Secrets play a crucial part in my psyche and in my writing. I’ve written four novels. “They Called Me Bunny” is grounded in secrets: Bunny hides her love for Richard both from him and her best friend Cork, whom he loves. Her adoption, steeped in secrecy, and Bunny’s search to uncover the secrets of who she is are the essence of her story. It is a search for truth, for love, for her own identity.
“The Circle Leads Home” also expresses a yearning to reconnect with identity. And a secret, or more than one, at its core. People guard their secrets with the ferocity of a lioness protecting her cubs. I know I do. And yet I strew clues like crumbs along my path, hoping to be found out? Because I know I can never find true intimacy with another person while I am guarding my secrets?
I have a fear of getting Alzheimer’s, like my mother and her mother, like my older sister, and then I would not know how any longer to carry the burden of my secrets and not hurt anyone else by telling them. Maybe the secrets would come seeping out, or erupt, like oil from the ground.
Tom is tormented in “Flight to Ohio” by the fear the secret of his true identity will come out and hurt not only him but those he loves. “Woman at the Window” is an odd rendering of who I am, a long howl of yearning, told mostly in code. Oh, the excruciating loneliness of being human! And the joy, the relief, of creativity
For those who are breathlessly waiting, the title of the book from the point of view of General Robert E. Lee’s horse is “Traveller.” It is by Richard Adams, author of “Watership Down.” Traveller was a difficult horse, but Lee’s favorite. The “twist”in the novel is that Traveller never understands that Lee was defeated, I read in Amazon’s review.
Other animals are interesting, more so to me lately than humans. I liked the movie “Paterson.” You may not. It is slow. The dog was quite present in the movie, even central. An English bull terrier named Marvin. A memorable character. I could see “Paterson” becoming a cult movie. In another time perhaps. It is about poetry. “And much more,” as the newscasters say.
I am reminded of a book I read with my Seattle book club about the Civil War written from the point of view of General Lee’s horse. Fascinating and heart-breaking. Can’t think of the name! Did it have the word Thunder in it? I’ll try to check on it and let you know. The book club, founded in 1979, is still going on, with most of the original members. Including me, though I moved to Berkeley in 2000.
Just last week I learned Virginia Woolf wrote a book called “Flush” from a dog’s point o view.
Do you already know about this unique bookstore? Marcus Books is the oldest African American bookstore in the USA, and it happens to be right here in Oakland, at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. West, on a corner on the east side of the street, just before MacArthur Blvd. I believe they opened around 1960. They also have a store in San Francisco on Fillmore that I heard is reopening soon. They have an amazing collection of books by and about African Americans, maybe exclusively, including a good selection of children’s books. Also black greeting cards.
I was very excited to “discover” them and left a copy of my novel “Flight to Ohio, from Slavery to Passing to Freedom,” with Blanche Richardson, one of the owners, in the hope they will carry it. I heard about Marcus Books from a friend who, when I told him about my novel, said he couldn’t believe I had never heard about it or been there!
Please know you have our most profound sympathy for the tragedy in Nice. All I can think of to wish for in these troubled times, here also in the United States, is that reason prevails, that hate does not dominate us.
My copies arrived at our door, brought there by the UPS man. I’ve held it in my hands! It is an actual book. I don’t know why I find that so hard to believe.
it’s very moving seeing my mother’s face on a book I’ve written, a book that reveals family secrets. I hope she would understand. My wonderful cousin Bipp in Florida, when I told him of my worry, said, “Mary Carol, Aunt Maude would be proud of anything you did.” That surprised me and made me happy. I hope it’s true.
For a good part of June, I was immersed in editing “Flight to Ohio: from Slavery to Passing to Freedom,” my novel for which Tayea Lane Publishing has now set a publication date of July 1, 2016, though some sources say July 15, 2016, notably Amazon.com/Books. They allow one to pre-order, as does Barnes & Noble. But what I really hope is that you will go to your favorite independent bookstore and ask them to order a copy for you. Or any old bookstore!
Editing was a process during which I had frequent email communication and a couple of phone calls with Kermit Heartsong, the head of the publishing company. Tayen Lane is a small, local company. Kermit is a fascinating person, one gets to know more about how somebody thinks when you work together, and I found him wonderfully supportive and respectful of me as the author, insightful and helpful in his suggestions. These were the final edits, we had already been through first edits earlier. having signed a contract in October.
The book won’t seem real to me until I hold it in my hands. I will know then that it exists! I am getting more anxious by the day, by the hour, to see the UPS truck drive up in front of our house. Maybe there will be fireworks!
Will let you know when it exists.