Did you know Southern fiction is its own genre? I never knew that until I started writing, and today I’m talking with Southern fiction reader and writer Ane Mulligan. But does she read outside her geographic region?
Keep reading to find out!
What was the first chapter book you read?
I had to laugh at this. I started reading for myself when I was four or five. My mother had been a teacher and I loved books so much, she taught me to read early. By first grade, I had a fifth-grade reading level. I started reading The Bobesey Twins books when I was around five. I loved them because one twin set of the main characters were close to my age. They are great mysteries, and I was adventurous like the characters were. Alas, I never did find any mysteries to solve, though. And for a few years, I couldn’t understand why they could find them and I couldn’t. Ha!
What was the first adult novel that you read?
There wasn’t a “young adult” section when I was a kid. But my mother shared a favorite book from her childhood called The Blossoming of Patricia the Less. It hit all my imagination buttons: mystery, adventure, and romance.
Have you ever finished a story and wished it had ended differently? Which story? How would you have changed the ending?
Yes. But only one. The story was My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. We’ve always heard about authors losing a reader’s trust. She lost mine with the ending that book. She didn’t want to fall on either side of the issue, so she had an accident take the one sister. To me, it was a huge copout. If an author is going to address a really hard and controversial issue in a book, that author needs to have enough courage to choose a side. When I read that end, I actually threw the book across the room.
There were a couple of scenarios that could have worked easily. 1. The younger sister change her mind and let her big sister have one of her kidneys, or 2. The younger sister was afraid and the family found another donor.
If you could visit any fictional place, where would you go?
Chapel Springs. Yes, I know, it’s my own fictional town from my Chapel Springs series. But I created a town I’d love to live in. And what’s not to love? It’s a small town beside a mountain lake. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone helps each other.
If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which would you pick? Who would cast as the main characters?
Chapel Springs Revival or the sequel, Chapel Springs Survival. I’d pick Diane Keaton to play Claire, since I used that actress in her role in Baby Boom, as my inspiration for Claire. Steve Martin could play Claire’s husband, Joel. John Lithgow would be Patsy’s husband, Nathan, and Patsy would be Carrie Fischer.
What book are you most looking forward to reading next?
The Last of the Moon Girls, by Barbara Davis. I love her books. I’ve read every one of them. She writes Southern women’s fiction and I’ve loved every one of her books.
Share five books from your TBR (to be read) pile.
The Last of the Moon Girls, by Barbara Davis
Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty
If I Were You, by Lynn Austin
The Printed Letter Bookshop, by Katherine Reay
A Bitter Brew, by Elizabeth Ludwig
In High Cotton
Southern women may look as delicate as flowers, but there’s iron in their veins.
While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?
Ane Mulligan has been a voracious reader ever since her mom instilled within her a love of reading at age three, escaping into worlds otherwise unknown. But when Ane saw PETER PAN on stage, she was struck with a fever from which she never recovered—stage fever. She submerged herself in drama through high school and college. One day, her two loves collided, and a bestselling, award-winning novelist emerged. She lives in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler. Find Ane on her website, Amazon Author page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and The Write Conversation.