Tag Archive for: Anne George

Clicking Our Heels: Shadowing Any Writer – Dead or Alive!

Clicking Our Heels: Shadowing Any Writer –
Dead or Alive!
The Stiletto Gang members admire each other,
but for the fun of it, we all explained what writer (dead or alive) we’d want
to shadow and why.

Judy Penz Sheluk: Truman Capote when he
was researching In Cold Blood. It was
a different time, before 24/7 news cycles, and he paved the way for true crime.
I’ve seen the movie Capote a dozen

T.K. Thorne: Shakespeare, to plum the
mysteries of his genius.

Bethany Maines: James Patterson maybe.
Just to see his marketing machine work. But in general, writing is pretty dang
boring. I think possibly “shadowing a writer” would turn out to be code for
staring at them while they type.

Shari Randall: Agatha Christie, of
course! I’d love to ask her for plotting tips and I imagine she’d always stop
writing at tea time, just like I do.

: Jane Austen strikes me as a woman who wrote despite the obstacles society
put in her way. Her acerbic view of her society spurs me to write about family
and place and love.

Dru Ann Love: Linda Castillo. She
writes about a group of people that I would never think would be as evil and
dangerous and she makes it believable.

Linda Rodriguez: Virginia Woolf would
be my choice because she wrote groundbreaking novels, crystalline nonfiction,
and wickedly funny letters and diaries and she knew all of the most fascinating
people of the time (though she and her husband were the most fascinating of all
of them).

J.M. Phillippe: Oooh. Probably
Shakespeare so I can finally put the debate about if he was real (and really
wrote everything he is attributed to writing) to rest.

Juliana Aragon Fatula: When I was a
teenager, Pearl S. Buck made me fall in love with Asian Culture, people, land,
language. I would love to tell her how much her writing inspired me and led me
to believe a woman could write and be published.

Sparkle Abbey:

Mary Lee Woods: This question is so
difficult! First, dead writers. I’d love to shadow Agatha Christie and I’d love
to have a conversation with Mark Twain. Such unique views of the world and
their views clearly influenced the stories they told. Secondly, living writers.
I’d love to spend a day shadowing Nora Roberts. She seems to have so many
stories in her head and works on multiple projects at one time. How does she do
it? I have many stoires in my head, but the ability to work on them at the same
time escapes me. I suspect it comes down to a brilliant brain, a love for
storytelling, and a solid work ethic. But… if there’s a secret…I’d love to know
what it is!

Anita Carter: That’s hard. Can I pick
two? Lisa Gardner because I struggle with plotting. She’s a master at it, and I’d
love to know her process. And Agatha Christie. From my understanding she’d
start with the murder, then move to the suspects. It’s very similar to how I
work, but I know there are ways I could improve my process.

Kay Kendall: Shakespeare. What a
fertile mind he had.

Debra H. Goldstein: Anne George. Not
only was she a wonderful humorous Agatha award winning mystery writer and the
Alabama poet laureate, she wrote one of my favorite literary works, This One and Magic Life. She also was
generous with her time bringing the beauty of words and writing to children.

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine

For the last six weeks, I’ve been on an unexpected medical journey, but with the help of phenomenal doctors, a fantastic family including my saintly husband, John, and the support of incredible friends, especially the remarkable women of the Stiletto Gang, I am on the road to recovery (poo, poo).

I’d like to include in that pantheon of appreciation, a toast to Anne George. I fell in love with her Southern Sisters mysteries back in the 1990s. They feature Mary Alice Tate Sullivan Nachman Crane, “Aunt Sister,” six feet tall and admitting to 250 pounds, the wealthy three-time widowed older sister (although she decided to start counting her birthdays backward when she hit 66), and Patricia Anne Hollowell, “Mouse,” retired school teacher, five-feet one, 105 pounds, and still perfectly happy with her first husband, her real age of 61, and her naturally gray hair. If their parents hadn’t sworn that both girls had been born at home, Patricia Anne was convinced that one of them had been switched at birth.

There are eight books in the series, which ended prematurely with the author’s death in 2001. The warmth, humor (sometimes gentle, sometimes laugh-out-loud), and clever plots have been a soothing balm in choppy waters. Ms. George, who was also a Pulitzer-prize nominated poet, creates complex main characters that drive the action, but also a finely-honed supporting cast that has the reader anxious to learn more about them as well.

These wonderful stories allowed me to escape to a sweet, soft, albeit deadly community, with cornsticks and egg custard pie, and expressions like “common like pig tracks,” which, I’ve decided,is the perfect description of some of what I see on reality TV.

In an interview with mysterynet.com, Ms. George was asked:
Do you see humor as a means of coping with these sorts of problems?

She answered: I have been blessed with a family who uses humor as a means of dealing with problems. It’s a “might as well laugh” attitude and it works.

She’s right. Humor, even in the darkest of moments, can sometimes be the perfect medicine.

I also loved her description of her mysteries. “Let’s face it, these are definitely not hardcore mysteries. My son explains them as “nobody gets autopsied.”

And that’s okay too. All the CSI-gadgets in the world are no substitute for well-drawn characters, smart plotting, snappy dialogue, and a healthy sprinkle of humor.

If you’re looking for a delightful series, I recommend Anne George. She does the body good.

Evelyn David
Murder Takes the Cake by Evelyn David
Murder Off the Books by Evelyn David