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I have a theory that Southern Literature deals with the three "R's" (relatives, race, and religion). In my novel, all three are parts of the whole.

A Time to Sow and A Time to Reap is set in Graymont, Georgia. As you will find, Graymont is no longer on the map; it was combined with an adjoining town, Summit, and is now called Twin City. The joining took place in 1921; my story takes place thirty years later, in 1950.

As a child, I lived on a farm much like the Vaughn Place. It was located on the line of Candler and Emanuel Counties. We were sharecroppers, and those were hard times. Yet, now I see the good side of hardship that escaped me then: We had fresh-grown produce, still-warm eggs straight from the nest, and cornmeal ground from our own corn. Syrup from sugar cane we grew ourselves, and sweet potatoes we dug from our own garden plot. Yes, I thought we were poor. Now, in hindsight, I see how rich we really were.

I hasten to mention that my book is a novel, so all the 'people' are fictional. However, after reading the book most readers say, "I know these people." (And, I do think of them as "my people.") But, no, they are not my relatives. And I am thankful for that in some cases!
(Though the home-town doctor, James Lanier, is a man I would be happy to call a relative.)

So, suffice to say, the residents of Graymont and the farms which surround it, are a combination of people in other small towns where I have lived. I believe most writers will say that we writers are sponges, soaking up conversations, collecting quirky, heroic, flawed, and ordinary people who will later inhabit our stories.

In the prolog, I propose the notion that we are all a mixture of good and bad. It would be hard to convince me otherwise. How about you? This mix of good and bad within the human heart is at play in my book. One can hope that on any given day the good inside each of us far outweighs the bad.

So, I hope you'll join me on a trip to Graymont. It's a trip back in time, and the gas (which costs around twenty cents a gallon) is free! Y'all come on down! The welcome mat is out for you.

 Carrollton Writers Guild Inc