I am very happy to welcome Tina Whittle to the blog–it’s always fun to feature a writer whose work I can discover along with all of you, and Tina’s debut novel looks like a doozy. Her Moment also happens to be the most poignant I’ve ever had the privilege of reading–and this forum privileges me with every post. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
We all remember our “aha” moments — the call (finally!) from the interested publisher, the advance check in the mail, the first time someone introduces you as a writer. These are my “made it” moments, for sure. And yet as identity-altering as these slices of memory are, none is as precious as the hour last week right before Dress Like Your Favorite Author Day at my daughter’s school.
We debated sending her as Edgar Allan Poe (which needed only a stuffed raven and a fake mustache) or perhaps one of the Greek dramatists (which needed only a sheet). In the end she decided to go as . . . me. The ingredients were simple — black sweatpants, flip-flops, glasses shoved into a nest of bedhead, the ensemble topped with a t-shirt my mother gave me which reads “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.” A stack of crime-writing research books and a mug of coffee completed the portrait.
I filled her pockets with business cards and shipped her off. She said that everyone got a kick out of the costume, and in the end, I scored an invite to be the keynote speaker as her school’s graduation assembly. As seat-of-the-pants promo opportunities go, this one turned out to be pretty successful,
And yet what I hold closest to my pitter-pattering heart is watching this girl child of mine — my sweet brilliant dear daughter — be so proud of me that she was willing to “be” me for a day. To know that I inspire her. To know that if nothing else, I have been an example of persistence, that I have demonstrated the pragmatic faith of those who try again. And again. And yet again, one more time again.
Tina Whittle is a mystery writer living and working in Southeast Georgia. THE DANGEROUS EDGE OF THINGS, her first novel, debuts February 2011 from Poisoned Pen Press. Set in contemporary Atlanta, this is the first book in a series featuring gun-shop owner Tai Randolph and corporate security agent Trey Seaver.
Tina’s short fiction has appeared in The Savannah Literary Journal, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Gulf Stream, which selected “Lost Causes and Other Reasons to Live” as the 2004 winner of their Mystery Fiction contest. Tina is also a columnist and feature writer for The 11th Hour, a local alternative newspaper, and a professional tarot reader. When not writing or reading, she enjoys golf, sushi, mini-pilgrimages, and spending time with her family (one husband, one daughter, one neurotic Maltese and three chickens).