Title: Remember Della
Author : Cynthia Mock Burroughs
Release date: January 21st 2015
Synopsis (according to Goodreads)
Before the dreams, sixteen-year-old Katherine would have said the biggest problems in her life were too much homework; Gordy, her pesky eight-year-old brother; and a mom and stepdad who fought like cats and dogs.
As far back as Katherine can remember, she’s had what some might call “portentous” dreams, but they never left her questioning her soundness of mind. So why is her sleep being disrupted, night after night, by increasingly disturbing dreams of a yellow scarf, and why are dreams of a girl named Della invading her slumber, as well?
How far will sleep-starved Katherine go to salvage her sanity and make the dreams go away? Nothing seems to be out of the question once she discovers who Della is and that no one, including the girl’s mother and step-father, recognizes—or will admit—Della has simply vanished (gone “splitsville”!). Katherine decides if she has to lie, steal, break into someone’s home, or include her blackmailing little brother in her search for answers, then so be it.
What Katherine finds will intertwine her life so indelibly with Della’s, she will carry the emotional scars for years to come.
In her desperate quest for the truth, Katherine is joined by an extremely colorful cast of characters, including long-time friend and recent love interest, Em; Mrs. Harper, her octogenarian neighbor; a chain-smoking waitress named Clovis; and her precocious brother, Gordy.
Remember Della, similar in style to The Secret Life of Bees and To Kill a Mockingbird, is a mystery with a paranormal twist. The story, which takes place in the South during the mid-fifties, is chock-full of facts, trivia and slang from that era. While an entertaining read, this book addresses bullying and abuse—both physical and emotional—in a fresh and unique way during a time before such issues were “labeled” unacceptable and problematic.
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Interview with author
* How do you name your characters? As you are writing or after it’s finished?
I give my characters names either before or as I am writing.
Even though Remember Della is my first published novel, I am working on four other manuscripts which are in varying degrees of completion. So I have actually dealt with the pleasurable task of giving my characters names, more than once.
When writing, I don’t outline my story as some authors do, but mentally I have a very strong concept of the story and how it will end. My main protagonists and antagonists – along with their personalities – are already developed in my mind and I try to give them a name that I feel suits those personalities. Though I’m not of the mindset that those names are set in stone, I have yet to rename any of my characters in the process.
* What advice would you give to someone who is starting to write a book?
Get the story down. Don’t bog yourself down with either research or editing on your first draft. There will be plenty of time to concern yourself with those things later.
* Where is your favorite place to write?
In our guest bedroom, of all places! I don’t know what it is about that room, but I am drawn to it – particularly when working on a first draft. Whether it’s the energy of the room or the quietude, I feel especially creative in that space. So even though it looks a little out of place, I put a desk and comfortable chair in that room for just that purpose.
I might add that my husband is building me a tree house (complete with electricity), and I have a feeling it will become my new favorite place to write.
* What is your writing environment like? IE: Quiet, Loud
I must have quiet when writing. I do occasionally like a little low background music, something New Agey and meditational. No words! I also have a lava lamp that I like to focus on while thinking.
* Best piece of advice you have ever received?
I first published Remember Della in 2011 as an eBook. In my naiveté, I thought all I had to do – as in Kevin Costner’s movie, “Field of Dreams” – was write it and they, “my public”, would come (in droves).
Well, I did absolutely nothing to promote my book – and they absolutely did not come. Then a wise soul pointed out to me, not long ago, that my book was my child. She said that just as I was my children’s advocate when they were young, I must become my book’s advocate. Then she proceeded to educate me as to value of social media and book bloggers. Her advice really stuck! So I pulled Remember Della off the shelf, revised it, gave it a new cover – and here I am now.
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 . . .