Mary Clark, author of TALLY: AN INTUITIVE LIFE, asked me to participate in this blog tour. Mary became the caregiver and friend to an aging Bohemian, Tally. Before she met him, he had been a fine-press printer, book designer, and poet. In this work of creative nonfiction, she writes about Tally’s lifelong quest to make sense of life and of her own efforts to hang in there when his demands threatened to push her away. To read her post, click here.
Now, about my book…
Question: What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Marylee MacDonald: The main character in my forthcoming novel is Colleen Gallagher. Colleen is South Sider from Chicago and has never been afraid to roll up her sleeves. Her folks have recently passed, and her three kids live on the East Coast. Secretly, she thinks Life owes her some “me” time, but then, deep down, I suppose we all think that. Colleen is entirely a construct of my imagination, although as Flaubert said, “Madame Bovary, c’est moi.” (Madame Bovary, she is me.) Colleen and I do have one thing decidedly in common. We make errors in judgment and say the wrong thing when we’re trying our hardest to “get it right.”
Question: When and where is the story set?
Marylee MacDonald: The story is set in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Colleen lives a thousand miles from her daughter, and that means a road trip when she wants to see the grandkids.
Question: What should we know about him/her?
Marylee MacDonald: What you should know about Colleen is that she would do anything to protect her children from harm. Colleen’s husband died when she was young, and she’s well aware that she’s the only one they can call on for help.
Question: What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
Marylee MacDonald: Colleen’s main argument is not with anyone in her family, but with Fate. The prospect of Death intruding on her daughter’s happy marriage is just more than Colleen can bear. Her son-in-law’s illness takes her on a caregiving odyssey to Washington, D.C., and like most people who live far from their relatives, she’s caught between a rock and a hard place. She wants to help out, but to do that, she’ll have to take a family leave from work.
Question: What is the personal goal of the character?
Marylee MacDonald: When the book begins, Colleen’s goal is to save her daughter from disaster. She wants to lighten her daugther’s load.
Question: Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Marylee MacDonald: The working title is MONTPELIER TOMORROW, but that title might change if my publisher doesn’t like it.
Question: When can we expect the book to be published?
Marylee MacDonald: The book will be published in 2014 by ATTM Press. It will be available in paperback, Kindle, and audio book.
And now, I’ve tagged these extraordinary authors who have agreed to join the blog tour. Their Meet My Main Character blog posts will be online May 29th.
Bhira Backhaus, author of UNDER THE LEMON TREES, grew up in the Central Valley of California, the daughter of Sikh agricultural workers from the Punjab. Her novel is about 15-year-old Jeeto, a high school girl trying to balance the expectations of her family with her own desires.
Erin Lindsay McCabe’s historical novel, I SHALL BE NEAR TO YOU, is about a strong-willed young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War. Inspired by a real female soldier’s letters home, I SHALL BE NEAR TO YOU is a tribute to the more than 200 documented women who enlisted. It is an intimate story, told in Rosetta’s powerful voice, of the drama of a marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side. Though there has been much written about the Civil War, I’ve never read another book told with such wisdom and heart.
Lastly, I want to give just one more nod to Mary Clark’s book, TALLY: AN INTUITIVE LIFE. This quote from her blog, “Living Alive,” will give you a better idea of this fascinating man and of Mary’s efforts to remain his friend.
“Tally was one of the last, if not the last, of the true Bohemians. I was almost thirty and he was approaching 80 when I met him at his art exhibit in NYC. A visit to his garret led to a decade-long friendship. I learned that his life’s work had been split in half: the first 40 years he was an artist, fine press printer and book designer. At the age of forty, he and his wife split, after years of an open marriage in Greenwich Village during the 1920s and ’30s. She was eager to move on to her own life as an artist and independent person and he was soon entangled in an affair that led to a final estrangement.”