HACHETTE BOOK GROUP/FAITHWORDS AND MY BOOK ADDICTION AND MORE IS HONORED TO PRESENT:
MEET CARLA STEWART…
In a nutshell: I believe in Jesus, doing the right thing, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. I’m a country girl living now in a mid-sized city with my engineering husband who just happens to be my best friend and biggest fan. We’re the parent of four grown sons who’ve married wonderful girls and given us six amazing grandchildren. Being a Mimi is far more fun that I ever dreamed.
WE ARE HONORED TO HAVE CARLA WITH US TODAY…SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO,SET BACK AND ENJOY OUR GUEST!!
I’m a child of the fifties and while my memories are probably flawed, it does seem like they were more carefree, less troubled times. Perhaps it’s because our lives hadn’t been tangled yet with adult responsibilities and knowledge that not everything is perfect.
And because of my flawed memory, there were a lot of facts to check as I wrote Stardust, a story set in 1952. For me, though, research is part of the joy of writing. It’s the point of discovering something I didn’t know before or uncovering a new facet to a familiar event. And of course, there’s also the joy of actually traveling and taking a research trip.
Which is where I found myself two years ago. My husband and I celebrated our anniversary in Jefferson, Texas, and visited the museum, the newly restored library, and the quaint shops. We took a riverboat ride on the bayou and quizzed the guide about the history and legends. We visited Caddo Lake, again with a guide, where I learned about cypress trees and those funny looking “knees” clustered at the bases of the trees. I inhaled the aroma of the bayou and let the mysteriousness cloak me. I adore having a great sense of place, so it was a great beginning and verified that this was the setting for Stardust, but there were other choices I had to make about the story.
For the backdrop of the story, I chose polio (infantile paralysis). In the early fifties it reached epidemic proportions and caused near hysteria across our land. I was fortunate to find a fascinating, well-documented personal story by Kathryn Black whose mother had a severe case of the diseases. It really helped me bring the details of this dreaded—and dreadful—disease to life in Stardust.
Most people from that era either had a family experience or knew someone who had polio. In my own family, I had two relatives who were childhood victims, but young people today only know it as one of those diseases for which they’re vaccinated.
My hope is that by bringing readers a glimpse of polio and how it affected society in the fifties will lend to better understanding of the times. A tiny snippet of history, if you will. In some ways, I think we have threats to our health and lives today that mirror that time—hysteria brought on by media coverage and fear that permeates our society. Drawing an analogy from the fifties will help people today see that we all have hope, that if we can conquer something like polio, we can conquer today’s challenges.
The Stardust itself is taken from another childhood memory—a family vacation where we stayed in a tourist court that had individual cottages. It fit well with the themes of the book and the setting—having a haven for weary travelers and holding secrets from the past. When the neon sign flickers, anything is possible. Even a new beginning for the folks who end up at the Stardust. For me, I can still feel the magic of the characters and bringing their stories to life. I hope you and your readers do, too, and that you all enjoy this visit to the Stardust and the fifties.
Thanks, April, for giving me a chance to share a behind-the-scenes look at Stardust!
MBA&M: YOU ARE SO WELCOME AND THANK YOU VISITING WITH US TODAY!
You can find Carla here:
My website: www.carlastewart.com
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/ChasingLilacs
Here are the tour stops – enjoy the journey!
Special thanks to Sarah of the FaithWords team for organizing the tour and providing the “cool” graphic.
More giveaways to come – some retro fun and guest posts.
For now, though – Ready. Set. Go!
In the bayou country of East Texas, the neon sign of the STARDUST stands silent, no longer beckoning visitors to its cozy cottages. But two days after Georgia Peyton buries her unfaithful husband, a curious thing happens: the STARDUST sign sputters to life and winks at her. Sustained by a memory from the past and determined to build a new life, Georgia acquires the STARDUST with hopes of breathing new life into it too.
A story of courage, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
Stardust Video Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp4VwmNvTbc
Amazon link to Stardust:
*Sponsored by the publisher*
We are offering 1 lucky commenter a print copy of “Stardust” by Carla Stewart. Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents only! No P.O. Boxes, please. Giveaway will run from May 17 until May 24,2011.
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GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND ENJOY!
Please check out our “Thoughts” on “Stardust” by Carla Stewart!
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Thank you for spending time with us and our guest today!!