Today we have author Sally Wright visiting. Welcome!
What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Edgar Alan Poe Award Finalist Sally Wright has studied rare books, falconry, early explorers, painting restoration, WWII Tech-Teams, the Venona Code, and much more, to write her university-archivist-ex-WWII-Ranger books about Ben Reese, who’s based on a real person. Breeding Ground, Wright’s most recent novel, is the first in her new Jo Grant mystery series, which has to do with the horse industry in Lexington, Kentucky. Wright is now finishing the second Jo Grant novel.
* Sally and her husband have two children, three young grandchildren, and a highly entertaining boxer dog, and live in the country in northwestern Ohio.
Today Sally Wright will be talking about books she read that had a big impact on her.
* I know I loved the story about otters playing on a river bank in a book about all kinds of animals called The Crooked Little Path (which must be decades out of print) that both my parents read to me. I wanted it read over and over, and I can still see my dad, in a wingback chair, falling asleep with the book in his hands.
* Winnie The Pooh, read by my mother, who – though she probably never recognized it – was one of the world’s great natural born readers. She couldn’t have done accents or dialects, but she had a deep grasp of the subtlety in the characterizations that A.A. Milne managed. She saw the wonderful humor in his depictions of the self-delusions of Eeyore and Rabbit, and Pooh and Piglet and Roo, and certainly Tigger too, and she could read about them in such a kindly, and yet pointed way, that a little child saw the humor too. She used the stories to teach me about human nature, with gentleness and sympathy, while calling a spade a spade, and discussing what the writer was telling us so I could learn to apply it to me, as well as others too.
* My grandfather read me all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books – Little House In The Big Woods, Little House On The Prarie et. al. – in the early fifties, when I was young, even after I knew how to read, and I know I loved those.
* So. Having hedged the question, what was the first book that had a big impact on me? I think it’s hard to limit it to one from this great distance. I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but secretly thought they were all a bit lame. I read Les Miserables, and was greatly moved by that, plus the Three Musketeers and the rest of that series, which actually left me cold, in the long run, aside from the thrill of the adventures. The Man In The Iron Mask made a definite impact. It made me think about revenge long and hard. And Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca in particular, made me obsessed with place. Setting is super important to me, and I think that book made me consider it deeply, especially once I’d read her autobiography, though I read her other books as well. I read a lot of Margaret Laurence in high school, and Dorothy L. Sayers starting about then, having not been terrible interested in Agatha Christie because I found the supporting characters pretty much cardboard cutouts. When I started writing mysteries myself, then I paid better attention to Christie’s mastery of plot.
* Sayers’ Wimsey, I thought, got better and better as the plots got longer and more complex, when his language got less encrusted by the excesses of the twenties, and Harriett Vane appeared on the scene.
* So have I answered your question? Not very well, even though I’ve limited myself to my early years of reading. Some of my very earliest memories are definitely about books and their effect on me, both while I’m reading them, as well as the lasting impact, once I’ve mulled them over.
* I know I wanted to be a writer by the time I was five or six. But then that shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’m the kind of person who sees something on the street, or has an interesting conversation, and I can’t wait to tell someone else the story of what happened. Which is what it means to be a storyteller, and why I do what I do.
* Everybody isn’t like that. I can see it on my kids’ faces, when I launch into a tale of something I can’t wait to share, and they smile and roll their eyes, and all but pat me on the back.
A look into…
~ Blurb ~
* It wasn’t until thirty years after the attacks, and the lies, and the intricately orchestrated death, that Jo Grant Munro could bring herself to describe it all in Behind The Bonehouse. Her work as an architect, and the broodmare farm she ran with her uncle, and her husband Alan’s entire future – all hung by a thread in 1964 in the complex Thoroughbred culture of bluegrass Kentucky, where rumor and gossip and the nightly news can destroy a person overnight, just like anywhere else. It was hatred in a self-obsessed soul, fermenting in an equine lab, boiling over and burning what it touched, that drove Jo and Alan to the edge of desperation while they fought through what they faced.
~ Excerpt ~
* When I was lying in the hospital three months or so ago, after the boys and their children had gone home, Alan came back and kissed my forehead, and said, “It’s time you wrote it down.” He handed me a spiral notebook. Which I set on the bedside table without saying a word.
* I didn’t have to ask what he meant. Even after I’d finished writing Breeding Ground, when I wanted to tell a whole lot more of what we’ve watched here in horse country, this memory wasn’t one I could touch. And what you won’t look at festers, especially since I’d been putting off lancing it for a good many years with conscious intent.
* Once I got home, and got stronger again, I got busy with every other part of my life. Till one night I dreamt about the river, and woke up sick and sweating, and it came to me, the way it always has, when I’ve made a decision in my subconscious mind, that the time had come to get it done.
* It started thirty-two years ago, months before the wounding in the river, when the Woodford County Sheriff Alan and I saw as a friend stood right here on the family farm saying words that tore our lives asunder without looking us in the eye.
* It’d grown out of something we’ve all had happen—lies getting told about you by someone with implacable intent. Malicious intent, in this case, because it was no misunderstanding. It was someone setting out to twist the truth toward his own perverse purpose. It was his word and deeds against ours, which has always been part of living in this world, and will be till the last of us gets over being human.
* I’d just turned thirty-four when it happened, and I didn’t have the experience then to put it in perspective. I need to try now, while I still can, because the disease that’s started eating into me makes delay a kind of denial.
Buy Behind the Bonehouse here…
Thank you for joining us here today, Sally Wright! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Sally Wright will be awarding copies of several of Sally Wright’s books to a randomly drawn U.S. (only) winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter the drawing. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!