Appalachia Appalachian Writers

Appalachian Writers

Www.marilynsueshank.com

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of reading Marilyn Sue Shank’s new book Child of the Mountains. From the first page I fell in love with Lydia who is the central character of the story. The book is written in diary form-as if the reader is getting to peek into the personal thoughts and experiences of Lydia. But the story is so compelling and the characters so life like to Appalachia-that I felt as if I knew them-as if I could read their inner thoughts and feelings too.

Marilyn Sue Shank graciously agreed to be interviewed for the Blind Pig. She also asked for Random House Children’s Books to donate a copy of Child of the Mountains for me to use as a giveaway-and they agreed! So stick around till the end of the interview for your chance to win a copy of the book.

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*Did you always want to be a writer or was it a desire that came to you later in life?

I always loved to write. When I was in fourth grade, I remember we used to listen to a radio program about West Virginia history. Then we would write stories about what we had heard. One day, my teacher said, “Marilyn, I love to read your stories.” Her words sparked something in me that finally came to fruition as an adult. However, I also loved teaching, and that was my chosen occupation.

*Do you primarily make a living from writing or is it a labor of love?

I was in a car accident 21 years ago that left me with chronic, full-body pain. I was able to continue teaching for 16 years after that, but I finally had to face that I would have to leave the occupation that meant so much to me. I had to go on disability. However, I
thank God now for the time to write. I had started Child of the Mountains while I was still working, but it never would have been completed if I had continued teaching.

By having my occupation and the income that came with it stripped away, I learned that faith, hope, and love truly are the only valuable commodities in this life. In my novel, Lydia learns that truth at an early age from the examples of her mother and grandmother. Faith, hope, and love sustain her through tragedy. Lydia also learns that we are made strong through weakness. I’ve learned from experience that sometimes the most challenging changes in life can result in wonderful outcomes.

Even when a writer is finally published, unless that person is a big name and tops the best seller charts, making a living from writing is not possible. So, yes, writing is a labor of love for me.

*I found Child of The Mountains rang true with authentic Appalachian Culture-did you grow up in Appalachia? If not-how did you create the authenticity for your book?

I’ve had people ask me if it was difficult to write in dialect. The answer is no, it came naturally to me. I heard Lydia and her family speak in the dialect of my childhood as I was writing. I grew up in West Virginia. Although I was born in Charleston, the urban capital of the state, many of my relatives spoke the dialect of the hills. My father, a project scientist, loved Appalachian sayings and sprinkled them in his speech. My mother switched easily from Appalachian dialect to Standard English, depending on the people around her. I researched Appalachian dialect to make sure what I remembered was accurate and was surprised to find that it was.

The heavier dialect is not spoken as much anymore because of exposure to television, radio, and frequent travel. I hope that Child of the Mountains helps preserve the lyrical language of the hills.

*Do you think it’s important to write about Appalachia in a positive way-or is just an interesting backdrop for a story you wanted to tell?

I love and am proud of my heritage. We have so many gifts as Appalachians—our music, storytelling, visual arts, inventiveness. One of my frustrations as a former teacher is that intelligence tests in schools do not measure creativity, a vital component of intelligence. The children of Appalachia would score high on such tests. I grew up in the “chemical valley.” Appalachia needs to be recognized for the contributions its people have made to science. That’s why I wanted people to see the wisdom and intelligence in Lydia’s family, despite the stereotypes people have of Appalachians who speak with the dialect.

What I believe is most wonderful about Appalachia is her people, who traditionally care about others, reaching out to help those in need. The resilience of the people of Appalachia is remarkable. I use a quote by Margaret Hatfield to introduce the book: “These women of Appalachia, they didn’t survive. They prevailed.”

No, Appalachia is not a backdrop for Child of the Mountains. Appalachia is the story.

*Would you consider Child of the Mountains a young adult book?

Random House lists Child of the Mountains as a middle-grade novel because Lydia is eleven when the story begins and twelve when the story ends. However, teenagers seem to enjoy it. Adults appreciate the novel as a coming-of-age story. What surprises me the most is that many men have told me how much they like Child of the Mountains. The novel seems to resonate especially with people from Appalachia.

*I don’t want to give the story away-for those who haven’t read the book yet-but do you think the ‘issue’ that resulted in jail time would have ended the same way if the folks who needed help weren’t from the backwoods of Appalachia?

No, I think the reason this story came to me is because of the frustration I had growing up with the stereotypical images of people from Appalachia as ignorant and foolish. I saw the intelligence and wisdom of people around me. The only reason Lydia’s mother and uncle tolerated demeaning treatment was because of their desperation to help Lydia’s
little brother.

*From the first page of the book, I fell in love with the main character, Lydia. I found myself wanting to take care of her-wishing I could step in and make things right. Will there be more books about Lydia? Do you have any other works of fiction forthcoming?

I have a trilogy in mind, but whether I am able to write the second and third book depends on the success of the first.

For the sequel, Lydia makes a promise to her mother in Child of the Mountains that she doesn’t keep in high school. The results are disastrous. Also, Lydia’s life has turned upside down. She is now wealthy. Her stepfather is a lawyer and the family lives in an exclusive area of Charleston. She’s had to learn Standard English, and is struggling with her identity, especially when a classmate from Jackson County, WV, who is treated badly, causes her to confront her past. She keeps thinking “I could be Hannah.” At the same time, she wishes she were Hannah.

In the third book, Lydia will return to the hills in Lincoln County, WV, to teach. Her fiancé is in Vietnam, and she has an interesting mix of students from coalmining, moon shining, hippie, and highly educated families. The opinions of the families about the War add to her own conflicted thoughts about Vietnam.

*Where can people find your books? Is there anything I missed that you would want to share with my readers?

I hope their local bookstores and public libraries will be carrying Child of the Mountains. They can also find links to online booksellers on my website (select the Books link): www.marilynsueshank.com

I consider Child of the Mountains my love letter to the people of Appalachia. I would like to thank your readers for embracing my little novel, and especially to you, Tipper, for your efforts to preserve Appalachian culture through this blog.

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I hope you enjoyed the interview! And if you’d like a chance to win a copy of the book leave a comment on this post. Giveaway ends on Sunday June 17.

Tipper

 

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87 Comments

  • Reply
    Richard Beauchamp
    June 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Good Morning Tipper ! Just read the interview and your account of the book “Child of The Mountain “. This sounds like a wonderful book and would kind of remind me of Chitter and Chatter. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks ! Have a good day.

  • Reply
    Charline
    June 17, 2012 at 1:25 am

    This book is now on my list of “to read”. I appreciate writers who write what they know best and have the courage to tell their stories with authenticity.

  • Reply
    quinn
    June 16, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Very nice interview – please add my name to the drawing. This book sounds like a wonderful choice for a summer book club!

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    June 15, 2012 at 10:19 am

    This sounds like the kind of book that I would like to read.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    June 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Great job, Tipper, on the interview, and I’m looking forward to reading this –for me and for my 11 & 13 yr olds! Nicely done.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    June 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I can’t wait to read this read this book!! Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention-please don’t enter me in the giveaway. It is still someone else’s turn.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    June 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Awww, this sounds like such a good one..I would love to have it, she is a very knowledgable person and writer and being from the Applachian, she knows her stuff..Thanks for the interview and the post.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    June 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Now that was a very enjoyable interview, knowing her thoughts are filtered through her love of Appalachia and mountain folkways.
    Lydia seems to be that everychild that we have in mind when we think of adolescent girls growing up in that special world. It’s a very different world for boys, and it should be.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I think it is good that a person has pride in where they were born. I was born in Southeast Kentucky, so technically I’m not from Appalachia, but close enough to understand.

  • Reply
    Ethel
    June 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you Tipper and Marilyn, I can’t wait to read this book! The interview was wonderful, Marilyn’s grit and determination in the aftermath of her accident and gumption in not only writing but getting published are very telling – she’s a true Appalachian! You both do us proud!

  • Reply
    Lise
    June 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I can’t wait to read this book, I also have niece with a birthday at the end of the month, this sounds like a perfect gift! Thanks for letting us know about it Tipper!

  • Reply
    Charlotte Woody
    June 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    The theme of the book is intriguing. I was very impressed with the way this author has dealth with difficulties that would be very hard to overcome. She still has an amazing outlook on life.

  • Reply
    Joli @ Actin' Up with Books
    June 14, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I am so happy to have found your site! This is the first that I’ve found that focused on Appalachia and Appalachian literature. In college in studied about as much appalachian literature as I could – took all of the courses that where offered and immersed myself in it. It was the main focus of my American Lit studies. Then my final semester, I got swept up in my young adult lit class and fell in love with it. Now YA is mainly all that I read. But I’ve wanted to get back into reading more appalachian lit, and this book is the perfect start.
    I would love to be entered in the drawing. And I will definitely come back to your blog to check out all that you have to share.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 14, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Don’t put my name in the drawing. I’ve ordered one direct from Random House. 3-5 business days, they say. It might be for younger readers but I’m about to enter my second childhood, it should be perfect.
    WalMart’s website had it $6.00 less but they didn’t have it in stock. Back when I sold eggs they were a dollar a dozen. If I didn’t have any, they were only a dime.

  • Reply
    desi
    June 13, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I love to read new southern,esp. Appalachian writers. Love the interview!

  • Reply
    Luann
    June 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Nice interview and great sounding book. If I don’t win this one, will have my favorite bookstore order it for me. Passing this blog on to others that would enjoy the book, too.

  • Reply
    granny sue
    June 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Tipper I am so glad you interviewed Marilyn. I reviewed COTM a few weeks ago; it’s a book that will stay with the reader for days. Being chosen to represent WV at the National Book Festival attests to the book’s quality.

  • Reply
    Missy Steiger
    June 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    We live in central WV and even though I was born in CA I was raised here. This is my home.This sounds like a great book.

  • Reply
    tea4too0
    June 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    That was a very touching interview. The love shone thru. I will have to look for this book. Thank you Tipper.

  • Reply
    RB
    June 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    The book sounds interesting, and the interview made it doubly so for me.
    I would love to be entered in the give-away for the book; it’s just the type of book my sisters and I LOVE to read, and we share them back and forth, often until they are falling apart. ;o)
    Thanks.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Don-you want to hear about a budding Appalachian engineer? My 10 year old grandson came to my house last Saturday with a pump shotgun. 10 years old, you say! A ten year old with a shotgun! Well he had made it with only paper and scotch tape. rolled the paper and taped it together. And he made shells for it. He can load it and pump it and the shell flies out. He also builds bridges with toothpicks and mini marshmallows. But I ain’t bragging, just stating facts.

  • Reply
    Deborah Stroup
    June 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I loved ‘Christy’ by Catherine Marshall because the intelligence, wit and creativity of the Applachian people were so evident. I anticipate loving ‘Child of the Mountains’ also.

  • Reply
    Lydia B
    June 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I think we all need to appreciate and learn from others’ cultures. Growing up in the Carolina country with family members scattered I glimpsed others. Would LOVE to read and share this book.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    June 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    My Mom still reads also, and would greatly enjoy the book. I always have loved any writings about Appalachia. I have saved all the required readings from my Granddaughter’s class at Marshall Univ. on West Virginia History. Unlike all other books the books about Appalachia always seem to have a touch of nostalgia.

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Don, Jess Shank is likely a relative. My father’s relatives originally settled in Pennsylvania to get away from religous persecution because they were Mennonites. I’m hoping a cousin of mine will check this post. Dad passed on much of the family history to her.

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    B. Ruth, CHILD OF THE MOUNTAINS is available for Kindle, iTunes, and Nook! Thanks for asking.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The book sounds so interesting and something I would like to read.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    June 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Jim, I would have loved to have known your Grandpa Joe, my Dad often accused me of piddlin and said I spent more time figuring out an easier way to accomplish a task than it would have taken just to do it. I told him that my cyphering (piddlin) was how many folks invented many items such as the wheel, if someone hadn’t devised this tool we’d still be sliding loads along the ground. I also enjoy your accounts of “Loafer’s Glory” or another more descriptive name, on the Square in Bryson City. I too enjoyed knowing many characters who met up there. As a Rookie Police Officer I would visit with these gentlemen about every pretty Saturday to “Chew the Fat”, throw pocket knives or watch checker games which sometimes almost became a contact sport since many of them took their reputations very seriously and hated to be bested. To the uninformed: throwing knives did not involve actually throwing a knife but was a type of trading where you pulled a knife out of your pocket, held it in a closed hand and tried to find someone to swap their “plug knife” for yours. The object was to get better than you gave and these “Old Timers” loved beating a young Cop which occured rarely since all of us spent quite a bit of time trying to find the sorryest example of the knifemakers art that we could find. This was all done in good sport even though the loser would complain and promise to get even often with very descriptive language. Even though you had left Bryson and done got college educated by the time I was doing this many of the same characters you write of were still there. Though many scoffed at these gentlemen I found there was a lot of wisdom gathered there and I used a lot of what I learned there about how to treat people in my years as a Law Enforcement Officer.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    June 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Tipper,
    I happen to know a young girl by the name of the character in Ms. Shanks book…so I think this book would be fine and dandy for her…and me…
    I wonder if she has the book on Kindle as well. It saves me time and gas running heather and yon looking for a book. I hear about it and right then I can immediately purchase, download, and start reading it. Now then, don’t get me wrong, I love to hold a real book in my hand and still purchase many, but that Kindle for me can be a little old ladies lifesaver…LOL
    Wonderful interview and like Ed I am past reading about the lassies, black beauties, etc. of the early years…LOL
    Thanks Tipper, and Marilyn Shanks for the interview…I am sure the book will do well..
    PS…The cover of the book, at a glance, reminds me of the Pressley girls…
    B. Ruth

  • Reply
    Jo S. Kittinger
    June 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I recently finished reading Marilyn’s novel and was entranced with the characters and setting.
    I love that the culture and language of this unique corner of America has been captured and saved for generations to come.

  • Reply
    Ken
    June 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Tipper,
    Nice interview with Marilyn. You
    can tell she speaks from the heart. Its always nice to read
    about someone who enjoys sharing
    our Appalachian heritage…Ken

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    June 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I had the same thought as Jim re: the Shank name. Miss Jess(e) was the daughter of Jeremiah and Helen, natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively. So it is entirely possible that there is a WV Shank connection.
    Regarding Appalachian scientists – let me put in a slightly different perspective. Fellow engineers with whom I have worked that hail from the Appalachian region have, by and large, been really excellent. The very best guy that I know – internationally – when it comes to understanding industrial steam systems, is a fellow who comes from eastern TN, and – like me – spends much of his spare time in the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains.
    Just this week, the Technical Director of the British Pump Manufacturers Association introduced a fellow some of Tipper’s readers may know (from western North Carolina) as the best pumping systems guy in the world.
    I don’t think either of those fellows would tell you that they scientists (though I can guarantee you they both have an excellent grasp on the relevant science). Rather, if you asked, them, they would tell you they are engineers – who have to APPLY science in the real world on a regular basis.
    To me, that type of skill set comes with one of the essential natures of mountain folks – applying practical skills to deal with real-world needs.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    June 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I really enjoy learning and reading about and the writings of new local authors. I am a fan of Tim Myers who is a local author from Hickory, NC. He also writes under various pen names. I have read other ones and will continue to search for the local authors. They have helped me to learn about the area – esp. my favorite spread – pumpkin butter. I will find this book and read it for my personal enjoyment and then I will pass it on to a reader who is on its level. Thanks for the review and exposure to a new author for me.

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    June 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I can’t wait to read this book and hopefully her trilogy. I plan to visit my library tomorrow and hopefully they have it. If they don’t have the book, I will ask them to order it. If I win this giveaway, this sounds like just the book to pay forward. I plan to tell my cousin, who is an author, Linda Goodnight, and a dear friend that is an author, Sharon Sala, about this book as well. They both have thousands of fans that would read my recommendation to your book. Good luck for large sales. We need moe books like this.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    June 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Sounds interesting! It’s nice to hear from the author!

  • Reply
    Wilma Acree
    June 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Excellent interview! I made me want to read this book.

  • Reply
    Cindy Boggs
    June 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I loved the book and am grateful for Marilyn Sue Shank’s determination to bring Lydia to life in Child of the Mountains. Lydia represents each and every little girl growing up in West Virginia including me and I hope to find her as she continues her journey through the mountains.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kerry Aradhya
    June 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful book, and I’d love to learn more about the people of Appalachia. I really enjoyed the interview and would love the chance to win a copy of the book!

  • Reply
    Sunni Green
    June 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Tipper, this is my first comment on your site although I have visited often. I grew up in, and still live in, the Appalachian Mountains of VA and I am extremely proud of that! I really enjoy your blog and hope to try some of your recipes soon! Enjoyed your interview and hope to read the book soon! Thanks.

  • Reply
    S Kalvaitis
    June 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Can not wait to read this book.

  • Reply
    Barb Johnson
    June 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I will be looking for this book! Sounds very interesting!

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Donna, please tell your mom happy birthday for me! That’s an amazing milestone.
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Smallgood, thank you for considering CHILD OF THE MOUNTAINS for your students. If you go to my website, click Books. You will see a link to another page that provides the link for the Educator’s Guide to accompany COTM. I think Random House did a great job of providing activities for teachers.

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Charles, I’m glad you are writing stories for your family–what a gift to them.
    And, Miss Cindy, if my words speak to your heart, we are kindred spirits! 😉
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Bill, I write in my Author’s Note how I felt about being teased about my dialect. Lydia learns from her teacher why we should take pride in our dialect.

  • Reply
    Glynda
    June 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Tipper, thanks and what a great interview. I can’t wait to read this book. Sounds like a winner to me.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Pick Dave! Pick Dave!

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    June 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I would love to read Marilyn’s book – count me in. She sounds like she writes from the heart.

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Jim, I don’t know if Jess Shank is related. My father was the genealogist in the family. He would have been all over that! The info I provide in the author’s note at the end of the novel came from his extensive research. I sure do miss him!
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Mary, thanks for sharing info about CHILD OF THE MOUNTAINS on Facebook and your blog. I appreciate all the help I can get from fellow Appalachians with promoting Lydia’s story.
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Ed, I love them apples! 😉
    Wow. Thanks so much for the interest in my little novel, everyone. I hope you enjoy reading it. My contact info is available from my website–would love to hear what you think about it.
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Tipper–First of all, I agree with Ed when it comes to the glossary. Let the flatlanders and well-intentioned outside missionaries figure out mountain talk from the context.
    I really liked her thoughts on the inventiveness and ingenuity of mountain people, although from my perspective it isn’t so much in the field of science as in the whole of life that we stand out. “Make do with what you’ve got” spans pretty much everything from simple repairs to highly original inventions.
    On a personal level I’ll readily confess that I’m pretty much inept when it comes to mechanical things (but Don is mighty handy and our father could figure out and right pretty much anything). For that matter, our paternal grandfather was also a piddler of the first water, and ayone who thinks piddling is just idle wasting of time simply needs to rework their perspective on life. While I’m lacking on that side of things, I’d like to think I’m a pretty good hand in the garden, in my knowledge of nature, and in familiarity with mountain folklore and folkways.
    It’s always heartening to have someone like Ms. Shank recognize and tout what is special about Appalachian ways. Good piece, and I have to wonder, in closing, if she is by any chance related to Miss Jess Shank, who was THE key figure in the establishment and early management of what was once Swain County’s top industry, Carolina Woodturning Company.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Kimberly, thanks for making sure that your local library is carrying CHILD OF THE MOUNTAINS–much appreciated!
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    June 13, 2012 at 9:51 am

    This one is dear to my heart, have got to read it..I can just see it now..I feel like that child of the mountains…

  • Reply
    Marilyn Shank
    June 13, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Kathryn, my fellow Charlestonian, are you a member of West Virginia Writers? You might want to check out their Facebook page, even if you no longer live in WV.
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Nice interview, Tipper. Marilyn sounds like a true daughter of the mountains. I was struck by several of her comments…..“These women of Appalachia, they didn’t survive. They prevailed.”………No, Appalachia is not a backdrop for Child of the Mountains. Appalachia is the story……people, who traditionally care about others, reaching out to help those in need……I saw the intelligence and wisdom of people around me.
    Her words bypass my brain and speak directly to my heart!
    Thanks so much, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Shirla
    June 13, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I love what Marilyn said about intelligent test in school that do not measure creativity. I think most of us are like Marilyn’s mother and have learned to switch from Appalachian Dialect to Standard English when we feel the need. Switching is a lot easier than trying to explain what one just said to a bunch of city slickers.
    I can’t wait to read the book. I’m headed over to Amazon to check availability.

  • Reply
    Mamabug
    June 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful author with us this morning Tipper! I bet this is going to be a very good read.

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    June 13, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I definitely want to get this book! The older I get the more I appreciate my roots. Enjoyed the interview. I think I like this lady.

  • Reply
    Dave
    June 13, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Pick me! Pick me!

  • Reply
    Jeanna Morgan
    June 13, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I would love this book. It sound interesting. Thank you for introducing us to Ms. Shank.

  • Reply
    LINDA L. KERLIN
    June 13, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Thank you Marilyn for giving Tipper and interview with you—very enlighting—-I love to read book that are written as a diary—so Tipper put my name in the drawing and if I do not win I will find a place up here in my neck of the woods to purchase–it sounds delightful…thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Donna Godfrey
    June 13, 2012 at 8:49 am

    What a wonderful book…..I just have to read it. I know my mom would love it too. She will be 90 this next week and she loves book that she can understand and this one will be just right. Thanks for sharing this interview!

  • Reply
    kat
    June 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I enjoyed the interview and would like to read the book, as I like good fiction.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    June 13, 2012 at 8:44 am

    This book sounds very interesting and the author seems to have the language down pat’ I would like to have the book to compare the talk I grew up with even though I am a true country boy from the northern part of Kentucky. I have been laughed at a lot of times when we would go to Cincinnati, plus the book keeper for the beer distributor that I used to work for enjoyed the sayings that I used when I would go to the office in Covington, Ky, they were everyday language to me.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    June 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Wonderful post and interview. Living in West Virginia, I had already heard about this wonderful book. Would love to win it.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    June 13, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Thank you for letting us know about this book. I’ll be looking for it!

  • Reply
    Belva
    June 13, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I enjoyed the review of the book and the interview with the authoress. I love books like this that allow the reader to learn the culture and customs of others. I agree with Ms. Shank that creativity definitely needs to be considered in measuring intellect. The ability to think outside the box and take things you have available to you and create wonderful works of art from them is wonderful. I can’t wait to read the book and get to know Lydia’s story.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    June 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

    What a great interview and I’m anxious to read this book now. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Marcia Campbell
    June 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Sounds like a wonderful story, would truly love to read it!

  • Reply
    Smallgood
    June 13, 2012 at 8:25 am

    If Appalachia is the story, then it’s the kind of story I’d love to read. I bet some of my students would love it too.

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    Mike McLain
    June 13, 2012 at 8:16 am

    This sounds like an interesting book. I enjoyed the author’s comments on aptitude testing and its lack of focus on creativity. Some of the most imaginative and creative people I know would probably not score well on an aptitude test.

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    Carol Killian
    June 13, 2012 at 8:15 am

    The book sounds very interesting. Please place my name in the drawing.

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    Carol Blanton
    June 13, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Love my Appalachian heritage. Please enter me in the drawing. Have a great day. I reccommend Blind Pig to all my friends on FB.

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    Bob & Inez Jones
    June 13, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I am not from the Appalachian region, but it sounds like this book could have been written about or representing other rural cultures. This sounds like a good book that tells it like it is with a fictional twist. Great interview that makes me want to read it. Please include my name for the giveaway.Hats off to Marilyn Sue Shanks! Inez Jones

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    Canned Quilter
    June 13, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Sounds like this may be a book to check out. Thanks for the interview and post : )

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    Garthea Henson
    June 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Marilyn, I already mentioned to you earlier on FB that I’ve ordered a copy of Child of the Mountains and am looking forward to the read. It will be nice to visit “my WV home” via the pages of your story, here on Guam. I wish you great success with this 1st book of your upcoming trilology!

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    Charles Fletcher
    June 13, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Tipper,
    I enjoyed the commints of Lydia;s story. especially the way she become to write her book. Her writing began like my writing did. By being in a situtation of having something to do beside setting around. I am now 90 years old and have finished my 6th.book
    al about the stories of Western North Carolina. I have wrote these books so the younger people as well as the older to see life during the Great Depersion and WW-11.
    True, As a small writer and publisher do not expect wealth. I write because I enjoy living the stories as I remember them.
    God luck Lydia..

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    Susan C
    June 13, 2012 at 7:51 am

    This sounds like a wonderful book, and I wish Marilyn Sue every success. Hope she will be able to write her two other books. I’m going to request that our library purchase a copy. In the meantime, I’d love to be in the drawing for the book.

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    Jen
    June 13, 2012 at 7:41 am

    This sounds wonderful, Tipper. Am checking with my library as oon as it opens. Thanks for the chance to win, As well!

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    Dedra
    June 13, 2012 at 7:40 am

    The book sounds very exciting and I can’t wait to read it!!

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    Bill Burnett
    June 13, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I would love to read the book. I agree that creativity is a definite sign of intelligence and the things our Appalachain Ancestors developed and built from whatever they had available is one thing that allowed them to survive their hard existance.

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    kathryn Magendie
    June 13, 2012 at 7:33 am

    This is so close to me and to my work . . . I’m from Charleston, WVA, as well, and I’ve often said my work is a love letter to the mountains there, and here in WNC, and to the people.
    And yes, it is a labor of love – I always tell new writers “If you are doing it for money, then maybe you should think of doing something else!”
    A wonderful interview . . .

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    Kimberly Burnette
    June 13, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Since I work in a library, I am going to turn in a purchase request for the library to buy copies of this book a soon as I get to work today!
    It sounds like a great book!

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    Gary Powell
    June 13, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I like the quote about being proud of her heritage. I was born in southeast Kentucky, so technically not Apalachia, but awfully close and still proud of where I came from.

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    Mary Shipman
    June 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Thank you Tipper for the great interview and Marilyn too, for the wonderful responses.
    I an on my way to check out where to find a copy oif the book, it sounds like one I want to read!
    I am posting a link to this blog on Facebook and on my blog, I know a lot of others who would love to read it too.

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    Ed Ammons
    June 13, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I ain’t much to read fiction. Especially stories with young teens that rescue a horse or dog from the very jaws of death and nurse it back to health. And the animal goes on to win 1st place and bring in enough money to save the family farm from old Mr. Hubbs.
    But from what I see so far, thisin ain’t like that. I went to the link and read the excerpt. Might be something I’d like to read. I checked out the glossary of Appalachian words used in the book, but I wouldn’t need it. Most of the words used are exactly how I talk.
    I would have preferred that the author didn’t provide the glossary. Real Appalachian folks don’t need it and others need to figger it out on their own. You know, kinda like “paying their dues”
    So, put my name in the bucket for the drawing, please.
    Or, maybe not. Tipper, you read it right? If you recommend it, I’ll go ahead and buy it.
    So, how you like them apples?

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