Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Conversation with Gretchen Moran Laskas

I recently contacted author, Gretchen Moran Laskas and asked her to share some background on how she came to write this book. For more information, be sure to check out her awesome website. Thanks, Gretchen!!

"This book comes out of a life lived from West Virginia, where I was born, to where I now live, just outside of Washington, DC. Sometimes the gulf between those worlds seems incredible, and nowhere was this more clear to me than in the story of Arthurdale. Reading the official reports about Arthurdale and the Homestead Act of the New Deal, one word comes up over and over again -- failure, failure, failure. But I knew that it hadn't been a failure. Flawed, yes, failure no. My father was born in Arthurdale, and I still have family who live in the town today. This was a town that took people from demoralizing poverty and elevated them within a single generation into the middle class. It was a grand experiment that contributes to the way we design towns today. This town is a symbol of government coming into people's lives and given them the hand up and hope they needed to create their own robust lives.

I am passionate about bringing to life the world of West Virginia for people who don't know (or think they know, though stereotypes) the state where my family has lived for eight generations. I've been writing about the state for more than fifteen years, and my own career, like the mountains that created it, has had its ups and downs. Writers and future writers should take note -- I've been rejected by someone for something more than 500 times and counting! But there is nothing like holding your own book in your hands and hearing from family and friends, to professional collegues and people around the world I've never met, that it is a job well done." Gretchen


1 comment:

Diane said...

Thanks Becky, for giving us such a great view of what makes these authors so fantastic