Last time I heard her read at a writers’ group, she was working on a romance set in the Regency period. I was charmed by her descriptions, characters, and her vocabulary, which she tells me, is pretty well set according to its genre. Other than her Regency novels, she writes contemporary. YA, romance, and fantasy. Wow. She’s not only a writer, but a singer, theatre nut, and something of a history buff. There are humorous twists and turns in her writing that make for a delightful read. Give her books a try. They are listed on her website: http://www.mlrigdon.com/
I’ve written children’s books, non-fiction articles, essays, fiction (regional), history, a biography, and plenty of op-eds. For 15 years I wrote a personal opinion column for newspapers. So what now? Plays! I love dialogue. Maybe it’s my Southern heritage, but there’s something about the cadence of a person’s voice that captures my attention. One of my plays won first place at the Indiana Theatre Conference. Another received an honorable mention at the F.Wayne Civic Theatre’s Playwriting Contest. In high school and college, I won awards for my poetry. I appreciate a good poem! I’m always busy even though I no longer teach. Incidentally, I’ve taught every level of school there is from kindergarten to college, and it’s my opinion that teachers should be among the highest paid professionals in our society!!! See, I have opinions! Really, until a person experiences life in the classroom, grading papers until all hours of the night, preparing lessons, being a role model, plus other duties required of a teacher, he/she has no concept of the work involved.
1. What am I working on?
As I mentioned above, I’m working on a play about a pioneer aviator named Art Smith who was born in the 1890s. As a teenager he dreamed of building his own plane and flying in it. He succeeded, and by 1915, he was the star attraction at the San Francisco Panama Pacific Exposition, making something like $100,000.00. Talk about celebrity status!! He had it in spades. The Emperor of Japan invited him to give flying exhibitions there--- which he did in 1916. Anyway, it’s quite an adventure, and my biography Art Smith, Pioneer Aviator tells the complete story. Boy, I‘d like to see this play on stage. I sure would like to see my other plays on stage too, especially my “Gentry’s Auction,” “Three Roosters and a Flying Duck,” and “Catcha Fish. ” If you know some theatre people looking to produce a good family drama, I’ll be glad to provide them with a play to consider.
2 How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think there’s a certain universality about truth and life in my writing. Having read and taught so much literature, I’m keenly aware of figurative language, plot development, and symbolism. Even so, I try to edit to make my sentences tight and lean, but because I like rhythm and words so much, that’s hard for me achieve. It’s the rhythm, the cadence, that leads me to select one word over another. Words have to convey the right sounds. As Lawrence Dorr, my Hungarian writer friend in Florida puts it, “Words have to sing.”
I also try to say something in my writing and I don’t mean editorialize, therefore, I’m not all that linear. Someone wrote me a fan letter after reading my Red Earth books (Southern regional) and told me my stories “convey little insights about human nature” that she didn’t often find in many novels. She liked that.
3. Why do I write what I do?
My non-fiction articles for TRACES Magazine and my biography Art Smith,Pioneer Aviator came about because I happened to have access to some historical information. My regional stories came about because I’m from the South where I grew up hearing and seeing changes in the southern culture. My newspaper columns are my observations (and opinions) about the human condition and important events. I like a good story. I admire writers who tell a good story with wit and verve. I admire people who think creatively. Most of my good friends are either writers, artists, musicians, or gardeners. Does that give you a clue?
4. How does my writing process work?
Because of my schedule, my writing time is fragmented. The computer is near my kitchen, so if I put something on the stove, I’m liable to sit at the computer to write a couple of sentences. I tried to set regular hours for writing and marketing, but my schedule never works. For me, generally a title comes first, after which I develop a supporting story. If I hear a conversation, often I’ll pick up just enough to tease me into imagining a plot, conflict, and involved characters. The hardest thing for me to do is to market my books for sale. I am told that I barely mention my own writings. That’s because of the way I was reared, but a writer these days has to learn to market. I’m working on it.
Introducing the next writer on this tour!
Meet is a young man I’ve known for quite some time—Chad Gramling. I knew he was a writer when he first turned in a theme in one of my classes. It was well constructed, correctly organized, followed good grammar and punctuation rules, and in addition, what he wrote was entertaining and informative. He graduated and went on to achieve writing success writing about baseball. Check his other works and his blog: http://homeoftheclassics.com /
Hope you’ve had a good tour with this blog. Have your passport ready for the next “world blog tour.”