And a few more memories of childhood in Alabama (I’m past a dozen now)…. 12) My neighbor’s backyard had the feel of a fantasy. He had a swimming pool and a fig tree. In my own backyard, we had muscadines and scuppernongs, and I would sit under the thick ceiling of vines and pluck them one…

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Childhood Memory #8 I watched Gunsmoke reruns with my grandfather most days—he loved everything about it, and I loved Miss Kitty, the beautiful owner of the Long Branch Saloon (and also maybe brothel?) Plenty of afternoons we would act out the episode once we turned off the television, with me playing Kitty and my grandfather…

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Another batch of memories in preparation for FAMILY LAW, which is set in the world of my own childhood. My grandmother turned 105 this week, and so these are all her. She’s at the center of many of my warmest, best memories. 5. My grandparents did not believe in wasting money on snacks during car trips.…

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My upcoming novel, Family Law, is set in the time and place of my own childhood—the ’70s and ’80s in Montgomery, Al. I haven’t written a distinctly Southern novel since my first book, The Well and the Mine, came out in 2008. As I get ready for this book’s release, I wanted to spend some…

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I submitted Family Law to my publishers nearly two years ago, but–thanks to the pandemic–it’s taken a while to become an actual hold-it-in-your-hands book. Not that I’m complaining: I didn’t want my book to come out in this past year. It was worth waiting. Set in Alabama in the early ’80s, Family Law follows a young lawyer,…

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Of all the things I love about October, the costumes at our Halloween party might top the list. This year’s theme was THREE, and we had some logistical issues. Ten minutes before the party started, I realized the two heads I planned to attach to my son’s Three Musketeer costume–so he would be all three…

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Sometimes I think I’m wasted as a novelist: I could maybe do theme meals full-time. For small children. It’s sort of a niche market. But below is our dinner before going to see The Wizard of Oz at our local theater. We’ve got Tin Manwiches, Emerald veggies, potato tornados, Over the Rainbow Sherbet, Toto-Toast with…

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I find that when I’m trying to finish up a manuscript–more on that later–blogging and social media in general seem to fall by the wayside. (Also on the fall-by-the-wayside list: Haircuts, dentist appointments, lunch dates with friends, all forms of house maintenance, including lightbulb replacement.) Well, I’ve finished up a draft and sent it off…

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