Hi Darlyn. Welcome to Writers4Higher!
1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
My seven-year-old brother taught me to read when I was three, and I remember writing anthropomorphic stories shortly after that. “Arthur the Antelope” was the first one, and, since my father was a visual artist, I remember sketching Arthur frolicking among some flowers as an illustration. I’m not sure how many letters of the alphabet I made it through before abandoning that project, but I’m sure I could count them on one hand.
Old Yeller was the first book that inspired me to write a novel, though that goal was not accomplished until I was in my mid-fifties. I remember thinking the people in that book sounded like the ones who surrounded me in my daily life growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, and being excited that people who talked “real,” like my family and friends did, could exist in a novel.
I wrote plays as a child (and saw them produced, both at school and at the Daughters of the American Revolution), moved into a passion for poetry, and wanted, with all my heart, to write for a newspaper, like Lois Lane. I got an AA in Journalism from Florida Junior College and sold a few freelance stories to the Florida Times Union/Jacksonville Journal before getting married and settling into a “real job” at a bank. Other jobs followed, some writing-related, some not, including a stint in the Sports department at the Orlando Sentinel.
I raised a wonderful daughter, finished my bachelor’s degree at Rollins College, got divorced, and then was selected as a writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House Project of Orlando. Those three months of putting my writing first literally changed my entire life.
Shady Lane Press, affiliated with the Kerouac Project, published my first short story and poetry collection, Red Wax Rose. I met a man from the project’s board of directors in the dining room of the house at a party, and married him five years later on its front porch. We published (through our label, Scribbles) a collection of our love poems, called Three Houses.
I went to Spalding University for an MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry, and then workshopped my first novel, Sewing Holes, with Connie May Fowler’s Remembering Blue retreat group. Joan Leggitt of Twisted Road Publications made my dreams come true by publishing the novel in 2015. We came full circle by holding the launch party at the Kerouac House.
2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
My husband and I have a PR content firm called Brad Kuhn and Associates, where we keep the lights on by writing corporate pieces and making beautiful video book trailers. On the literary side, I am currently writing the screenplay for Sewing Holes, because I think it would make an excellent and inspiring movie, and I would also like to take it to the stage at some point.
What I want most for the future is for the book, movie, and play to encourage others with its message of love and resilience.
3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I write a blog called Scribbles that serves to encourage writers and booklovers to gather together in support of one another around literary events. It has been called The Heartbeat of the Central Florida Writing Lifestyle. I believe it contributes to a sense of community for writers, in what can be a tremendously solitary pursuit.
Where to find out more about Darlyn:
Sewing Holes: https://twistedroadpublications.com/sewing-holes/
Three Houses: http://darlynfinchkuhn.com/three-houses/
Thank you for visiting the Writers4Higher blog.
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Southern fiction author and blogmaster