White.

Dorothea Benton Frank is just as witty and charming as the characters in her books. Ms. Frank weaves historical threads in with her current day story line with the lowcountry of South Carolina as the setting.  Edgar Allan Poe, a former resident of Charleston is part of the story line of her latest novel, Porch Lights. She introduced the book by asking us if this was familiar — a mother with a grown daughter, who is dynamically opposite of her mother in every way. Everyone laughed as several hands, including mine shot up.

Last year when she visited, we were having a heat wave with temperatures of 100°+ rivaling the lowcounty. This year, our weather was a much more comfortable temperature for her visit. One of Ms. Frank's essays will appear in this December's publication, Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers, by Hub City Press.

The event with Karen White was a luncheon at II Samuels. The food was wonderful and the dessert, strawberry shortbread was heavenly.

Karen White says she loves to write about women and their relationships with sisters, mother, and grandmothers. Since she grew up with only brothers, she loves to watch her mother and aunts interact with one another. But it is thanks to her brothers that she is a writer. She spent most of her youth reading a book while trying to hide from their tyranny.

She said that while her characters endure difficult circumstances, by the end, they have grown, they have learned, and they have survived. She doesn't like books with endings where you feel like you need to put your head in the oven and turn it on so she writes books with happy endings. For when you invest that much time involved in a story, you really want to walk away with hope.

I'm trying to save these books for my vacation. I can't think of a better place to enjoy them than on the Carolina coastline.

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