Author Carla Stewart, on her historical novel, Stardust
My stories seem to have their roots in my memories, and so it was that I’d had a story bubbling in my head for a while when my husband and I took an anniversary trip to East Texas. I fell in love with the mysterious bayou country, the grand historical homes, and without hesitation, I knew I’d found the setting for my small town story.
Being a child of the fifties and loving to write about that era, I had an odd assortment of mental images—the old tourist courts with individual cabins like my family stayed in once. An isolated community on a lake that I stumbled upon when we lived in another part of Texas—people who lived in abject poverty separated from an upscale development by only a bridge and a ribbon of highway. Two relatives who were victims of childhood polio (infantile paralysis) and the fear of the disease in my early childhood.
Pairing these seemingly unrelated pictures and weaving them into a story that readers would relate to today offered the biggest challenge. I knew that the Stardust tourist cottages would be not only a haven for weary travelers, but also the place of new beginnings and learning to forgive for Georgia Payton. When she inherits the rundown cottages shortly after her unfaithful husbands drowns, her work is cut out for her. Her optimism, though, and capacity to bounce back from the hard knocks life has thrown at her, make her a woman I’d like to be. I hope that my readers think that, too, while enjoying a bit of nostalgia.
When the sign of the Stardust flickers, the unexpected begins. You’re all welcome to join the journey!
Carla Stewart is the author of Chasing Lilacs. Her writing reflects her passion for times gone by, cherished relationships, and the mysteries of God in our skid-marked world. She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren.
In addition to the FaithWords blog, Carla will also be appearing at various other blogs around the web this week to celebrate her book’s release. Follow #stardustnovel on Twitter to see everywhere she visits. If you review the book or have Jane stop by, please leave us the link!