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Blog: Born to Write 

World AIDS Day: A Time to Remember

My generation was slammed hard by AIDS. I was in college when people started getting sick with a mysterious disease that had no name. We had no idea what was happening, or why, and it was terrifying. Like a lot of young women, among my best and dearest friends were a couple of gay men. They were part of my social circle. We'd often go to a concert or just hang out and listen to records. They were great companions, loyal friends, and fun to be with. If I had a late class and was scared to walk back to my dorm, I could count on one of the gay guys to escort me home. If I had a cold, they never failed to bring soup or fuss over me in some other way. Rejected by their families, they made their own. After I moved away, I stopped hearing from them, and that is how I found out that each one of them, over the course of about two years, had died of AIDS. They'd been infected before anyone knew there was such a thing as AIDS. They never had a chance. I remember them all on this day - World AIDS Day - and every day.  Read More 

Watching "I Dream of Jeannie" in Jerusalem

You know that American television is far-reaching when you turn on the TV in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, as I did a few years ago, and to your amazement, the first show you come across is "I Dream of Jeannie" broadcast from a Jordanian television station. Talk about disorienting! My husband and I were unpacking our suitcases and admiring the view of the Dome of the Rock from our room when I decided to check the news. I was looking for CNN or the BBC but of all things, there was "Jeannie" in her circa-1960s Americanized belly-dancer outfit being chased around a room by Larry Hagman playing a frantic astronaut. Don't get me wrong - I loved the show when I was a kid, and I was sorry to hear the news that Larry Hagman has passed away. While everyone else seems to remember him as J.R. on "Dallas," I prefer his role on "I Dream of Jeannie," although I have to wonder what people around the world must think about Americans as depicted in either show. Read More 

My Huck Finn Days

My friend Alison has known me since we were both six years old. She now lives in Cary, North Carolina, but in the 1960s, when we were in grammar school, we lived near each other in a section of Columbia, South Carolina known as Forrest Lake. Alison and I spent much of our time on or around the water - in a rowboat (with my dog, Grinch, as our companion) or knee-deep on the shoreline catching minnows. And, just like the narrator of my novel, MISS DREAMSVILLE, we rescued turtles that crossed the road over a causeway adjacent to my house. Some of them were snapping turtles and if we'd had a lick of sense we would have realized they were dangerous - as were the cars that whizzed right past us. No wonder we kept this little hobby a secret from our mothers. Then, after a teacher read aloud from THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, I was obsessed with the idea of building a raft. (It sank.) Our lake was really just a large pond, but in our eyes it could have been the Mississippi River in all its glory.  Read More 

Do You Have a Favorite Independent Bookstore?

Is there an indy bookstore in your area that you love? If so, send me an e on my website, www.amyhillhearth.com, and I will mention it in a future post - or feel free to comment below!

Here are a few I love -

Beauty  Read More 

Escaping through the Pages of a Book

I've received a dozen or more email from fans in the last few days with a common thread: Superstorm Sandy, by necessity, had provided them with an opportunity to read. With no power and nowhere to go, they read my novel by daylight, by candlelight, or, in at least one case, by flashlight. Then  Read More 

Slasher Movies Are Not for Me

I can't watch scary movies, especially the "slasher" ones Hollywood is producing today. I'm far too sensitive and empathetic to watch them. The last scary movie I went to see was "Halloween" - the 1978 film with Jamie Lee Curtis - and I'm not over it yet. I'm not kidding. I still have dreams about  Read More 

Book Tour: Observations on the Road

Book tours tend to be frantic, great fun and at times, exhausting. And yet, like most writers, I can't go from place to place without making observations along the way. Last week, for example, I was dead-dog tired, but I noticed the first frost of the year in bluegrass country, Lexington, Kentucky. Beautiful! At  Read More 

Today is Pub Date!

October 2 used to sound like a long, long way in the future, but here it is: the publication date for my first novel, MISS DREAMSVILLE. I've heard other writers describe pub date as being like Christmas or your birthday, but I'd say it's more like graduating from college when you don't have a job  Read More 

Americans Love a Risk-taker

There are probably few other countries in the world in which the spirit of risk-taking is as much a part of our identity as it is here in America. Compared to Europeans, we Americans are far more likely to open our own businesses, and are much more accepting of the possibility of failure, according  Read More 

Book Tour is a Chance to Share with Readers

"You mean I have to TALK to people?" That was my first reaction, almost twenty years ago, when I was sent on a book tour for HAVING OUR SAY. At the time I was much more of an introvert than I am now. The idea that I had to stand up IN FRONT OF  Read More