Category Archives: Books

Inspiration for the novel Still Waters by Lindsey Brackett

Award-winning writer Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle grades literature, but now she writes her own works in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications including Thriving Family, Country Extra, HomeLife, Northeast Georgia Living, Splickety Magazine, Spark Magazine, and Southern Writers Magazine. In both 2015 and 2017, she placed in the top ten for Southern Writers Magazine Best Short Fiction. Previously, Lindsey served as Editor of Web Content for the Splickety Publishing Group, and currently she is a general editor with Firefly Southern Fiction, an imprint of LPC Books. In addition, she writes a popular column for several North Georgia newspapers.
Still Waters, influenced by her family ties to the South Carolina Lowcountry, is her debut novel. A story about the power of family and forgiveness, it’s been called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing.” A Georgia native, Lindsey makes her home—full of wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee—at the foothills of Appalachia with her patient husband and their four rowdy children.
Connect with her at www.lindseypbrackett.com, where she Just Writes Life, on Facebook as Lindsey P. Brackett, on Instagram @lindseypbrackett, or on Twitter @lindsbrac.

I’m so happy to have my friend and mentor, Lindsey Brackett, guest blogging this week. If you have been following me at all, you know that Lindsey’s first book, Still Waters, launched on September 8th. It is a story of family, forgiveness, and love set on Edisto Island, South Carolina. Click here to read my review: Still Waters Review 

In this post, Lindsey shares the story behind Still Waters. Enjoy the behind the scenes tour and order yours here: Amazon

Everyone always wants to know the story behind the story, especially when you do a good Southern thing and steal from your family history to write a book.

Truth is, my novel, Still Waters, really started with a place—Edisto Beach, where my family spent most summers of my childhood. Nan is actually modeled after my maternal grandmother. My cousins and I called her Grandmommy White Hair. She died, unexpectedly, the Christmas I was ten. Much of this story was motivated by the “what if she’d lived” scenario. What would she have been like for me to experience as an adult? She was a true Southern lady and my mother, aunt, and uncle make sure we grandkids remember her and our grandfather, who died two years later. They told us he died of a broken heart.

My grandparents farmed tobacco in Colleton County, South Carolina. Every summer in August, after the tobacco was brought in from the fields, the family went to Edisto Beach. She and her siblings continued this tradition with their children, and each summer we rented a big, ramshackle house for a week. We hunted snail shells and made homemade ice cream and watched Grandmommy play solitaire.

On Edisto, time somehow seems to move more slowly. So when I wrote Still Waters, I focused on getting that Edisto pace just right. There’s a phrase I use in the story “an invitation to linger hung among the Spanish moss of the live oaks edging the highway” and for me, that captures this sense of stepping back in time. It’s a place to let your soul be refreshed—or restored like Cora Anne’s.

Ultimately this has always been a story of homecoming, relying on the power of family that ties us to a place. Perhaps that’s why it’s struck such a chord with so many people, already, so early in its release. All I did was attempt to evoke what compelled my family to return to this almost-forgotten piece of shore—you truly drive through forgotten America to find it—and somehow, that has spoken to many readers.

I think it’s because we all want to find that one place we belong, that one place that we call home, that one place, where you can go back and no matter how long you’ve been gone—you’re a local. Your roots are embedded there. Edisto is my place and it has been a joy to share it with this story.

Drop me a line and tell me about yours?

Christian Fiction?

Summer reading for our family.

Christian Fiction? If you’re like I was, the first time I heard this term I thought: I don’t want to read about people during Biblical times doing good all the time. What fun would that be? But I was so wrong.

Fiction written for the Christian market is so much more than you have ever imagined. Yes, there are authors who write during Biblical times, and from what I hear, those books are amazing. If you are interested in that, Francine Rivers has a highly-acclaimed series. But there are books written in every genre you can imagine: Suspense, Contemporary Women’s, Speculative, Historical, Young Adult, Middle grades, Historic Romance, and my current genre Contemporary Romance. A librarian gave me my first Christian Fiction book, and I read the first 100 pages without stopping, staying up well past midnight. What I’m saying is these books are page turners.

So why does it matter if you’re reading books written with a Biblical worldview? Well, if you’re not a Christian it doesn’t matter, but for those of you who are following Jesus, I believe all our entertainment choices influence our walk with Christ. I’m not suggesting everything you read, watch, or listen to needs to have a Gospel message, but it is important to avoid things that go against the Bible’s teachings and glorify sin. What that means to you is a personal choice but know even if you take the book jacket off to disguise what you’re reading to the world, God still knows. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

But what about the entertainment value . . . the quality of the writing? I will tell you from my experience, it is excellent. And there are so many choices, you will never run out. You may even recognize some of the authors. The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has a search engine for finding just the right book for you. Check it out. https://www.fictionfinder.com/   Also, from time to time, my daughter, my sons (when I can convince them), my husband, and I will be posting reviews of books we have enjoyed on this site. We are of diverse ages and preferences, so that should also be a jumping off point.

But for now, check out the authors and books I have listed below. Please leave a comment with your favorite books or authors. If you want a recommendation, I will do my best.

One last thing for those of you with tweens and teens, implore you to check their books, even the ones assigned for school. For reasons I can’t begin to imagine, schools aren’t assigning the classics as much anymore, and the books chosen may have themes that you don’t want your children exposed to without your knowledge. I’m not suggesting banning books but take the time to be aware of what your kids are reading. I’m just as guilty as the next mom of being “too busy” to vet every book my kids read, so I love having Christian authors to turn to. Obviously, I would be sure those are appropriate also. It is impossible to write about real adults without exploring real adult problems and temptations. If you have questions, please ask.

Okay, I’m off my soap box. Here’s the list:

My List: (Mostly Contemporary or Historic Romance or Straight Contemporary) These are in no particular order. Books I recently read will be at the beginning because I am now over 40 and the memory is going. The nice thing about these books is your teen can read most of them too.

  • The One True Love of Alice-Ann; Things Left Unspoken – Eva Marie Everson
  • Still Waters – Lindsey Brackett (coming in September, set on Edisto Island, SC)
  • The Thorn Bearer – Pepper Basham
  • The Lost Heiress – Roseanna White
  • The Memory of You – Catherine West
  • Her Lakeside Family – Lenora Worth
  • Then Came You – Becky Wade
  • The Christmas Family – Linda Goodnight
  • Safe in a Stranger’s Heart – Angel Moore
  • Lighthouse – Eugenia Price
  • When Crickets Cry; The Mountain Between Us; Unwritten – Charles Martin (Carlton has read most of Mr. Martin’s books and recommends them all.)
  • Just Between You and Me – Jenny B. Jones
  • The Wedding Shop – Rachel Hauck
  • Redeeming Love; Her Daughter’s Dream; Her Mother’s Hope; The Scarlet Thread – Francine Rivers (these are historic but not the Biblical times books I mentioned above)

Young Adult/ Libby’s List (Either Libby or I have read these)

  • There You’ll Find Me; So Not Happening; In Between – Jenny B. Jones
  • Czechmate; Bolivia Knight – Felicia Bridges
  • Sunset Beach; Christy Miller Series – Robin Jones Gunn
  • The Healer’s Apprentice; The Merchant’s Daughter; Fairest of Them All – Melanie Dickerson

Historic (Carlton read the first two and recommends them)

  • The Shiloh Trilogy – Karl A. Bacon

Middle/Elementary Grades (These are books the boys have read and really enjoyed)

  • The Kingdom Series – Chuck Black
  • The Prince Warrior Series – Priscilla Shirer
  • How to Almost Ruin Your Summer – Taryn Souders
  • Dead Possums are Fair Game – Taryn Souders

 

 

© Leslie DeVooght 2017