, a spinoff/standalone, is the haunting story of Miss Birdie Gentry, a beloved character from the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries.
Advance praise for The Day of Small Things ~
from Deborah Crombie, New York Times best-selling author of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mysteries:
"Vicki Lane is one of the best American novelists writing today. In The Day of Small Things, she has once again rendered a lyrical, evocative, and haunting portrait of life in the Appalachians, both past and present. And in Birdie, she has given us a character who will steal your heart and stay with you for a long time to come. I loved this book--The Day of Small Things will definitely make my short list for 2010."
ABOUT THE ELIZABETH GOODWEATHER BOOKS~
Lane's work has been praised for authentic dialogue, evocative detail, and rich, clear, intelligent writing that captures the essence of the Carolina mountains and their people. The first two books SIGNS IN THE BLOOD and ART'S BLOOD have been translated into French.
The third book, OLD WOUNDS, was a Book Sense Notable and a nominee for the SIBA(Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) Book Award for Fiction
The fourth book, IN A DARK SEASON, hit the SIBA bestseller list on the week of its release, was a finalist for the Romantic Times Best Contemporary Mystery of 2008, and a 2009 Anthony nominee for Best Paperback Original.
But the praise Vicki finds sweetest is that of her neighbors who tell her she ‘got it right’ in her dialect and description and even go so far as to say, “We’re glad you moved here.”
BRIEF BIO ~
Vicki Lane is the author The Day of Small Things (coming September 28, 2010) and of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries which include Signs in the Blood, Art's Blood, Old Wounds, and In A Dark Season. Vicki lives with her family on a mountain farm in North Carolina where she is at work on a fifth Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery, Under the Skin, coming from Bantam Dell in 2011.
EXTENDED BIO ~
Vicki Lane is the author The Day of Small Things (coming September 28, 2010) and of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries which include Signs in the Blood,, Art's Blood, Old Wounds, and In A Dark Season. Vicki lives with her family on a mountain farm in North Carolina where she is at work on a fifth Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mystery, Under the Skin, coming from Bantam Dell in 2011.
Vicki and her husband moved to the mountains in 1975 – which makes them new people” in a county where farms still in the same family after seven generations are not unusual. Though both had been teachers in Florida, they immersed themselves in the rural life, learning from their neighbors how to milk cows, churn butter, plow with mules, butcher pigs, raise tobacco and beef cattle, as well as the hundreds of other minutiae of a farm life that had changed little in a hundred years.
She no longer keeps pigs or a milk cow but Vicki still tends a large garden, a smaller salad and herb garden, and is continually adding to the flowers that threaten someday to get totally out of hand. She cans, freezes, and dries garden produce for family use. A family flock of chickens provide lovely brown and blue- green eggs. Four dogs, two cats, and several fish ponds add to the general merriment.
The farm, the woods, and the people of Vicki’s adopted county are all reflected in the world of Elizabeth Goodweather. “I think that, as an outsider, I sometimes see more clearly the wonderful things that people who grew up here take for granted.”
“We were so lucky to be able to make a choice about where and how we would live. I know there were those who thought we were crazy for choosing to live as we did. For the first several years, we didn’t have indoor plumbing (gasp!). And I felt a little bad one dark night as I handed my four year old a flashlight and sent him out the door to the outhouse. But when he came back, his eyes were wide with wonder and he said, ‘City kids don’t get to hear owls when they go to the outhouse.’ I knew then we’d made the right decision.
And I know it today because that same boy and his wife, after a five year stint working for a publishing company in Atlanta, moved back to one of two rental houses on our farm, from which they telecommuted to the Atlanta jobs for a number of years till their company required their physical presence once more. Our younger son, with his honors degree in philosophy, lives in the other house and supports himself by carpentry and beautiful artistic rock work. My husband takes care of the farm in the summer and does woodworking in the winter. For us, this is the good life.”
MY PUBLICIST ~
Publicist │ Ballantine Bantam Dell
The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Our First Night in the Mountains
When my husband and I first came to North Carolina, some people said we were a part of the back to the land movement – we just knew we had to get out of Florida. We both came from pioneer families down there – my father’s people (all horse thieves, Daddy said) were of the same Scotch-Irish stock that settled western North Carolina.
Florida had been a wonderful place to grow up but by the seventies the population was increasing at a horrendous pace and the secluded lakefront property where we had built our own home was being surrounded by suburban sprawl creeping out from Tampa. So we packed our eleven month old son and a bunch of camping gear into a big blue Chevy Blazer and set out to find a place in the country. We thought we might go as far as Canada But first we stopped in western North Carolina to visit a college friend of mine who, with her husband and their baby, had recently moved to a mountain farm.
Our first night there, my husband went with my friend’s husband and his two brothers to a little music festival in a place called Sodom. (My friend and I opted to stay home with our young children.) My husband John didn’t know the other men at all and was a little taken aback when he saw one of them put a pint bottle of whiskey into one pocket of his overalls and then a pistol into another.
John told me later how the car swerved around the curves heading up Lonesome Mountain – where the Vista worker was murdered, one brother told him. The bottle of whiskey was being passed around and the brother at the wheel (a non-drinker, thank god) was singing at the top of his voice, “There was whiskey and blood on the highway/ But I didn’t hear nobody pray.”
When they came down into the Sodom community, they weren’t sure just where the festival was so they stopped at a little country store. They all went in – after riding in the backseat on those winding roads John was happy to get out and walk around while he still could.
The store, a local hangout, was full of hard-looking men in overalls. They all stopped talking when the four bearded hippie types came in. One of the brothers asked for directions to the music festival and they were told how to get there.
Breathing a small sigh of relief they turned to go back to the car. Just then the biggest, roughest looking one of the men in the store called out, ‘Boys --- don’t you never turn your back on no one from Sodom.’
When my husband told me the story the next day, I fell in love with the rural county that is now our home.