I was born and raised in the South and to this day reside in South Carolina with my dashing husband, crotchety cat and nimble Jack Russell. My first novel, Remember Della, definitely reflects that Southern upbringing; and like Katherine, my main protagonist, I am also a child of the fifties.
I have enjoyed reading my entire life and relish childhood memories of long, languid summers spent in lawn chairs beneath shady old trees—my best friend and I devouring one library book after another. I hope to be proof of the old adage that everyone has at least one good book in them—but suppose that remains to be seen. You, the reader, will be the judge of that.
Drawing and painting have always been passions of mine, but I had never tried my hand at writing until my mother passed away several years ago. During my grieving process I found that painting was not keeping my mind as busy as I would have liked. Painting allowed me too much time to think. So in an attempt to ease my sadness, I decided to try a new creative outlet. The result was a 24,000 word children's chapter book (as yet unpublished) and a newfound love—writing! In fact, I am in love with the entire writing process, especially the part where I get to tell really tall tales—and get away with it . . .
Kat, a “slightly" psychic sixteen-year-old, begins having disturbingly persistent dreams. Dreams of a yellow scarf - with a seeming life of its own - which taunts her and haunts her every dream. Dreams about Della, a fellow classmate, who to this point has remained all but invisible to any and every one at school. Kat eventually comes to the realization that until she unravels the mystery surrounding that “dagblasted” creepy yellow scarf and this girl she hardly knows, she'll not have another night’s rest. What Kat soon discovers is that she is the only person in Della’s life (including the girl’s mother and stepfather) who recognizes - or will admit - Della has simply vanished, gone “splitsville"! And Kat is helpless as her life becomes indelibly intertwined with Della’s – so much so, that she will carry the emotional scars for years to come.
Kat is surrounded by an extremely colorful cast of characters. You will meet: long-time friend and recent love interest, Em; Kat’s precocious eight-year-old brother, Gordy; her feisty octogenarian neighbor, Mrs. Harper and a chain smoking waitress named Clovis. All who, for various reasons, join Kat’s desperate quest to help a girl she hardly knows and to find answers to questions that, with any luck, will bring her the peace she seeks – the biggest question on her mind being, “Why me?”
“Remember Della” - which is predominately set in the South during the mid-fifties - is chock full of facts, trivia and slang from that era. While an entertaining read, I believe this book addresses bullying - both physical and emotional - in a fresh and unique way during a time before such issues were “labeled” as unacceptable or problematic.
I sat at the kitchen table while Momma contemplated what to do
with the ground beef thawing out on the counter. She settled on
goulash and was checking the pantry to see if she had all the ingredients
when it occurred to her she hadn’t heard a peep out of Gordy.
The quietude must have alerted her to his absence.
She turned to me, “Where’s Gordy—up in his room?”
I shook my head no. “He’s not home yet.”
She checked her watch and asked, “Did you hear his bus come
“No’m. It’s probably running late.”
“Gordy should be home by now, Katherine.” She gave me a doubtful
look and asked, “You’re sure his bus hasn’t come by?”
The look of concern on her face was fleeting, and we both cringed
as Gordy heralded his arrival by slamming the front door so hard the
house shook. Momma yelled at the top of her lungs, “Gordy!” When
he came barreling through the doorway she asked, “How many times
have I told you not to slam the door like that? You’ve already taken a
minimum of ten years off my life!”
He never even heard a word she said because he was talking louder
and faster than his customary mile-a-minute. His words practically
ran together as he said, “You shoulda seen it! Sammy Spellman
throwed up all over prissy ol’ Becky Taylor on the bus! We had beets
for lunch an’ Sammy ate a whole bowl of ‘em. I bet that’s what made
him throw up. He says he likes ‘em, but I don’t believe it for a minute.
I think he just eats ‘em to show off. But the really good part is
Sammy’s throw-up was all red—like he was throwing up blood! Then
ol’ Becky started crying an’ everything, and Cindy Walker started
gagging ‘cause throw-up splattered all over her shoes an’ then she
throwed up. It was so cool! They were sitting across the aisle from
me, an’ I got to see it all. And Becky, with her weirdo-self, told Mikey
Olson she was gonna wipe throw up on him ‘cause he laughed
at her. And the bus driver had to stop the bus an’ calm everybody
down. It was Coolsville!
I could see Momma was trying to keep a straight face as she said,
“Gordy that’s enough—there’s nothing cool about someone throwing
beets up all over the place.”
“Well I couldn’t be sure, but from the smell of it I think Sammy
must’ve been sick at both ends. I tell–”
“Gordy!!!” Gordy was treading on very thin ice.
“It’s the truth! It was gross I tell ya. Gross enough to gag a maggot!
Everybody sitting around ‘em looked like they were gonna
puke—’cept me. The bus driver made everybody get off, and
the monitor had to go to somebody’s house to call for another
bus and for Sammy an’ Becky an’ Cindy’s parents to come and
“Dear Lord, I hope Sammy’s not contagious.” And in spite of the fact
we weren’t Catholic, Momma crossed herself.
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