Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome Elaine Drennon Little and a Guest Post on "My Favorite Authors/Favorite Books"

Welcome Elaine Drennon Little, author of A Southern Place

Thank you, Elaine, for stopping by and sharing your love of books and reading with us.  Many of the titles/authors you mention definitely strike a fond remembrance for me like Tom Sawyer, To Kill a Mockingbird and the wonderful Beverly Cleary.  

Be sure to check out Elaine's favorite books that she enjoys as a "grown-up". And if you're looking for a great new read, A Southern Place looks intriguing!

My Favorite Authors/Favorite Books

I started my “book hoarding habits” (my younger daughter’s term, not mine!) at a young age. As an asthmatic child, my mother began to reward me with a couple of those “Golden Books” for children every time I had to see a doctor, which was quite often. Soon the bookmobile began stopping by every month, both encouraging and fulfilling my needs for all the Carolyn Haywood, Lois Lenski, and Beverly Cleary I could read while sneaking in and creating a second fetish for those historical biographies with the blue covers. (Whatever happened to those books? They were the bomb!) There were a few favorites I insisted on owning—The Velveteen Rabbit, Tom Sawyer, and Heidi were probably the most over-loved, but once I got past the Golden Book stage, my parents became firm supporters of the public library as a way to remedy my “book fix.”

The cards in the back pocket at the Camilla Library could prove I was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s greatest fan; I’d start with Little House in the Big Woods and read clear through to These Happy Golden Years, then start over at the beginning. I took one of those books home from each library visit until I was a teenager; when my first child was born, I bought them, one by one, reading them aloud until she was old enough to read them herself.

My teen years were a torrent of a reading affair—I learned about sex from Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon, learned what I thought was “life” from Taylor Caldwell and Janice Holt Giles, and I must have read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn a dozen times. I guess my lifelong love of Southern Fiction started then as well, Gone With the Wind, the Beulah Land series, and Peyton Place were all favorites until I read To Kill A Mockingbird, which I still today consider one of the most poignant and timely books ever written.

Life happened and my reading habits changed but never ended. I’ve held a secret torch for Pat Conroy since a work peer I thought I didn’t like brought me The Water is Wide during a hospital stay. I not only become a lifelong fan of the author, but the “giver” became and is still a close personal friend. That’s the greatest gifts that books give us, I believe; they open separate worlds with common grounds where strangers can easily relate, and even enemies can see that none of us are really that different. All that and a plot, a conflict, and characters who become your friends---what’s NOT to love?

Of grown-up authors and books, I have too many to name but I will try.
My favorite first sentence is in Peachtree Road by Anne River Siddons.
My favorite paragraph is on the last page of The Great Santini by Pat Conroy. Though I love dozens of traditional southern literary writers, I’ve only been recently been able to admit what must be my favorite book.

 There’s a book called “Liberating Paris” by Linda Bloodworth Thompson (who also wrote the TV series “Designing Women”) that has forever made me want to write about where I grew up. In A Southern Place, I wanted to do for my part of South Georgia what she did for the fictional town of Paris, Louisiana, if that’s possible. There are other books I read again every few years, Rainey by Clyde Edgerton, Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith, and of course, To Kill a Mockingbird.  I love the classic southern authors—Faulkner, Larry Brown, and more recently Ron Rash. I guess the one author who’s had the most influence on me is my friend and former college mentor, Silas House. I love all his books, and his advice and encouragement have been monumental to me.

It’s hard to put a finite ending on my favorite books and authors, because honestly, I LOVE the fact that I could easily find a new one, as important as all the rest, in what I read tomorrow, the next day, or next year. I’ve added so many must-reads to my list just from this blog tour that I could hibernate a good month or two before I come up for air. The internet, blogging, and the invention of the e-reader have given book hoarders like me a way to hide their addiction and become more possessed by it than ever, and truthfully, I’m loving it!

Here is a link to my own blog, where a list of favorites lives down the far side of it. But remember---there could and will be many more to come.

Hoarders unite---this is OUR time!

A Southern Place is a moving book that is expertly written! Mary Jane Hatcher--everyone calls her Mojo--is beat up bad. She's in the ICU of Phoebe Putney, the largest hospital in South Georgia, barely able to talk. How Mojo goes from being that skinny little girl in Nolan, a small forgotten town along the Flint River, to the young woman now fighting for her life, is where this story begins and ends.
Mojo, her mama Delores and her Uncle Calvin Mullinax, like most folks in Nolan, have just tried to make the best of it. Of course, people aren't always what they seem, and Phil Foster--the handsome, spoiled son of the richest man in the county--is no exception.
As the story of the Mullinax family unfolds, Mojo discovers a family's legacy can be many things: a piece of earth, a familiar dwelling, a shared bond. And although she doesn't know why she feels such a bond with Phil Foster, it is there all the same, family or not. And she likes to think we all have us a fresh start. Like her mama always said, the past is all just water under the bridge. Mojo, after going to hell and back, finally comes to understand what that means.

Paperback:  294 Pages
Publisher:  WiDo Publishing (August 6, 2013)
ISBN-10:  1937178390
Twitter hashtag: #ASPLittle

A Southern Place is available as a print and e- book at 

About the Author:
Adopted at birth, Elaine lived her first twenty years on her parents’ agricultural farm in rural southern Georgia.  She was a public school music teacher for twenty-seven years, and continued to dabble with sideline interests in spite of her paid profession.  Playing in her first band at age fourteen, she seemed to almost always be involved in at least one band or another.  Elaine’s writing began in high school, publishing in local newspapers, then educational journals, then later in online fiction journals.  In 2008 she enrolled in the MFA program at Spalding University in Louisville, where upon graduation finished her second novel manuscript. Recently retiring after eleven years as a high school chorus and drama director, Elaine now lives in north Georgia with her husband, an ever-growing library of used books, and many adopted animals.

Find out more about this author by visiting her online:

Author blog:
Author Faebook Page:

1 comment:

  1. Everyone who has read A Southern Place (myself included) has had great things to say about the story as well as Elaine's story telling. Enter to win but also put this on your "Tbr" pile too!!!

    Thanks Audry for hosting today!!!


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