The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Gayle Swedmark Hughes
Hi Gayle. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
1. Tell me about yourself. Your book, your life, your inspiration.
As a product of small town life, I am a person who treasures long-term friendships and has a strong sense of place. Amelia Island, Florida and nearby Cumberland Island define me in many ways and find their way into my stories. I am a watercolorist who uses scenes from the water and land of my childhood. I write piano themes that are reflective of those moods as well.
I grew up as an adventurous little girl exploring every nook and cranny of my area. Later I left for college and law school and returned to North Florida after an important and broadening time of personal growth in New York City and Washington State. I became a pilot. I had an exciting career as a trial lawyer and draw on some of those experiences in my writing. Living quietly and simply on the Georgia side of Tallahassee, Florida, suits me perfectly.
My first book Two Thousand Daffodils is the story of surviving early trauma and thriving later in life, due in part to remarkable influences and events. A kindly black woman intervened in abuse and told me that I was "the Good Lord's happy child". She gave me a glass prism to remind me of that. It is by my bedside today. When I told my husband that I would marry him, he planted two thousand daffodils in my pasture. That is obviously the origin of my title. The central theme is overcoming fear. It is optimistic just like me. Some reviews have called it a love story not only to my husband but to my island.
2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
Writing from today forward, I plan to explore the emotional growth of women and to chronicle their close relationships with men and other women. I want to use the vehicle of the novel to be more open and frank. It is important to me to understand and explain the process by which women become self sufficient and depend upon themselves for their own values and happiness.
3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?
Story-telling skills are honed by visiting Nursing Homes in the area to call upon older men and to argue about sports with them and to play cards with them. Hoping to comfort and entertain them I, instead, find myself being comforted and entertained. Some of my income is devoted to breast cancer research since I am a survivor. I also spend a portion of my time with college girls in making an attempt, sometimes futile, to help them see the long term consequences of their decisions and to help them make good choices. As President of Tallahassee Community College Foundation, I worked to raise money for the second chance institutions and to raise the standards of such colleges. Now I want to find more ways to help young authors and to encourage them to record their impressions of life. Helping others to be their best is the most satisfying work I have ever done.
Would you like to find Gayle?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Thanks again, Gayle!
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Fiction with a Southern Twist