Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Alley of Wishes

A writer is always so pleased when a flurry of interest is created about their book or books. The Alley of Wishes was published in 2003 by Dandelion books. Now, almost three years later, renewed interest in readers has snuck up and surprised me.

Alley is my sentimental favorite book, a testament to the power of unconditional love, hope, and friendship. As fiction, it's quite different from My Name is Esther Clara. Readers who loved Esther Clara, or my first, The Grass Dance, were either delighted or shocked by the Alley story line. It's not an easy book to pigeon hole in any particular genre. I say it is a fictional allegory, and prefer to think of it as literary fiction. Others say it is historical fiction or romantic fiction, despite the fact that it was not written according to any set formula.

I wrote Alley for my mother, who died in 1984. Her marriage to an alcoholic man was often violent and a sorrow that stayed with Mom all her life. When I talk to writer groups about this book, I tell them that every sorrow, rage, and joy I've ever known was called upon to create Alley. The violence in it seems real because I've known violence first hand. The sorrow experienced by the main characters is real because I've lived with great sorrow. The love, joy, and hope they feel was alive in me as I wrote the book.

Faithful readers and fans of my work often express the hope that I'll write a prequel or sequel to Alley. I'm not convinced that will ever happen. I think it's best that The Alley of Wishes stands alone as my gift to the world because that's what I intended it to be. I want it to shine as an example of how love, hope and friendship can mend shattered lives in beautiful ways. I'm not an arrogant or proud person, just one who accomplished what she set out to do in a book.

Thanks so much to the readers who buy this book and take the time to comment on it in emails and letters. My mother loved reading. By reading this book I wrote for her, in my mind you honor her.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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