I drew much of my inspiration for A PEACH FOR BIG JIM from my mom’s childhood tales. A gifted writer in her own right, my mother grew up in a rural town, much like the fictional Mills Hollow where the story takes place. Some of the more humorous elements of the story were inspired by stories of my mom’s younger brother, Harold, who was known to run around the woods and bring home wild animals. Once he brought home a snake and it disappeared inside the house. How they found it, I’m not sure, but I know it was pretty nerve-wracking while they were looking for it.
My grandpa was born in Mississippi and one of my earliest memories is of him chopping down a tree with my father. I remember him as a kindly older gentleman who loved God and was good to people. Thankfully, he was nothing like the patriarch in my novel. My grandma mirrors Chloe’s mother in the novel in that she had a great sense of hospitality. She could make a gourmet meal for a dozen people at the drop of a hat. How she did it, I still wonder. I like to think it’s a Southern gift, but whatever it is, there’s an indescribable joy that surrounds a table filled with food and made with love.
I currently live in Seattle with my family and a cute little bichon named Frosty.