Thursday, February 18, 2016

Alabama Author Event and Visit with Carolyn Haines

by Linda Thorne

Our Middle Tennessee chapter of Sisters in Crime has been trying to get Mississippi Delta writer, Carolyn Haines, up for a visit for some time. She was a real hit when she met with us here in Nashville six or seven years ago. Travel for Haines is not easy with the twenty-one pets she cares for in her Lucedale, Mississippi home. Besides her responsibility for the many animals, she works as a professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama. She also puts out a number of new books on a regular basis including ones under the author name of R.B. Chesterton.

Carolyn Haines decided against coming to Nashville this year, but she surprised us with a nice invitation to visit her world in the Mobile, Alabama area where she teaches. A number of our members could not make the out-of-state trip, but those of us who could jumped at the chance. She worked with the president of the Mobile Writers Guild, Craig Price, and they arranged for us to speak to their group of published authors, readers, and aspiring writers. Here's a picture with Craig Price arriving Monday February 8th at the meeting held at the Somi Club House. More members arrived shortly afterward.
I was with Beth (Jaden) Terrell, our outgoing chapter president and Robert Mangeot, our incoming chapter president, and fellow Sisters in Crime member, Michelle Honick. We enjoyed interacting with the group, answering questions, and listening to their stories. I learned a lot from being there.                                                               

Michelle to the left

Beth, Robert, and me on the right

After the speaking gig, we joined Carolyn Haines and some of her students at Los Arcos  Restaurant. Some students left us pieces of their work to critique.
The day before, Sunday, I'd driven to nearby Ocean Springs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I stopped for brunch at the Bayview Gourmet where one of the scenes in my debut novel took place.

I left the restaurant and headed for the location where I'd staged a number of scenes in my book and took pictures. The pictures here show the street signs for the crossing of Halstead Road and East
Beach Drive and the entranceway into the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory just east of this junction. In  one of the climax chapters, my protagonist walks east through this entryway (above picture to the right) and turns right (south) finding a crime scene near the gulf waters.

My next stop was the Southern Bound Book Shop in Biloxi where they agreed to carry my book, Just Another Termination in their Biloxi and Ocean Springs stores. Barnes and Noble in Gulfport, MS also agreed to carry Just Another Termination.

That evening, we had dinner with Carolyn Haines at Wintzell's Oyster House in Mobile.
Starting from left front around the table to right front: Me, Beth (Jaden) Terrell, Carolyn Haines, Michelle Honick, Michelle's friend who lives in Mobile, and Robert (Bob) Mangeot.

Thank you Carolyn Haines for the fun and the opportunity. Thank you Craig Price and all the folks at the Mobile Writers Guild and the Somi Club House for your interest and hospitality.


Morgan Mandel said...

Looks like a great time! It's always fun to connect with other authors. I'm glad you made progress in getting the bookstores to carry your book!

Carolyn said...

It was such a pleasure to get to talk with all of you, and my students were very excited. If any of you had time to read the student work and have comments, let me know and I'll give you my mailing address. They were eager to hear your opinions, if you have time. It's such a wonderful thing for students to get a published writer to guide them a little.

Thank you all for taking the time.

Linda Thorne said...

Thank you Morgan and Carolyn. Carolyn, I'd be glad to mail the critiques to you. I was thinking of looking for your Lucedale address online.