Monday, March 17, 2014

The High Country Festival of the Book (HCFB) and associated author events are organized by the Friends of the Watauga County Public Library to draw attention to the importance of books, reading, and literacy.  
FRIDAY, JUNE 27     
With Author of Mrs. Poe, Lynn Cullen
At the Boone Golf Club 
Join us for this fund-raising dinner to support the 
Friends of the Library the High Country Festival of the Book  
Tickets to go on sale April 1

Lynn Cullen is the author of The Creation of Eve, named one of the best fiction books of the year by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Reign of Madness, nominated for the Townsend Prize for fiction. She is also the author of numerous award-winning children’s books, including I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter.  Her newest book, Mrs. Poe is an 2013 NPR Best Read, one of the Atlanta Journal's Best Books of 2013, Editor's Pick in Historical Novels Review, and one of Oprah's Books That Make Time Stand Still.  An avid traveler and historian, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

1.    A question many writers hear during book signings is "where do
you get your ideas?"  How would you answer this?   Usually I get hooked by something I've read or seen in a museum.  People who have been maligned by history are my favorites—all my books are about people who have had horrible PR, so to speak.  Edgar Allan Poe, victim of the worst smear job in literary history, was just my sort of guy.

2.  Writers often say they're surprised by some things their
characters might do.  Have you experienced this?  If so, do you let
them just run loose for awhile to see where they'll take you or do you
manage to keep them under control at all times?  Ha!  Control them?  I live for my characters to run amuck.  For me as a writer, it’s my biggest thrill to let my characters take me on a wild joyride as I write.  I do very little planning ahead of time—I just have an inkling of the climax—and let the characters show me the way.  The discoveries they reveal to me are worth the years I have to put in
behind a computer screen. 

3. Is there a particular author who inspires you?  I am inspired most by the British writer, Penelope Lively.  I admire her sharp observational powers of human nature, her economy of words, and the deft way that she conveys emotional information between the lines of her stories.   I’m fascinated by how much we humans say to each other is actually unspoken, and Lively is the
master of the heartbreak of the unsaid.   She also inspires me because she started out writing children’s novels, just as I did, and went on to win the Booker Prize for her adult work.  Now that’s inspirational!

4. Is there a book you loved so much, you wish you could re-read it
again for the first time?  I love Penelope Lively’s HEAT WAVE and re-read it to jump-start me whenever I get stuck in my own writing.  WUTHERING HEIGHTS
serves the same purpose.   A more recent book that dazzled me is BEAUTIFUL RUINS.  Reading it each night was a wondrous discovery.

5.  What book(s) are on your nightstand right now?  Alice Munro’s DEAR LIFE is taunting me from the stack piled up next to my lamp.

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