Writing Books Is Fun
It’s been quite the journey, this book-writing deal. I started writing when I was about five years old, and I haven’t stopped since. I’ll never forget the first time I read a book that I didn’t have to read. I was 36 years old. No, no I wasn’t. I was in my teens. Someone loaned me a copy of Catcher in the Rye, and I immediately started cussing like Holden Caulfield. And then I went to college and started studying English Lit, and I thought it was the coolest thing to do. I was drawn to literary people and creatives. I’ve always liked a good story.
I never thought I’d be a writer. I thought I’d be a lawyer. Have an Atticus Finch sort of life. I always liked the library. Surrounded by books just felt right from the very beginning. The library at Sewanee was fine, and I fell headfirst in love with Amelia Gayle Gorgas in Tuscaloosa.
In my early years after college, I thought I would write some poems. I had one poem accepted by Glenny Brock when she worked at this neat publication called Birmingham Weekly. It was the poetry addition. The following spring, I began my first novel, a novel I still want to publish one day. It’s set in the city of Tuscaloosa and features a young man’s introduction into a family’s history and myth. The young man falls in love with the youngest son in that family, and is in effect initiated into the family.
I think I’ve always been interested in the stories families tell themselves, the mythology that’s sort of conjured up by the constant repetition of their stories. The book was fun. It was fun to write and fun to edit and fun to attempt to get published. It was such a good time that I decided to write another book. And then another one, which became Imogene in New Orleans. I’m not sure how this adventure will turn out, but I do hope to write several more books before I go on to meet the saints and Shakespeare. I hope you enjoy Imogene in New Orleans as much as I enjoyed writing it.