Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Amy Hill Hearth
Hi Amy. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I am inspired by older people and the stories, perspective, and wisdom they are able to share. When I was growing up, I had several great-aunts and a great-grandmother who lived into their nineties, and my paternal grandmother lived to 101. I grew up listening to their stories.
My dad was an executive with General Electric, and we moved several times when I was a kid. My favorite place while growing up was Columbia, South Carolina. I loved South Carolina and had a happy childhood there.
I studied Sociology in college, then switched to Writing, graduating from the University of Tampa with a B.A. degree in 1982. I worked as a newspaper reporter in Florida, New England, and in New York. In 1993, I published my first book, HAVING OUR SAY: THE DELANY SISTERS’ FIRST 100 YEARS, an oral history of two centenarian sisters who were the daughters of a man born into slavery. HAVING OUR SAY was a New York Times Bestseller for 113 weeks. There was even a Broadway play adaptation, followed by a Peabody Award-winning telefilm adaptation. I worked on both adaptations as an advisor and also wrote two sequels. I went on to write several more nonfiction books, most recently, “STRONG MEDICINE” SPEAKS, an oral history of the matriarch of a Lenni-Lenape tribal nation. In 2009 I decided to take a break from the competitive world of book publishing and to write “just for fun” for a while. I had never tried my hand at fiction and ended up writing a full-length novel, MISS DREAMSVILLE AND THE COLLIER COUNTY WOMEN’S LITERARY SOCIETY. It sold immediately to Atria/Simon & Schuster and was published last fall. It’s about a middle-aged housewife and mother who moves with her family from Boston to a sleepy Southern town in far-south Florida in 1962. It’s told through the eyes of an 80 year old woman looking back on those days.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I have no idea, and I think that’s a good thing. When I was younger I tried to plan everything, but now I see the beauty in being open to new possibilities. Sometimes, you can try too hard.
How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I have mentored many young people, helped writers of all ages, served on nonprofit boards, and written hundreds (maybe thousands) of pro bono newsletters for worthy groups and causes. Unfortunately, I have far more requests than I can handle, but I do my best.
Would you like to find Amy?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Fiction with a Southern Twist