Take my hand and let’s go back into in southern West Virginia’s history; we’ll walk with Henry Lake, grandson of slaves, as he quenches his thirst for learning and becomes “somebody.” It was my great pleasure to piece together the life of a man who lived a bit before our time (I was 4 years old when he died) just around the mountain from us on Peters Mountain near Lindside, West Virginia. Henry Lake Dickason’s life, from a rough cabin to the President’s mansion at two colleges, was one of success in spite of the obstacles placed in his path by society. I was driven to tell his story, mostly because it was inspirational and partly because his story is not well-known even in his hometown. A reader commented recently that as she read Try and Be Somebody, she began turning each page gently, as though it was sacred. That’s the way I felt as I wrote.
Forget any notion you might have that mountain women are simple-minded, clingy, or wishy-washy. Stella’s stories prove all of these stereotypes wrong. Now the stories of Stella and her man, Jonas, have been mostly told, at least enough to fill a series of three books. (I am pretty proud of that!)
In the first book, Drunk on Peace and Quiet, Stella’s life unfolds, including her rotten brother, Timmy Lee. The old folks would surely say he is the “bane of her existence.” Jonas, then her boyfriend, also comes to life, along with the Inupiaq culture from his home in Alaska. The title sums up all Stella ever wants, that giddy feeling when everything is going along smooth-like.
The second book, Hungover with Grandma, tells about Stella and Jonas getting hitched and traveling to Alaska for a wild honeymoon where Stella and Jonas’ family get to lay eyes on one another. Eventually, Timmy Lee gets to meet Stella’s mother-in-law, too.
In Pick Your Poison, the final book (so far), Stella fights the devil pipeline company and goes on her first vacation with her husband. Timmy Lee, bad penny that he is, turns up throughout all the books and his karma is not good. But, that’s all I’m going to say about that.
I have been asked if Stella is real and I always answer, “Of course not!” She does have little bits of the personalities of people I have known and admired, people close to the land who think about things and are determined to handle their own problems head-on. They know who they are, right and wrong in their minds are black and white, and they know how to keep their mouths shut, remarkable qualities in our ever-changing world. I thought I was writing books to entertain and help readers escape but I ended up just sharing parts of real life in my mountains. Maybe that’s an escape for some of y’all. I hope so. If you have a question or a comment, holler at me in these electronic comments anytime.
And now, check out my blog for more information and updates.
Very unexpected good news today – Try and Be Somebody was chosen as a finalist in the 2019 New Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA)! It is gratifying to have the story of Dr. Henry Lake Dickason and my alma mater, Bluefield State College, recognized by a national...read more
I am happy to announce that my latest book, “Pick Your Poison” is an award winner! “We are excited to announce that the book “Pick Your Poison" has won the Bronze/3rd Place award in the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program for the Romance category! Congratulations...read more
In the weeks before Christmas, my personal email account is chock full of so-called bargains. I giggle and scroll at some of the products selected for my viewing, like exotic cigars and remote control helicopters. But, some of the offers are solid and just what I want...read more
It's that time! The third novel in the Stella and Jonas series will be available this week! Titled Pick Your Poison, it continues the adventures of Stella alongside her hubby Jonas in the mountains of West Virginia. They are apprehensive about the reappearance of her...read more
The third book in the Stella and Jonas series is nearly finished! I say that knowing there will be dozens of more hours spent editing and formatting, but the end is near. The story is coming to a close and I think Stella is happy. She has been a great companion and...read more
Miss Mary Mary Beatrice Hargro Ross, my good friend, passed away the day after her 87th birthday, back in January. I had known her for nearly forty years. Her health failed suddenly. Mary was one of the few people still with us who had known Dr. H.L.Dickason, the...read more
“She had never wanted to be a writer in the first place, but it was just inside her and happened.”read more
I was honored to be asked to sign my latest book, Try and Be Somebody," at the annual Monroe County Historical Society Wine and Cheese Party at Salt Sulphur Springs, WV. Over a hundred people attended, some in Civil War era clothing. The setting was delightful:...read more
Want to find out more about Dr. Dickason, the subject of my latest,Try and Be Somebody? Check out these links: http://www.bdtonline.com/gallery/video-dr-henry-lake-dickason-honored-in-lindside-sunday-may/video_88e655cc-07e4-11e5-93b6-cbf4e25b8242.html...read more
The evening air cools down quickly these days as the sun retreats below the mountains. Brightly colored maple leaves carpet our yard and the football announcer can be heard as we drive through Peterstown on Saturday nights. Fall is here! I look forward to the whirl...read more