Why am I reading with a southern accent?

Tennessee Ernie Ford: "It was a dark and stormy night, y'all."

Tennessee Ernie Ford: “It was a dark and stormy night, y’all.”

If you’re familiar with Bad Way Out, you know that the grammar of the narrator, ER Percy, is horrible.  He’s a hillbilly with no use for fancy talk.  So it’s understandable that you read that book (internally or aloud) with a thick southern drawl (as the extremely talented narrator Mr. Nate Daniels did in the audiobook version).

The Closeout Kings is told using a third person omniscient narrator. All the characters are decidedly hillbilly, but the narration is a simple, straight read.  So why then am I reading it with a southern accent?  It doesn’t make sense to me, but every time I pick up a couple of pages and read it I become Tennessee Ernie Ford.

I may have to record a reading and post it to totally humiliate myself.  Maybe then I’ll drop the dang twang and start reading it like a normal person.

Guest Blogger: Paige Dearth on her new book, Believe Like a Child

A new novel by Paige Dearth

I’m turning the blog over today to fellow indie author Paige Dearth.  I asked her to write a post on what she hopes people will take away from her new novel, Believe Like a Child.

Believe Like A Child was written as a compelling dramatic thriller to entertain my readers. However, there is a point to this work of fiction that is worth mentioning. The narrative describes the real horrors of child abuse and how one act of abuse can, and often does, continue throughout a person’s life. A young victim becomes vulnerable because of their need to validate themselves as a normal person. It is so easy for the abused to go from one horrible situation into another.

After reading my book, my hope is that readers will better understand that exercising simple kindness, to those in need, can be impactful.  Kindness doesn’t have to cost money rather it’s an emotional investment.

I remember one day, when I was a teenager, I was feeling especially down about myself because I had just received bad news (which seemed to follow me everywhere in my younger years). I was in a department store sitting in a chair at the jewelry counter while my friend was trying on clothes. The man who worked the counter was busy with his “paying” customers; I mean he was all over the place trying to please everyone. Somehow my sadness penetrated him, he stopped what he was doing and he walked over to where I was sitting. He rested his elbows on the counter to make eye contact with me, then he said, “How are you doing today, you alright? You hang in there, things will get better.”

All of my tension started to slip away. I never uttered a word back to this man. He never waited for my response. He knew from the visible change in my body language that he had just helped me. This small, but kind gesture enabled me to push through my gloom and made me feel better about myself, I felt like I mattered.

Alessa, the protagonist of Believe Like A Child craves these moments, the simple acts of kindness. They are integral to the story and how she manages to survive on her own. Like Alessa, we all need and want people to care about us. It takes little effort to reach people in a way that matters. I hope Believe Like A Child leaves my readers with an acute awareness of the power you hold. The next time you are in a store, at work, standing in line at the bank or wherever, and you see someone with that look, and we all know that look, just reach out with a pleasant smile or a nice compliment. It’s in those moments that we can help people instead of pretending that we don’t see them. Remember, that person could easily, so easily be you.

About the Author:  Born and raised in Plymouth Meeting, a small town west of Philadelphia, Paige Dearth was a victim of child rape and spent her early years yearning for a better life. To escape the unwanted attentions of her molester, a pedophile uncle who lived with the family, she married at the age of nineteen and moved with her new husband to Chula Vista, California. After two years of marriage during which she struggled to make ends meet, she became pregnant, only to discover that her husband was a heroin addict. Paige waited for the birth of her daughter and when the baby was just eight months old, moved back to Pennsylvania. With no formal education or money to fall back on, she
courageously set out to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and make it whole once more.

 Living through the fear and isolation of her youth, Paige developed the ability to create stories that would help her cope and finally put them to use by embarking on a series of novels. Believe Like A Child, the author’s debut offering, is the darkest version of who she could have become,
had fate not intervened in the nick of time. It presents a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.

I’m getting closer….

When the world ends, the lawless old West will rise again!

… to new book nirvana.   I’ve gone through the first draft, made my initial edits, and now, I’m ready to hand it over to my first reader (Mia) to get her input.  Who knows? I might be able to get a little sleep now…. Nah, who am I kidding!  But this isn’t a bad sleeplessness.  It’s a hyperfocused lack of sleep.  I tend to lock onto the story at night and look for holes.  Oh, those maddening holes.

Still a celebration is in order.  Maybe a weekday matinee.