Launch: Sheila Myers’s The Truth of Who You Are


Sheila Myers is an award-winning writer and school professor in Upstate New York. Her penchant for analysis and meanderings via the wilderness, lakes, mountains, and vistas (and the occasional journey to a cemetery) within the U.S. and overseas, encourage her novels and quick tales. Mally Becker interviews Sheila about her new novel, The Reality of Who You Are.

The publication of the novel coincides with Arbor Day (29 April) to have a good time the work of the younger males of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was a piece reduction program that gave hundreds of thousands of younger males work throughout the Nice Melancholy (1929–1939). Over 9 years, they planted greater than 3 billion bushes and helped to form the U.S. nationwide and state park system.

How would you describe this ebook and its themes in a few sentences?

Based mostly on precise occasions, The Reality of Who You Are depicts the ebb and movement of life within the Smoky Mountains, explores the human connection to land and residential, and the way far folks will go to guard it.

Your Creator’s Be aware mentions the diaries you learn. What was it about these residents’ tales and concerning the Nice Smoky Mountains that impressed you to put in writing your novel?   

The primary story I came across was a few man named William Walker. He owned a grove of previous progress forest within the Smoky Mountains and refused many gives from timber corporations to promote it off throughout a time when a lot of the area was exploited by lumber corporations. When he was on his dying mattress, he signed over his acreage to a neighborhood politician who promised by no means to chop the bushes. After all, inside a decade a lumber firm reduce all of them down. I based mostly my household drama round this story and the tales of the individuals who inhabited Cades Cove, now a cultural heritage web site within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park.

 You describe the poverty and displacement of a southern Appalachian group so gracefully. I by no means knew that residents of the Nice Smoky Mountains have been pressured to maneuver from their properties or settle for a lease association when their land was integrated into the brand new nationwide park. What stunned you probably the most as you researched the beginnings of the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park and its impression on residents?

What stunned me probably the most is the resiliency and business of the inhabitants. They weathered the primary years of the Nice Melancholy nicely as a result of they thrived in a bartering financial system. I do know lots is written concerning the poverty of the Appalachian area, the dearth of training, however I used to be impressed by the opposite tales, the lives of people that raised households and made a modest residing. It wasn’t till the federal government began taking up their land that these households needed to discover new ventures, together with transferring to cities to hunt work when the unemployment price was near 18%.

When you’ve been to your setting in particular person, what particulars from your personal journey did you weave into the story?

My mother and father lived for years within the Blue Ridge Mountains, simply south of the Smokies. I used to be capable of go to many instances and was at all times in awe of the great thing about this Appalachian Mountain vary. I purposely wove into my narrative the seasonal great thing about the world and the folklore which included how folks used the bounty of the mountains to make a residing. I visited Cades Cove – which is a good journey for anybody all in favour of historical past. The cabins, hen pens, outhouses, mills, barns, have all survived as a result of somebody had the foresight to acknowledge the worth of the heritage of the individuals who as soon as lived there.

Your novel appears to effortlessly mix truth and fiction. How did you discover a stability between describing the sophisticated historical past of the time and shaping the fictional story and relationships of your characters?

In contrast to the Durant Household Saga trilogy, which was a few historic household and actual folks, I purposely selected to fictionalize the folks and locations for this novel. And like all good fiction, I selected to have a battle which might propel the primary character, Ben, to be a part of a few of the most fascinating historic occasions of the 20th century. When the Nice Melancholy forces him to depart residence and discover work, he joins the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and works within the Smoky Mountains, witnessing the transformation of the folks and locations he at all times known as residence. And like many males who labored for the CCC on the time, he’s recruited into World Struggle II.

Your ebook is a historic saga that takes the reader from Tennessee in 1926 via the Nice Melancholy and from the Battle of the Bulge to Washington D.C. again to Hickory Run in 1959. What went into your choice to inform a narrative with such a broad scope? Was it a problem to put in writing a narrative overlaying that a lot time and geography?

As a household saga it needed to span a long time and generations. Admittedly, I don’t are likely to learn an excessive amount of fiction from the WWII time interval, however since a lot of the males of the CCC ended up serving within the warfare, and the Ardennes have similarities to the Appalachian Mountains, it made sense to have the climax of the story on the Battle of the Bulge.

Who’s your favorite minor/secondary character and why?

Tony – I modelled him after Kolya Vaslov in Metropolis of Thieves by David Benioff. Everybody ought to have or might have as soon as had a pal like Kolya, a loyal wingman.

How has your occupational background affected your writing?

I’ve been an environmental educator for over 20 years. I presently educate ecology at a small school. In my skilled life I’ve planted tons of of bushes with fellow volunteers. In reality, one among my bio by-lines has been, “after I’m not writing, I’m planting bushes with my college students.” I had at all times heard concerning the Civilian Conservation Corps however I’d by no means researched their impression on our nation. They planted over one billion bushes and I needed to dedicate a novel to their exhausting work.

What writing undertaking are you engaged on now?

A fictional coming of age story set in Maine that entails the lifetime of Rachel Carson, writer of The Sea Round Us, which gained the 1952 Nationwide Guide Award, and her seminal work, Silent Spring (1962).

What’s the final nice ebook you learn?

The Invisible Lifetime of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.

When you hurry you may catch The Reality of Who You Are e book on the sale worth of $2.99 (common $5.99) – till 3 Might.


HNS Sponsored Creator Interviews are paid for by authors or their publishers. Interviews are commissioned by HNS.