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The Truth About Grace – a beginning

October 27, 2016

Those of you who know me or follow this blog, may know that I have talked about starting a sequel to The Pecan Man for years. The character of Grace has haunted me…I loved her so much and hated what happened to her throughout her life. The character was partially inspired by my sister’s battle with addiction, and I knew the devastating effects of drugs on the family unit. Ours was torn apart by the destruction. People would always ask me if Grace would be all right, and I never knew what to answer. I’ve always hoped so, but I also know that there are no guarantees, and there are rarely bright, rosy, happy endings in life no matter how much we want them.

My sister died of a drug overdose on October 17, 2015. She was caring for her three very young grandchildren because their mother, my niece, was in jail on drug related charges. The children were left unattended for hours after my sister had a drug-induced stroke and died. My mother, who had done all the wrong things for all the right reasons for years and years and years, was devastated by the loss of her firstborn child, and by the circumstances of her death. She never recovered from that heartbreak and her health began to fail rapidly. I lost my mom in February of 2016 and I, too, am battling a heartbreak that is debilitating at best. In early September, about a week before I graduated from college, my niece also died of a drug overdose, just hours after she had been arrested yet again on outstanding charges. It has been a rough year.

Despite the trauma, I managed to finish my undergraduate program at Goddard College and graduated in September with a BFA in Creative Writing. My senior thesis focused on Southern Women Writers and our tendency to feel compelled to tell our mothers’ stories. While much of my critical context paper had been written prior to Mom falling ill, the revisions were made from her hospital room where I stayed as much as I could with her in her final days. In many ways, I was living my thesis, and it was the most difficult thing I had ever done, before losing her.

As part of the program, I also finished my second novel, What Matters in Mayhew, and published it this month on So, I have been left trying to decide what to do next. The book I just published is intended to be the first in what I call The Beanie Bradsher Series, so it would make sense to start the second novel right away. But this morning, I woke up with Gracie on my mind, so I got up and just started in on it. Though only a few pages are written so far, I thought I would let y’all know that I may have had a breakthrough that will allow this story to continue. I hope so. Y’all pray for me, okay?





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  1. I am midway through The Pecan Man, and I am finding it hard to set the book down. I absolutely love it! What rich characters they all are! They are characters I truly care about.

    Wow, such losses you have experienced, and in so short a time. I cannot imagine your heartbreak.

    May it encourage your heart to know that I think you are a terrific writer. Yours is the first book in months that I have actually connected with and that I care about finishing.

    Patti Gardner

  2. Cindy permalink

    I found The Pecan Man on amazon quite by accident and I am so glad I did! I enjoyed it thoroughly and fell for the characters completely, especially Grace. Having just found your blog, I want to encourage you: Drug addiction can have a happy ending. My sister beat alcohol and drug addiction after many years of being trapped in its clutches. She is an inspiration and has lived the last 20 years free from the devastating effects of her earlier life. I hope Grace finds her own inner strength as you tell her story–it would seem only fitting. You’ve poured so much love into her character… Besides, if she doesn’t conquer it, you’d be letting the bad guy win (and we can’t have that, can we?!).

    • Hi, Cindy! You should know that I’m already quoting you on this when I talk to readers about the sequel. I will be working toward this for sure, but I know my writing style and I cannot make any promises. LOL I am so happy your sister made it out of that awful cycle. Mine simply never did. But you’re right…I love these characters and I want her to be okay. Y’all just keep me in prayer while I write, wouldja? Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I don’t know if readers are aware how much we appreciate feedback, encouragement, and comments. Means the world to me and I thank you.


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