Interview with Claire Fullerton, author of Mourning Dove
09 Jul 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, Mourning Dove?
Mourning Dove is a coming-of-age, Southern family saga set in the genteel side of 1970’s Memphis. Millie and Finley Crossan are eighteen months apart, and are moved by their Southern belle mother from the bucolic lake area of Minnesota to the Deep South, so they grow up in the culture as outsiders, with keen eyes to Southern nuance. It is the story of the bond of siblings who share a history but come to disparate ends in a manicured world where all that glitters is not gold.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I believe it was the inexplicable need to keep a journal from a young age that spawned my aptitude for the written word. Eventually, if one keeps a journal, writing becomes a second nature means of self-expression, and one fine-tunes it along the way. Keeping a journal developed my knack for telling a story, as did reading.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey, One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash, and Peachtree Road by Anne Rivers Siddons.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Sadly, he’s no longer on this earth, but I would love to interview Pat Conroy, who spent 40 years of his career turning his own personal narrative into the some of the best fiction ever written.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The creative, insular zone I get into when writing a story, and the never ending search for the perfect word!
What is a typical day like for you?
When in the process of writing a novel, it is an all day, every day affair. I go to my desk first thing in the morning and keep at it all day, with breaks involving addressing whatever is pressing– typically it’s my two German shepherds who need attention!
What scene in Mourning Dove was your favorite to write?
There’s a family scene that takes place at the family dinner table during Thanksgiving. All kinds of chaos ensues, for it is a miss-matched group in a step-family. The Colonel is new to Millie and Finley, as he has recently married their mother. Elderly, Southern characters, two family maids and two young children are involved and nobody can relate to anybody.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Always do your best!
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