instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

'One Author's Life': Amy's Blog

Announcing: My Academic Article on the Delany Sisters

Five years ago I was asked to write a lengthy, peer-reviewed essay on the centenarian Delany Sisters for inclusion in a book to be called, North Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times Vol. II, part of a state-by-state academic series called Southern Women: Their Lives and Times.

That book has just been published by the University  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Advice for Aspiring Novelists

The most frequent question I’m asked when I'm on book tour or lecturing at a university is––Where do the ideas for your fictional characters come from?

Often, the person asking the question is an aspiring writer who is struggling to create a main character who is believable and consistent.

Here is what  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Rachel Carson, the woman behind Earth Day

In 1962, an American marine biologist named Rachel Carson published her third book. She called it, Silent Spring.

This book was a masterpiece. Although she died several years before someone coined the term “Earth Day,” and April 22 – today! – was designated an official holiday, Miss Carson is widely credited with laying the groundwork for  Read More 
Be the first to comment

In Praise of Teachers

Years ago, when daffodils first made their appearance each Spring in Columbia, South Carolina, my mother would help my sister and me gather the nicest ones from our yard.

We didn’t keep them.

We gave them away – to our teachers.

Teachers were special. That was the message we heard in big ways and  Read More 
Be the first to comment

The Last Honey Jar

My mother’s parents worked a long time, with great sacrifice, to achieve the American Dream.

They were German immigrants who came to the U.S. through Ellis Island in 1921. For thirty years, they worked in difficult, dangerous jobs in clothing factories. Grandpa, who had been trained as a mason, also took brick-laying jobs including the building of towering smoke stacks in New York and Chicago.

Finally, they saved enough money Read More 
Be the first to comment

Feeling Loved and Supported (and a Little Anxious)

September 8 used to feel like a long time in the future.

But not so much anymore.

That’s the publication date of my new novel, Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County.

The book is squarely in the production phase. Right now I am reviewing what are called “first-pass pages.” This is the first time I’m Read More 
1 Comments
Post a comment

Musings on Black History Month, Having Our Say, and the Delany Sisters

Back in 1991 when I was a newspaper reporter and met the then-unknown Delany Sisters, the 100 and 102 year old pair of sisters insisted on being described first and foremost as American.

Yes, they were Black. Yes, they were women. And proud of it.

But “American” came first.

The same held true after my newspaper story  Read More 
1 Comments
Post a comment

Finding A Place to Belong

When I was twelve my family moved from a rural area outside of Columbia, South Carolina to Scarsdale, New York, the famed suburb of New York City. Overnight, I went from being a confident Carolina tomboy with plenty of friends to “the new kid” sitting alone, day after day, in the lunchroom. I was  Read More 
Be the first to comment

New Year's, the Scots, and "Old Lang Syne"

I blame my sentimental side on my Dad’s Scottish ancestors. After all, it was a Scot – the legendary writer Robert Burns – who wrote the poem, “Auld Lang Syne,” first published in 1787 and arguably the most sentimental words ever put on paper.

Auld Lang Syne means “Old Long Ago” in an ancient Scottish dialect.  Read More 
Be the first to comment

A Simpler Christmas

I sometimes envy the way people celebrated Christmas in days gone by. The Delany Sisters, born in 1889 and 1891, often told me about being thrilled to find an orange in their Christmas stockings – an orange being a treat.

My mom recalls the Depression when some years there weren’t Christmas celebrations at all. One year  Read More 
Be the first to comment