Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Smoky Mountain High

The Smoky Mountains = My Heart's Home.

I recently met my Smoky Mountain Soul Sister, Kerry Madden, online. We realized we have a lot in common, particularly our love of the beautiful Smoky Mountains. We both write books for children set there.

Her latest is Louisiana's Song, which is the second of a trilogy. I haven't read it yet because I'm currently reading the first in the trilogy, Gentle's Holler. I'm loving loving loving reading about those places I'm so familiar with. She captures the setting to a tee. Her love of the mountains comes right through the pages of that book. (And you gotta love a dog named Uncle Hazard!)

I can't wait to read the others.

(My book, Me and Rupert Goody, and my upcoming novel, Greetings from Nowhere, May 2008, are also set in the Smoky Mountains.)

I grew up at the base of those mountains and have many wonderful childhood memories about my time in them. I went to summer camp there. I've sat in the backseat of my family car as it zigzagged back and forth and around and around those mountain roads. I've hiked along those mossy, fern-lined trails. I've had picnics beside the flowing mountain creeks.

I've jumped from rock to rock in those creeks and waded in the clear, icy water.

My parents loved those mountains, too. My mother spent the vacations of her youth there.

Even my grandparents spent many happy times there. Here they are in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (with an unknown person):

In the background of the above photo is one of those little mountain motels. Greetings from Nowhere is about one of those motels.

1 comment:

Kerry Madden said...

Hey Barbara,
I love that picture of your mother in the Smokies. It's so beautiful. I love those old Gatlingburg pictures too. I went to high school in Knoxville (and college) and Gatlinburg was the place to go! I swear the book jacket of GREETINGS FROM NOWHERE looks exactly like a tiny motel in Maggie. We should do an event together there sometime. Do you know Jenifer at City Lights? Or Margaret at Osondu Books in Waynesville? They are so wonderful! I'm so glad we met and thanks for you sweet blog.

All best