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Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us? Birdie & Jude is the only title I ever considered for this novel. I’m not sure why I never considered any other. I think it might be because the story is about the relationship between these two women, past and present. I wanted them to be the focus.
Has this been published? If yes, what publisher and what publication date? Birdie & Jude was self-published on March 19, 2018.
Please include just one excerpt and include page numbers as reference. This one excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer. Page 15, near the end of Chapter One: “As she and Ollie walked toward the street, Birdie turned and glanced back at the house. There was a fleeting movement, a blurred image at the edge of her vision. She could have sworn she saw a boy on a bicycle riding down the street; he was looking at her house. It could have been Henry. It looked just like him. He stood on the pedals just like Henry would do. She had seen the outline of the boy clearly, riding with no hands gripping the handlebars, guiding the bike with his balance, and swerving quickly to avoid the roots of old oaks heaving sections of the sidewalk up in large chunks. Birdie turned and looked again, pushing her sunglasses up to get a better look. There was no bicycle, but more disappointing, there was no boy.
Why is this excerpt so emotional for you as a writer to write? And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific excerpt? In this excerpt, Birdie is thinking about a childhood friend, someone she sought out daily to make sense of her own life. He was a black boy, Henry, someone her parents wouldn’t approve of. However, for Birdie, he helped her accept her own differences even though he couldn’t get her accept herself. A friend of mine from high school told me about an incident that happened to him when we were juniors in 1968. I dedicated this novel to him and another friend. They were victims of racists, just as Henry was. They served in Vietnam, just as Henry did. When I visualize them, I see them as strong, athletic boys, proud, kind, and humble, just as Henry was. I see them like Birdie saw Henry, riding a bike with no hands, never faltering on the jagged path. It’s emotional because the sureness of the bodies is gone, but the sureness of the soul remains. What was right then, is right now. What was true then, is still true.