Susan talks inspiration, family, and story! Sometimes a single-wide trailer is the most idyllic place in the world. Just ask Susan.
|Susan Gregg Gilmore|
"A 1970s Kodak photograph got me to thinking. And then it got me to writing. It was a photo I had snapped of my great aunt and uncle sitting in their single-wide trailer (the same trailer they had shared for fifty years) back in the late 1970s.
As a small child, I loved visiting my relatives, and I loved their house. It felt like a doll's house. It was cozy and warm and always smelled like chocolate. My aunt and uncle never had children of their own so when my brother and sisters and I went to visit, we were spoiled rotten. Baba would buy those cheap plastic floats from the convenience market down the road and we'd all play in the lake for hours, including my aunt who acted more childlike than adult. I only recently found out that Baba didn't know how to swim!
So as a grown woman, finding this photograph, I began to wonder what life had really been like for my Aunt Baba and Uncle Ed. Both had worked hard, went to church every Sunday, and doted on their family. But they never left the trailer. In fact it was only at the end of her life did Baba admit to my mother that she'd like to live in a real house, one made of bricks.
From all of this Leona and Curtis came to life on the page, and writing the chapters about Leona and Curtis and their life in their trailer were some of the most wonderful, fluid times of this entire three-year process. The words spilled onto the page. And every time I entered their world, I felt very at home."
Thank you to Susan Gregg Gilmore for guest blogging and sharing this wonderful story and inspiration. Please visit her at http://www.susangregggilmore.com/
I had the great fortune and privilege to meet Susan some years back at The Virginia Festival of the Book. She is an incredible writer and woman, and I am so grateful that she agreed to spend some time on my blog.