First, an announcement – Rich Fabric, the anthology, will launch on 9/28/2012! More info coming soon…
And, now with our regularly scheduled program 🙂
Interview with Southern Author, Pamela King Cable
Your debut book – Southern Fried Women – is a collection of short stories about characters who are “struggling to find answers to unanswerable questions, hoping for forgiveness, seeking righteousness, and questioning the existence of God in their lives.” How does your upcoming novel – Televenge – differ from your first book? And, how is it similar?
Let me start with how both books are similar. For me, it is within sanctuaries of brick and mortar; places of clapboard and canvas that characters hang ripe for picking. From the primitive church services of the mountain clans to the baptisms and sacraments in cathedrals and synagogues all over the world. From the hardworking men and women who testify in every run-down house of God in America to the charismatic high-dollar high-tech evangelicals televised in today’s megachurches, therein lie stories of unspeakable conflict, the forbidden, and often, the unexplained, and therein you will find the similarity between Southern Fried Women and Televenge. As well as three stories within Southern Fried Women that are spin-offs of minor characters or edited scenes within Televenge.
But Southern Fried Woman is a book of short stories. Televenge is novel of almost 600 pages. It spans a thirty-year period in the life of Andie Oliver, the protagonist. In Televenge she not only questions God’s faithfulness, she eventually questions His existence. Televenge is a fresh look at evangelicals and the glitz and glamour of a megachurch, its ministers, and their message. A different look at what really transpires inside some ministry teams. The megachurch is largely left out of Southern Fried Women, focusing more on the small steepled church on the corner or the primitive tent revivals. Today’s megachurch pastors are constantly in the news. Business Week online, May 2005, said, “…religion is the hottest category in books.” I believe it has always been the hottest subject not just in books, but also in every walk of life, and I give you a look inside its inner circles. One like you’ve never seen.
Do you consider yourself to be a “southern writer” or a writer who is from the south?
I was born in the South. My grandfather was a coal miner, but my father escaped the mines, went to college and moved his family to Ohio to work for the rubber companies in 1959. I spent every weekend as a little girl traveling back to the Appalachian Mountains. My mother is from the Deep South. My memories of my childhood run as deep as an Appalachian swimming hole and as strong as a steel-belted radial tire. As a little girl, I was a transplanted hick in a Yankee schoolroom. I grew up in the North. So my influence comes naturally from both regions.
I find that if you say you’re a Southern writer, people think you only write about the South. But Southern writers as a whole are incredibly diverse in their writing styles, goals, stances, conceits, passions, and personalities. While most of my writing does gravitate to Southern states, folks everywhere identify with it. Working and living in both the North and South—it’s given me a broader view of both. A richer impact to my writing. Who I am influences me as a writer. Not where I live.
After living over a decade in the South, I have come full circle. I returned to the North as easy as slipping into a pair of old familiar blue jeans, tattered and worn. I cannot deny the Northern part of me, any more than I can deny the Southern blood that runs through my veins. It’s like I’ve always said, a Southern Fried Woman is any woman brave enough to start over again, darlin’, and never gives up her dream, wherever she decides home is.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Well, that’s an easy one. Pat Conroy. Pat breaks all the rules. (I like writers with a rebel spirit. A rebel spirit with the craft and within their prose.) Pat’s novel, Beach Music, is one of my favorites. He’s what I call, a well-seasoned writer. I can always tell when a writer has been around the block a few times. When they’ve had their share of hard knocks. When they write fearlessly. Read the first few paragraphs in South of Broad. His poetic prose is awe-inspiring. His novels are long and rich, filled with drama and suspense. When you buy a Pat Conroy novel, you get more for your money. Again, he breaks all the writing rules so eloquently, and I simply love that about him. Another would be Dorothy Allison who wrote Bastard out of Carolina.
If either of your books was made into a film, who would be some of the actors portraying your main characters?
Andie Oliver – Reese Witherspoon or Amanda Seyfried
Reverend Calvin Artury – Kevin Spacey or Philip Seymour Hoffman
Joe Oliver – Jake Gyllenhaal or Ryan Kwanten
Dixie Parks – (Andie’s mother) Holly Hunter or Sissy Spacek
Bud Parks – (Andie’s father) Paul Giamatti
Mavis Dumass – (Andie’s best friend) Beyonce Knowles
Favorite southern tradition?
College football and food. Plain and simple.
Tailgating and North Carolina barbeque, hushpuppies, banana pudding, sweet tea (more sugar than tea), pinto beans and cornbread (can’t have one without the other), chicken and waffles, cathead biscuits and poor man’s gravy, red-eye gravy and ham, Brunswick stew, black-eyed peas with ham, crawfish etouffee, shrimp po boy sandwich, Cajun gumbo, peach cobbler—the list is endless.
What is your take on southern writing right now? Do you think we are seeing more people writing in this genre? Are more readers interested in this?
Some of today’s most popular authors are originally from the South, writing about the South. Sue Monk Kidd, Kathryn Stockett, Joshilyn Jackson, Barbara Kingsolver, Pat Conroy, Anne Rivers Siddons, Lee Smith, and Jill McCorkle.
The South and its history, religion, food, the significance of family, and its dialect continues to grab hold of readers from every walk of life, all over the world. I don’t believe that fact will ever change. New writers will forever emerge on the scene with fresh new voices and stories about the South and its traditions.
But I also believe we’ll see a revival in Southern writers from the past. Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Harper Lee, Robert Penn Warren and William Faulkner to name a few. As many of us were moved by these legendary greats, we will continually refer to their writing, inspiring a new generation of writers, as well as readers, to delve into the stories of these Southern literary giants.
Southern writing is not for the faint of heart. Yet, we writers break the darkness with that piece of us cultivated early in our writing years. The comfort of rain on a rusted tin roof, sultry gulf breezes, the song of a porch swing, fields of cotton and tobacco, peach season, and some old collarless dog on a red dirt road. As long as we do that, our readership will continue to increase. A true Southern writer will pierce the hearts of its readers for generations. There’s no better reward than that.
Release date: Oct. 8, 2012
It is available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and everywhere fine books are sold.
Televenge was a Library Journal Editor’s Pick at Book ExpoAmerica 2012, New York City
“In Cable’s debut novel, young Southerner Andie Rose has fallen in love with the wrong man. Joe Oliver is a devoted follower of Rev. Calvin Artury, leader of the evangelical megachurch House of Praise, and Andie soon discovers the horrendous secrets of the church’s most prominent members. Though Andie is the main narrator, the point of view shifts among various characters, including the twisted mind of Reverend Artury. The explicit descriptions of blackmail, murder, rape, pedophilia, and pornography are not for the faint of heart. Yet loving relationships, faith, and family balance this dark side and make this novel an emotional rollercoaster that ends as intensely as it begins. VERDICT: Cable, author of the short story collection Southern Fried Women, starts strong, but her constant additions to the plot and the level of detail can burden the reader’s patience. However, those who commit to Cable’s tome will find themselves captivated and deeply devoted to Andie. Fans of Fannie Flagg and Janet Evanovich will be hooked on this saga of religion, romance, and crime.”
Shannon Marie Robinson, Library Journal
“A captivating, beautifully rendered, and unforgettable look at a world so few of us understand. Ms. Cable has courageously opened the door…and my eyes.”
Lesley Kagen, NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author of Good Graces
“No secrets lie as deeply as they do in the South, and no scandal hits as hard as those involving so-called men of God. In her first novel, Pamela King Cable digs deep to unearth the rotten core of a televangelist corrupted by ego and control. Rich with the details of the modern South, Televenge will consume your every waking moment from the opening sentence to the final word.”
Laine Cunningham, award-winning author of Message Stick
To connect with Pamela King Cable:
Facebook Book page: https://www.facebook.com/southernfriedwomen
Book Trailer: http://www.televenge.com/trailer.html