Monday, August 17, 2009

Celebrating the Gone From These Woods Countdown

Today is August 17, 2009, and I'm back to counting down the days until August 25, the official publication date of my debut novel, GONE FROM THESE WOODS. Even though I haven't posted a note about GFTW here (in my countdown series anyway) for the past few days while I was on vacation, I was still counting down, as you can imagine!

So, a few days have gone by without a note. If we don't count today, we have seven more days until P-day! I'll try to find time to post at least seven more notes.

In my last note, I talked about chapter one of GFTW. Today, we'll move on to chapter two. One of the most interesting things about chapter two, which begins on page 14 of this 192 page book, is that this particular chapter two wasn't in my original manuscript. The chapter two you see in the published book was added by me during an approximately eight month long rewrite at the request of my editor, Michelle Poploff. In fact, I probably added about four new chapters to my book, in part to flesh out the adult characters, at Michelle's request.

One of the characters who first appears (but is mentioned earlier) in chapter two is Frank Hooper, the neighbor who drives up in his pickup truck full of barking dogs. Frank was a later addition to my book and is based on the late George Langdale, a man who owned almost 70 acres of land behind my family's land, and who used to drive by me when I was doing my early morning exercise walks around the area. I was very pleased to put George in my book as Frank. He was quite a character in real life and works well in my fictional story, too. While I was at it, I grabbed his truck and his dogs and put them in my story.

Pay close attention to the world around you. What you need for your fictional stories may be walking by, or driving by, or barking at you right now!

Winterville Historic District Heritage Walk

Here's an opportunity to learn more about the city of Winterville, Georgia, the town I've lived in since 1992. I also lived in the Winterville community, outside the city limits, for several years as a child and young adult, starting at age 11, and attended sixth grade at Winterville Elementary School, in the old building that presently houses RESA.

There are two tour dates:

Sunday, September 6 @ 2 pm

Saturday, October 10 @ 10 am

Here's more information about the tours and the tour guide, my friend, Mary Quinn, daughter of our former longtime Winterville City Clerk, Helen Williams.

Winterville grew up around the 6-mile station of the Georgia Railroad between Athens and Union Point, a route known as the “Athens Branch” which began operating in 1841. The station was a water stop and the beginning of a bustling community of banks, mercantile stores, doctors and, of course, a cotton gin. Incorporated in 1904, the City of Winterville is a circle, one-mile in radius, located entirely within Clarke County, but its 1,061 citizens are only a small part of the larger zip code known as Winterville which includes portions of three counties—Clarke, Oglethorpe, and Madison.

The tour includes numerous and diverse historical structures such as the recently renovated train depot; the Carter-Coile Doctor’s Museum; a blacksmith shop; the old Winterville High School—home of the state’s first home economics program; and several period homes all located within an area included in the National Register of Historic Places. Tour goers will walk portions of the abandoned railroad designated to become “The Firefly”—a 38-mile walking and cycling trail extending from downtown Athens to Union Point. This tour will last approximately 1½ to 2 hours.

Your tour guide:

Mary Quinn resides on Main Street in Winterville, her residence a nineteenth-century home built by the Georgia Railroad. Born just a mile away in neighboring Oglethorpe County, Mary’s family moved away from the family farm and into Winterville and Clarke County in 1960 where she attended Winterville Elementary School, Athens Junior High and High Schools and the University of Georgia. Quinn retired from a career in accounting in 2000 and enjoys various public service roles. She is a council member and mayor pro tem for the City of Winterville, director and volunteer of the Winterville Marigold Festival, Friend of the Winterville Library, trustee and treasurer of the Winterville United Methodist Church, volunteer with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and a volunteer in the Athens to Union Point Rails-to-Trails Collaborative. Quinn also served as a member of the SPLOST2005 Citizen’s Advisory and Oversight Committees.


ACHF Member: $12 / Non-member: $15

10 or more series tickets: $10. Pre-purchase 10+ tickets and make reservations later. No refunds.

Order forms are at

Please Note: Tours are generally limited to 25 people and paid reservations will be accepted on a first come/first serve basis. All sales are final. Tours will be held rain or shine. Please provide an e-mail address in order to receive tour updates, instructions and your order confirmation. No tickets will be mailed.

Questions? E-mail or call 706-353-1801.

My advice? Get your tickets early!