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Mother's Day Blogs 2013

We wrap up this year’s Mother’s Day Author Blogs with Patti Callahan Henry, whose latest novel is AND THEN I FOUND YOU. Patti recalls warmly how her love of books blossomed from her childhood, throughout her adolescence, and into her adulthood. Her mother’s encouragement was the key to her transition from spellbound reader to confident storyteller in her own right. The freedom to explore the worlds of her imagination was the best gift her mom could’ve given her, and one of the most important things a mother can do for her kids.
While writing her most recent novel, WHEN SHE CAME HOME, Drusilla Campbell had to find a way into her main character Frankie’s head. Frankie is a mother and a Marine, called to war by her desire to protect her own children and her country’s children. Drusilla recounts a story of her own fierce protectiveness, and the lengths to which she is willing to go to keep her kids safe --- including staging a nonviolent sit-in and spending a day in jail. She empathizes with Frankie and with all mothers who want their children to be happy and healthy.
Motherhood can be daunting for any woman, and Kimberly McCreight is no exception. The debut author of RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA has found that being a mother is not something that can be mastered; rather, it’s a constantly evolving process of triumphs, mistakes and growth. And along the way, Kimberly has learned to stop battling her worries and embrace the mysterious and ever-unknowable landscape of motherhood.
The beginning of 2013 has heralded a lot of firsts for Kristopher Jansma. His debut novel, THE UNCHANGEABLE SPOTS OF LEOPARDS, was published in March, only a few weeks before the birth of his first child, Joshua. With his signature wry humor, Kristopher recounts another first --- Josh’s first night home from the hospital, and Kristopher’s subsequent first panicked call to his mother, desperate for a way to calm his baby down. His mother offers a solution that is simple, despite its royal origins.
Christina Baker Kline, author of the recent New York Times bestseller ORPHAN TRAIN, was cleaning out her parents’ bookshelf when she found volumes of books she had made throughout her childhood. Her mother used to sew blank pages together and encourage her to fill them out with whatever she desired. Over time, Christina learned how to structure her stories --- “to navigate the freeform chaos of her imagination” --- and now feels she owes her mom an invaluable debt for the creative confidence that was instilled in her.
Ellen Sussman, whose latest novel is THE PARADISE GUEST HOUSE, was never encouraged by her parents to be a writer; they had other ideas in mind. But they did remind her constantly that she could do anything and told her to “go for it.” The confidence that they instilled in her helped her through some very tough times during the early stages of her writing career. Now, every time a new book of hers is released, Ellen always thinks about her mother, who sadly passed away before any of her work was published.
We kick off this year’s Mother’s Day Author Blogs with a wonderful piece from Lee Woodruff, whose novel THOSE WE LOVE MOST is now available in paperback. As a child, Lee always wanted a mother who would be her BFF --- someone who would be eager to hear all about her crushes and breakups, and beg to do her makeup and braid her hair. In reality, her mom was the exact opposite, as she spent each afternoon curled up with a book after a day of chores and household maintenance. But she did take Lee to the library starting at a very early age, teaching her the value and importance of reading, and gave her the space to learn for herself and make her own decisions, choices and mistakes. For that, Lee will always be grateful to her mom, who didn’t turn out to be so uncool after all.