I’m delight to introduce a fellow LPC author. Carol will be launching her book January 22 when readers will meet the feisty seasoned citizen Agnes Hopper who decides to shake up the assisted living facility where she lives and take no prisoners. As many writers do, she bases Agnes on her spunky mother’s personality. This fun read is made to cuddle up with on a cold winter night.
Release date: January 22
Launch party: Thursday, January 29. 7-10 PM on Facebook.
The Story Behind Agnes
Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar began as a short story assignment for a creative writing class at the University of South Carolina over ten years ago.
Our instructor told us to place ourselves, along with some of our friends, in a foreign environment and to step back and see what developed.
I chose the porch of a retirement home because a standing joke, among a group of my friends and myself, was that one-day we would end up living in such a place together.
Before I had written two pages the characters, with their own, unique names took on their own personalities. I was fairly new to such writing adventures and was taken aback. They began to assert themselves and I decided I needed to pay attention, to listen and watch—for my scenes often unfold like a movie in my mind’s eye.
The short story ended when Agnes slipped out the back door of Sunset Manor, the name of the retirement home at that time. Then I began to ask questions. What if she . . .
I wish I could be more like my protagonist, who is outspoken and spunky, but she has taken on some of the aspects of my mother’s spirit. Writing fiction is such fun!
Agnes Hopper’s story continues to evolve and surprise me. I am delighted to have a part in the telling of it.
Carol Heilman, a coal miner’s daughter, married her high school sweetheart, a farmer’s son. She began writing family stories, especially about her dad’s Appalachian humor, for newspapers and magazines. One day her mother said, “We don’t have any secrets any more!”
Carol’s book, Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar, was inspired by her mother’s spunky spirit and her dad’s humor.
She lives in the mountains of NC with her husband of fifty-plus years. They love to play cards, go antiquing, hike, and visit grandsons on the east and west coasts.