One of my favorite authors Denise Hildreth was so kind to answer some questions for me. Denise is the author of the Savannah Books that I love so dearly and also Flies on the Butter and The Will of Wisteria. Her words and stories are full of laughter and life lessons.
1. What made you become a writer?
Writing just kind of happened for me actually. I moved to Nashville to become a singer and no one wanted to hear me sing which is apparently a prerequisit! I had journaled a lot through the years, but didn’t have a passion for writing But about six months after living in Nashville, I had written an article for an organization here in Nashville and the President of that organization read it and called me and asked me to come help her finish her autobiography. They had hired a writer and it just wasn’t working out. So perfect place, perfect time. Writing pretty much found me.
2. Since I’m a future teacher I have to ask this one: What is your favorite children’s book?
Loved “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Bloom and “Where the Wild Things Are.” But “Lord of the Flies” was my favorite book in Middle School.
Savannah came about when the non-fiction book I had written got its fourteenth rejection letter and I asked them not to send me anymore. I sat down on my back porch one day and thought, “Wonder if I can write fiction.” It all started right there on my back porch having never written fiction a day before in my life. Heaven sent, don’t really know another way to describe it.
4. How do you come up with the hilarious events/happenings that Savannah stumbles upon? What is your favorite one?
Yeah, that poor child can find trouble quicker than anything I’ve ever seen. One of my favorite stories is in “Savannah from Savannah” when Amber, the beauty queen sings her talent competition song for her in her car. That really happened to someone I knew and I thought it was hysterical!
5. Do you think we’ll ever hear from Savannah again?
I do. I’m not sure when, but one day. I have two more books for her in my head, so I promise one day she’ll be back.
6. Your books definitely have some Southern flair. Why is that?
Well, when you’ve been raised in the south and have as much lard flowing through your veins as blood, it’s just in you. Both of my parents were born in South Carolina, so it’s always been in my blood. I love everything about he south, the history, the food, the people and their colorful personalities. They’ll call you baby, sugar pie one minute, and then talk about what you were wearing as soon as you leave the room. You’ve got to love us southerners. But if you die, there will be more congealed salad at your wake than you’ve ever had in your life! Who wouldn’t want to write about people like that/
You know, ten years ago I taught a college and career class. I learned very quickly how to be honest, transparent and still make them laugh. I love to laugh. But I also love to talk about the deep things of life. I think that just automatically comes out in my writing.
8. What kinds of feelings do you want your readers to come away with after reading one of your books?
I want them to leave with more than a good read. I want them to have been touched in every emotion. I want them to cry until they need tissue, laugh till they hurt, have outrage if needed, compassion if necessary. I want them to feel something.
9. What tips and advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write. Push through that fear each day and get your story down. You’ll always find a distraction, facebook, e-mails, ipods or just plain fear. You have to put it away and write. For me starting each day is the hardest part. But once I push back through that inadequacy I find a story coming out of me. It’s worth it.
10. Tell us a bit about your new blog, Flying Solo.
I started blogging a while back at www.denisehildreth.blogspot.com called “Where Living and Life Meet”. I resisted it forever, but knew it would be a while before a new book would come out so I wanted to use it to stay in touch with my readers. However, it quickly turned into more of a teaching blog. The “Flying Solo” blog at www.denisehildreth.typepad.com is a blog for singles of any kind, always single, single by divorce, or widowed. I walked through the heartbreaking loss of my thirteen year marriage a year and a half ago. And I realized that this new season of my life could be whatever I made out of it. I chose to live and enjoy this season. And I realized it is the only season in life where God has my heart all to Himself. So, this has become a great resource for singles. And a place that has truly captured my heart…
Thank you Denise for all of your insight! Be sure to check out Denise’s Website for more information on her books. You can even read the first chapter of each book there!
And now…….the winners of the Book Giveaway! (drumroll please)
Flies on the Butter goes to…………..Lauren M
Kissing Adrien goes to…………………Cyrstal Adkins
and Be My Neat Heart goes to……….Linda
Ladies if you’ll send me your addresses at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll get those books on their way. Thanks for participating!