The President & Me: George Washington and the Magic Hat by Deborah Kalb

September 24, 2016gw-and-the-magic-hat-by-deborah-kalb

 “Adventure, history, and the drama of school life intertwine in this engrossing tale of a fifth-grade boy struggling to find his place after his best friend abandons him. Find out what happens when Sam’s class takes a trip to Mount Vernon, where he accidentally buys a bossy three-cornered hat that sweeps him off to the eighteenth century and a warm friendship with George and Martha Washington.” Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 

Q&A with the author

Kathleen: I admire how you weave historical facts into the narrative that features Sam, a modern day fifth-grader from Bethesda, Maryland, as he travels back in time to meet George Washington at various stages of his life. How did you come up with the concept for this story that is targeted toward middle grade readers but is clearly enthralling for adult readers as well?

Deborah: Thanks so much, Kathleen! I thought it would be fun to look at various presidents—starting from the beginning, with George Washington–in a way that combines history and fiction. This is the first in what I’m hoping will be a series, called The President and Me, featuring modern-day kids who end up taking amazing time-travel journeys to the past, while also dealing with their 21st century problems. For example, Sam is no longer on speaking terms with his lifelong best friend, Andrew, which is clearly very painful for him. So the story goes on parallel tracks, I guess, with the time travel interspersed with the modern-day interludes. I’ve heard positive reactions from both kids and adults who have read the book, which makes me very happy! 

KMR: As a middle-age woman and reader, I found myself totally caught up in the story. How did you get into Sam’s head to create such a believable character?

Deborah Kalb with longtime friend and illustrator Robert Lundsford
Deborah Kalb with longtime friend and illustrator Robert Lunsford

DK: I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the book! To answer your question, it probably helps that I have an 11-year-old son! (The book’s wonderful illustrator, Rob Lunsford, based the pictures on my son—although my character Sam is not based on one person in particular.) Being around kids that age is certainly a plus. But part of it also probably comes from having been a voracious reader my entire life, and remembering so many wonderful books I read when I was younger.

KMR: The magic hat is an important “character” in the story. When I think of the hat, I visualize a wise but slightly grumpy old man leading Sam on a journey. Did you know from the beginning that you would use personification to make the hat come alive?

DK: Yes, I figured it would be fun to have a somewhat curmudgeonly talking hat as one of the main characters. I think some of my inspiration came from magical creatures in various books, particularly the Half Magic books by Edward Eager (some of my favorites!), which often included grouchy magical beings of various kinds.

KMR: The story held my interest from the opening line to the clever ending. How long did it take you to finish the book, say from the earliest concept to publication?

DK: I’d say overall it took a few years from beginning to end. Lately I tend to think about book projects for a while before actually starting to write them. While this is not my first book, it’s my first children’s book—and my first published fiction book! I have various unpublished mystery novels hidden away in my closet. Maybe I’ll go back to them at some point! 

KMR: I admire how you introduced an important moral question in the story when young Sam asked his teacher, Ms. Martin, “How could George and the founders of this country have had slaves, anyway, when they were writing things like the Declaration of Independence?” Have you heard from any of your readers about this? And if you the author could travel back in time, what would you say to George Washington about slavery?

 DK: Thank you for asking that. I’ve heard from readers that they really appreciate my including the issue of slavery in the book. Honestly, it never occurred to me not to include it. It’s such an important topic, and it’s one that I think about all the time. I would certainly want to ask George Washington—and other early presidents like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison–that very question.

 KMR: What were you like in the fifth grade? Did you daydream much or were you super studious? Have you always been interested in history and politics and what was your favorite subject in school?

 DK: I spent a lot of time in fifth grade reading, playing kickball, and attempting to do gymnastics. I guess I would say that I daydreamed AND was studious, although I’m sure the two conflicted at times! I have always liked history. My favorite subjects when I was in school were English, history, and languages, and I majored in history in college. So it goes way back!

 KMR: You are an accomplished journalist and author. Did growing up with a famous father, renowned journalist Marvin Kalb, have an influence on your career choice? As a kid, what was it like watching your father and your uncle, Bernard Kalb, on national television?

Author Deborah Kalb with her mother, Madeleine, and her father, renowned journalist and author Marvin Kalb.
Deborah with her mother, Madeleine, and her father, renowned journalist and author Marvin Kalb, at Deborah’s book signing at Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC. Photo by family friend Nancy Edson.

DK: Oh, definitely! My father and my uncle have always been role models for me, both personally and professionally, and it was an incredible experience to work on the book Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama with my father. As a child, it was oddly natural for me to see my father on the CBS Evening News and wave goodnight to his picture on the TV. As I recall, the two shows I was allowed to watch back then were the CBS Evening News and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood!

 KMR: Your book is dedicated to both of your parents. Can you tell us a little bit about your mother, Madeleine?

 DK: Yes, she’s also a writer, so I got that gene from both sides! She is an incredibly meticulous editor, and clearly another one of my role models as a person and as a writer.

 KMR: I admire your generosity in supporting countless authors through your blog, Book Q&A with Deborah Kalb.

How do you juggle your writing, reading, and author interviews while also raising a young son?

Deborah with son, Aaron, hanging out with George at Nats Park book signing for George Washington and the Magic Hat.
Deborah with son, Aaron, hanging out with George at Nats Park book signing for George Washington and the Magic Hat

DK: It’s a challenge to balance everything, but I’m really enjoying it! I often find that I get so caught up in reading other people’s books and interviewing authors that I forget to write anything of my own. I need to set some deadlines, I think! And my husband and son are very understanding and supportive about all my hours at the computer. I want to thank you, as well, for your own generosity in getting the word out about your fellow writers!

 KMR: What was it like to have a book signing at Nationals Park, the ballpark where the Washington Nationals play baseball, especially since a key scene in the book takes place there?

George the mascot reading about himself in Deborah's book.
George the mascot reading about himself in Deborah’s book.

DK: So much fun, especially when George the Racing President, one of the Nationals’ mascots and a character in the book, showed up in the store and spent half an hour reading the book and holding it up for everyone to see!

 

KMR: What are you working on now?

DK: Book 2 in the series, which features Sam’s neighbors, Ava and J.P., who travel back in time to meet John and Abigail Adams. The tentative title is The President and Me: The John Adams Bobblehead.

 About the author:

 Deborah Kalb has worked as a journalist and freelance writer in Washington, D.C., for more than two decades. She has focused on covering Congress and politics as a writer and editor for various news organizations including Gannett News Service, Congressional Quarterly, The Hill, U.S. News & World Report, and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.  She is the co-author (with her father, acclaimed journalist Marvin Kalb) of Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to ObamaDeborah also has a blog, deborahkalbbooks.blogspot.com, where she interviews authors about their books. 

A graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in history, Deborah received a master’s degree in American Studies from Yale University.  With this book for young readers (with crossover into the adult market), she is drawing on her knowledge of presidential history and taking it in a different direction.

***

Deborah Kalb interviewed Kathleen M. Rodgers about her novel, Johnnie Come Lately, on 2/2/2015 

 

 

Ladies of the Canyons: a book to savor about women with gumption

September 17, 2016

Published by University of Arizona Press
Published by The University of Arizona Press

Winner of 2016 WILLA Award and
Winner of 2015 Reading the West Nonfiction Award

“Both enjoyable and edifying.”—Library Journal

“Ladies of the Canyons shows the way in which O’Keeffe and others were just the latest in a tradition of audacious women who carved a well-traveled path of freedom and challenge.”—Bookslut

My thoughts on this exceptional book:

Long before artist Georgia O’Keefe and patron of the arts Mabel Dodge Luhan fell in love with New Mexico, other gutsy women from privileged families back east set out to explore “The Land of Enchantment” and claim it as their own. But their names were lost to history until recently.

Just as Natalie Curtis Burlin left the comfort of privilege in New York City to capture the songs of the Hopi, author Lesley Poling-Kempes left the comfort of sitting on her literary laurels to dive into the past and recreate the lives of some remarkable women who blazed new trails in the American Southwest. As I savored this engrossing and educational tale, it was almost like the author had gone back in time and accompanied her subjects as they bounced along in lumbering touring cars or trotted on horseback under the blazing sun, taking notes that would become The Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest.

Even now, a year after the release of this amazing book, I like to envision the author seated at a place of honor in a tiny casita a few blocks off the plaza in old Santa Fe. “The Ladies” are all gathered around Lesley when Natalie Curtis Burlin bustles in and offers her special guest a nice cup of tea. And with piano music drifting in through an open window, Carol Bishop Stanley (founder of Ghost Ranch), stands up and declares, “Dear Lesley, we knew you would come. It was just a matter of time.”

Q&A with the author:

Kathleen: After reading Ladies of the Canyons, I am in awe of how you gathered your material buried in archives and private collections and assembled it into an intriguing story. Can you describe your process? How do you puzzle together bits and pieces of the past into a narrative that feels alive?

Lesley: For Ladies of the Canyons I knew I had to begin by finding and making sense of the stories/biographies of the four main characters, Carol Stanley, Natalie Curtis, Alice Klauber, and Mary Wheelwright. Because they lived a century ago, it meant visiting in person many of the places they lived, and also locating the physical archives that held what scant scraps they left behind in diaries, letters, journals, paintings, and music. I kept notebooks about each of the women and also a massive timeline that showed where and how they intersected with major events of their time and also with each other. It took about two years to gather the material together, and another two years to write their stories into one narrative. The ladies came alive for me about halfway into the research as my connection to their lives strengthened and I began to get a real sense of who they were as people. They began to feel alive in my life and time.

KMR: How long did it take you to write the book, and were you ever overwhelmed as you sifted through historical documents?

LPK: About four years. I was overwhelmed daily, truly, every day, by the size of the task and the amount of material involved. I never let myself look too far ahead. I just kept to the page before me. I likened it to laying track over a very long and often forbidding distance.

KMR: I’m a huge fan of your novels Bone Horses and Canyon of Remembering. As both an historian and a novelist, can you describe the differences between writing fiction and nonfiction?

LPK: The freedom I feel when writing fiction cannot be overstated. I do research for my novels, but not to the extent I do for nonfiction. And living in ‘fictionland’ for months at a time is liberating and often just good fun. It is hard work, as all novelists know, but without the sense of intense responsibility that goes with writing history and biography where getting the facts right, and documenting sources and etc., is fundamental to the success of the book. The contrast – working on a novel for a few years after working on a book of nonfiction – is satisfying and therapeutic.

KMR: When you first started researching your nonfiction subjects for Ladies of the Canyons, did you have any idea that the story would take you (and the reader) from New York and Boston to the desert Southwest and all the way to Paris?

LPK: I did. I had glimpsed the stories of the ladies while writing the book Ghost Ranch and knew Natalie’s and Alice’s stories would involve Europe, New York, and San Diego, and Carol’s and Mary’s stories would involve Boston and environs. Still, I had to give myself a crash course in the birth of Modern Art in Europe and the US, and also read up on everything Victorian, especially as that era affected women.

KMR: Art plays a big role in this book. You come across as someone very comfortable at writing about art, music, important historical events, and even former presidents. Does this come naturally to you or is it a skill you’ve acquired over your career.

LPK: It comes naturally because I’m curious about art and music and the intersection of historic events with common and uncommon folks. I live in Abiquiu within the cultural landscape that extends to Santa Fe and Taos. Many remarkable and creative people (O’Keeffe tops the list of local lights) have come to work and live here over the last century. And the making and celebration of art has been part of daily life since prehistory and the culture of the Pueblo people.

I have always admired the life of TR Roosevelt and being able to include him in the story of Ladies of the Canyons was a wonderful gift. I read most of Roosevelt’s writings about his time in the American Southwest, and studied his opinions and the evolution of his policies and thoughts about and toward Native America so that I could place his time with Natalie and Alice in the desert Southwest into historic perspective. Natalie Curtis and Roosevelt’s relationship was fascinating to piece together. And theirs is a great story, too, one that had never been told. Finding the archival photographs and rare film footage of Curtis and Roosevelt together in Hopi land in 1913 was among the most affirming and satisfying moments of my writing career.

KMR: What are you working on now? Last time we chatted, you mentioned that you were eager to get back to work on the sequel to Bone Horses. I’m looking forward to reading your next novel.

LPK: Yes, I am writing the sequel to my novel Bone Horses. Ten years have passed in the town of Agua Dulce and there are some familiar characters and also several who will be new to readers. I love being immersed in this fictional place in northern New Mexico. It’s challenging – I find the first draft of any sort of book, fiction or nonfiction, extremely difficult. But writing, completing, and publishing 6 books have given me one gift: faith in my ability to get through a messy, awkward, crappy first draft. I know how to rewrite (and rewrite and rewrite) my first drafts into something coherent and hopefully beautiful.

I recently completed my first historic novel, Gallup. Set in World War 2 New Mexico, this novel is based on the screenplay written by Robert N. Singer with whom I share co-writer credit on both the novel and the screenplay. I’ll keep you updated on the development of the film and the publication of the novel, both of which I hope will happen in a few years.

Photo credit Joyce Davidson
Photo by Joyce Davidson

BIO:

Lesley Poling-Kempes is the award winning author of fiction and nonfiction books about the American Southwest, including “Bone Horses” winner of the 2014 WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction and the Tony Hillerman Award; “The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West,” winner of the Zia Award and recently optioned for a US-UK television series; “Valley of Shining Stone: The Story of Abiquiu,” and “Ghost Ranch.” Her first novel “Canyon of Remembering” was a Western Writers of America Spur Award finalist.

“Ladies of the Canyon: A League of Extraordinary Women & Their Adventures in the American Southwest” was released in 2015 and won the Reading the West Award for nonfiction, the WILLA Literary Award, the Silver Medal for US History from the Independent Publishers Association, and is a WWW Spur Award finalist.

She lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

Ladies of the Canyons Exhibit Opening at Ghost Ranch

October 22, 2016 3:00 pm-5:00 pm

 

Johnnie Come Lately is a semi-finalist for literary fiction in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards

July 3, 20162016-KBR-SemiFinalist

An hour before I attended my 40th high school reunion in Clovis, NM, my agent notified me that my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, is a semi-finalist for literary fiction in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards. What a thrill to learn of this honor in the town where my writing roots took hold my junior year on the high school newspaper, The Purple Press.

Thanks to every person over the years who believed in me as a writer.

To see the complete list of semi-finalist, click here.

Oct. 1 ~  Finalists announced

Nov. 1 ~ Winners announced

Johnnie Come Lately kathleenmrodgers, camel press 300To read more about Johnnie, visit my Amazon detail page.

Running On Red Dog Road: “The Waltons meet Little House on the Prairie told with Mark Twain’s humor”

April 12, 2016Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 6.43.48 PM

Every once in a while, a voice comes along that makes you yearn for a childhood you never lived. Author Drema Hall Berkheimer invites you to skip along with her, big sis Vonnie, and best friend Sissy into the coal mining hills and hollers of West Virginia, at a time when gypsies and hobos were as common as doctors who made house calls.

My husband is a longtime fan of Drema’s work. Tom calls Running On Red Dog Road “The Waltons meet Little House on the Prairie told with Mark Twain’s humor.”

We both highly recommend this book.

Drema and I met at the The Writer’s Garret, Dallas, TX in 2008. I fell in love with this book the moment she started reading those early chapters in critique.

Dallas Morning News says, “The narrator’s sometimes saucy voice is that of “the little girl I once was.”

Publishers Weekly says, “Berkheimer’s voice is captivating, bringing a vast array of strange but thoughtful characters to life: vagabonds, faith healers, farmers, and miners.”

About Drema Hall Berkheimer:

Drema at the 2016 Public Library Association annual conference in Denver, CO.
Drema at the 2016 Public Library Association annual conference in Denver, CO. To read more about her visit, click here.

Born in a West Virginia coal camp called Penman, Drema Hall Berkheimer now lives on Word Street in Dallas, so maybe writing was her destiny all along. Her memoir, Running On Red Dog Road, is a testament to her life in small town Appalachia, the child of a miner killed in the mines, a Rosie the Riveter mother, and devout Pentecostal grandparents. Chapters from Running on Red Dog Road won First Place Nonfiction and First Honorable Mention Nonfiction in the 2010 WV Writers Competition and were published in WV South, an award-winning magazine where she has been a frequent contributor. She has memoir, fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and essays published in numerous online and print literary journals and other publications. Affiliations are WV Writers, Salon Quatre, and The Writers Garret in Dallas, where she lives with her husband and a neurotic cat who takes after her. Her husband is mostly normal.

Amazon

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Johnnie On the Spot: Family Magazine features Kathleen M. Rodgers in the January 2016 issue

January 2016

Terri Barnes, author of the book Spouse Calls and a former columnist for Stars & Stripes Newspapers, was shopping at the commisary this morning at Charleston Air Force Base, SC when she spotted the article in Family. She says she stopped by the peanut butter and jelly section to snap this photo.
Terri Barnes, author of the book Spouse Calls and a former columnist for Stars & Stripes Newspapers, was shopping at the commisary this morning at Charleston Air Force Base, SC when she spotted the article in Family. She says she stopped by the peanut butter and jelly section to snap this photo.

So honored to be featured in the January 2016 issue of Family: The Magazine For Military Families. The magazine is distributed free at U.S. commissaries worldwide the middle of each month (500,000 circulation). Family and I have been around since 1958. In 1988 (the magazine’s 30th anniversary), they published two of my short stories, “Happy Landing” and “On Top Of the World.” In 2009, they interviewed me about my debut novel, The Final Salute.

This past July, my husband and I were thrilled to meet the executive editor, Dina Santorelli, and feature writer, Barbara Jarvie Castiglia, when they came to see some of my work on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, New York.  I’m blessed to have such support from a top-notch publication that gives back to military families by providing valuable coupons for items in the commissary.  This is another full circle moment in my writing career.Dina and Kathleen

With NJ based writer Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based editor/author Dina Santorelli at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them both in person. Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.
With NJ based writer Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based editor/author Dina Santorelli at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them both in person. Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.

https://www.facebook.com/familymagazine

http://familymedia.com

 

 

Tension abounds in this critically acclaimed debut novel by Andria Williams

The Longest Night releases from Random House 1.12.16The Longest Night book cover

What the critics are saying:

Starred Kirkus review. “Scintillating….A smoldering, altogether impressive debut that probes the social and emotional strains on military families in a fresh and insightful way.”

Starred review in Booklist. Kristine Huntley writes: “a luminous debut…utterly absorbing and richly rewarding.”

The Longest Night listed by Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert as one of “Five Key Literary/Historical Debut Novels”

The Longest Night will be a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” pick for Spring 2016!random-house-randomhouse-2-twitter-mozilla-firefox-10272015-40838-pm

My review:

From the moment I received an advanced reader copy from the author’s editor, Andrea Walker, I knew I held a treasured story in my hands. The ARC opens with a letter from Ms. Walker that addresses each reviewer in a respectful and endearing manner. She gives us a brief summary of the novel and ends her letter with these words: “In this atmospheric and immersive debut, big historical events play out in the intimate context of a marriage…”

The story unfolds with Army Specialist Paul Collier racing down a lonely road outside of Idaho Falls on the frigid night of January 3, 1961. All we know at this point is that something bad has happened at the CR-1, a nuclear reactor where Paul works as an operator. As he heads toward the reactor, his thoughts are on his men working the night shift and his beautiful young wife, Nat. She’s back in town fifty miles away at their cute little pitched roof rent house where their three young children are tucked in their beds. Would Paul ever see them again? And would he get a chance to apologize to Nat for the way he’d stormed out?

Then the story moves back in time to June 1959, when we first meet Nat Collier and her two preschool aged daughters, Samantha and Liddie. Nat, short for Natalie, plays the dutiful Army wife as she follows her husband on a cross-country move to his new duty station in Idaho. The story really gripped me at the opening lines of chapter one when Nat first steps out of their 1955 Desoto Fireflite: “Nat was the first one out of the car. She stepped into the dirt parking lot, her low-heeled shoes printing chevrons into the reddish dirt.”

After reading these lines, I kept going back to stare at the cream-colored pumps on the book’s cover. The shoes took me back to a time when women wore dresses and heels to clean house, run errands, and throw dinner parties to impress their friends and neighbors. For me, a former military wife, these pumps on the cover and the imprint Nat’s soles leave in the dirt, represent a formality that came with marrying into the military during this era.

But much of the story will resonate with today’s military spouses. In a passage where Nat is chatting with another young Army wife, the author says it all about the vagabond lifestyle and how quickly friendships are formed. “Nat was learning the hard way that if you wanted friends in the military, there was no time to waste. Years worth of closeness and trust and shared jokes were accelerated into weeks.”

Then there’s the temptation that comes from long separations during deployments and temporary duty assignments where the spouses are left to fend for themselves on the home front. Nat’s temptation turns out to be a local cowboy named Esrom, and wouldn’t you know, he turns out to be one of my favorite characters in the story.

For those characters you love to hate, especially the ones who abuse power, Andria Williams does a superb job with Paul’s boss, Master Sergeant Richards (who drives a 1957 Cadillac Coupe de Ville), and his perfectly coiffed wife, Jeannie.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who values good writing and a story that both entertains and educates. I’m especially impressed with how the author writes about a nuclear reactor on a level that I can understand, as I am not a science person. After reading whole passages aloud to my husband, he got so intrigued that he started researching the history behind the real accident that took place on January 3, 1961.

The Longest Night is one of those novels that will live on in your head as if you were actually one of the characters in the story and now these are shared memories.

Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night, Random House 1.19.16Author bio:

Andria Williams is a Navy wife, the mother of three children, and the founder of Military Spouse Book Review, a site which promotes the writing of women veterans and military spouses and publishes book reviews and essays. She holds a BA in English from UC-Berkeley and a MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota.

The Longest Night is her first novel.

Empowering and Practical: new devotional speaks straight into fear

Posted August 21, 2015

In a conversational tone, author Susan Reichert, Editor-In-Chief of Southern Writers Magazine, speaks directly into the fear most of us face at some point in our lives. Be it the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or addictions that can threaten to tear even the strongest families apart, Susan’s empowering message in her new book, Storms In Life, is that we can go to God in prayer. The book is formatted in ten brief chapters, each interspersed with a short prayer, followed by a scripture suggestion for further reading.Storms In Life by Susan Reichert

By setting up several realistic scenarios we all dread, the author draws the reader in. In Chapter 7, a police officer knocks on your door in the middle of the night. This can’t be good. How do you keep standing when the worst news of your life threatens to take you down with it?

Emotional storms are just as real as physical storms. When my youngest son deployed to a war zone last year, I found myself almost crippled with fear. Fear can paralyze us and keep us from enjoying life. Susan takes us to a place where we must surrender the control. Of course none of us are ever really in control, but we like to think we are. So when things go wrong, we sometimes have a tendency to think the world is coming to an end.

This slim volume is never preachy. If anything, I found Susan’s book comforting. Storms In Life is a nice addition to your daily meditations or the perfect devotional book to keep on your nightstand when fear and anxiety creep into your thoughts and threaten to rob you of sleep.

Death is something we all face. Lives can change in an instant. There are going to be storms in life, both physical and emotional, but it’s how we “batten down the hatches” and prepare ourselves with prayer and scripture that we are able to wait out the storms that threaten to blow our hearts apart.

I highly recommend Susan’s book to anyone who is searching for a way to boss back fear without letting it control our lives.

 

Susan Reichert, author of Storms In Life and Editor-In-Chief of Southern Writers MagazineSusan Reichert is the co-publisher of Southern Writers Magazine and Editor-in-Chief. She also is the leader of Collierville Christian Writers Group (CCWriters Group). Susan and her husband Greg live in Tennessee. They are the parents of four grown daughters, have grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

www.authorsvisits.com

www.susanlreichert.com

https://twitter.com/SouthrnWritrMag 

https://www.facebook.com/southernwritersmagazine 

 

 

War Memorial in Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers

Posted April 14, 2015

A war memorial plays a significant role in my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately.
Photo courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia
Photo courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia

 

Siobhan Fallon, Army wife and author of the critically acclaimed collection, You Know When the Men Are Gone, says this about my novel:  Johnnie Come Lately evokes the pathos of family life—secrets, betrayals, misunderstandings, heartbreak, and just enough love and forgiveness to make it all worth it. Kathleen M. Rodgers treats her haunted characters with keen insight and empathy, offering them the second, third, fourth chances that all of us flawed human beings need.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnnie’s Journal

December, 1979

Portion, Texas

 

Dear Mama,

I’m up here at Soldiers Park, hoping you might come

swaying by with the breeze. Most of the leaves have dropped

and it’s getting cold. I asked the old soldier, the one you talk to

from time to time, if you’d happened by here lately, but he just

stands high on his pedestal, armed and ready, and gives me the

silent treatment.

He’s not about to give up your secrets—the secrets you pour

into him from this bench. Dark things hidden behind bronze

eyes that only seem to come alive for you.

Pick up the novel at www.johnniecomelately.com

 

Kathleen M. Rodgers’ novel, Johnnie Come Lately, reviewed on Midwest Book Review

Katherine Boyer’s review of my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, appears on Midwest Book Review for January 2015. Thank you, Katherine! Katherine Boyer's review of Johnnie Come Lately posted on Midwest Book Review Jan 2015

 

 

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately kathleenmrodgers, camel press 300Click here to read Katherine’s review

For ordering information, please visit my website: