Today on my blog, I’m going to talk with the Lydia Hawkins, the heroine of Child of the Mountains.
1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?
It’s hard for me to talk about all the goings on in my life. My mama’s in jail on account of what them hospital folks think she done to my brother. It ain’t right, though. My mama’s the best mama in the whole world, and I miss her something fierce. Since my brother BJ and my Gran died and Mama went to prison, I been living with Uncle William and Aunt Ethel Mae. They be nice enough, I guess, but they don’t know squat about taking care of a kid. I just keep on trying to figure out how to get Mama out of jail.
2. What made you want your story to be told?
I been writing about the goings on in a spiral notebook I keep hid under my mattress so Aunt Ethel Mae won’t find it. I have to have some way to sort out all them feelings that keep a-simmering away inside of me like a pot of stew. I can’t even think about letting nobody read my notebook right now. Maybe if things get better someday I’ll let some other kids read it if it helps them be strong during hard times.
3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?
Lots of changes happened to me that I had nary a thing to do with. But I finally figured out who I be. Like the Good Book says, the truth done set me free, and that changed a whole heap of things in my life.
4. In your life, what has empowered you?
Does that mean to give me power? Me and Mama believe (Gran and BJ did, too) that God gived us a Comforter inside of us called the Holy Spirit. He gives us power to do whatever God wants us to do in this life. Gran and Mama always seemed to have wise words that I try real hard to recollect, too.
5. What are strengths and weaknesses?
Mr. Hinkle says I be a real good writer and a good rememberer. He told me he thinks I should graduate high school and go to college someday. Can you imagine that? But a lot of times I feel real weak from missing Mama and Gran and BJ. Sometimes I shut the door to my room and cry and cry. I feel right ashamed that I ain’t stronger.
6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.
I would love to be like Anne of Green Gables. She was real strong when she had to take care of all them kids, and she didn’t have no one to love her. She was real brave about telling people just what she thought of them. Maybe I’ll learn to be more like her.
7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?
I ain’t much of a young woman yet myself. The way of women just comed on me not too long ago. Maybe this here Bible verse Gran had me rememorize will help: “Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. For the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest.”
8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made Heaven and Earth.”
9. If your story had a theme song, what would it be?
10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form? (another book featuring this heroine)
Marilyn stepping in here—Lydia doesn’t know the next step in her journey in this dialog: I’m working on a sequel. Lydia’s life changes dramatically in high school. She’s living on Edgewood in Charleston (the capital of WV) and money is no longer an issue. She struggles with her identity as she tries to conform to her new life and expectations of peers. Also, in CHILD OF THE MOUNTAINS, she promises that she will never allow something to happen when she grows up, but she does allow that very thing to happen, with frightening consequences.
I would love to see Lydia’s story as a trilogy. In the third book, she returns to the hills to teach after graduating from college. Her fiancé is fighting in Vietnam, and Lydia is confused about her feelings regarding the war. The diverse viewpoints of the eclectic parents of the children she teaches add to her confusion. Will her fiancé survive the war? At this point, I don’t know.
11. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life? ( a book featuring a character in the current book)
Because I don’t want to give away the end of CHILD OF THE MOUNTAINS, I will say that you will see some of the characters from the first story in the sequel. Okay, I will say that Ears will be in the second story.
I’d like to thank Lydia and Marilyn for being willing to be interviewed for The Self-Rescue Princess. If you’d like to get to know the wonderful author of Child of the Mountains, stop by her website www.marilynsueshank.com .