I wrote my first novel, A Hollow Cup, in 2008. My hometown–Chapel Hill, NC–was disappearing (they all do), and I wanted to preserve it. A Hollow Cup was my fictional attempt to show readers what it was like to live in a small university town in the South during the 1960s. Like many first novels, it has too many pages and too many words. Also, perhaps because I didn’t know I would write more books (five, with one more on the way), it’s overstuffed with ideas. So, I’ve decided to revise it, and publish a second edition.
Some may say–Why? Why not leave the past alone and do something new? The answer: First, because it’s the story I wanted to tell when I began to write, and I want it to be as good as it can be. Second, the “story”–that is, the plot–is the best I’ve ever done, and deserves to be presented in the best possible light.
It’s about a “race murder”–a beautiful black girl, an enthusiastic participant in the local civil rights movement, is killed after a protest on the College campus. The crime goes unsolved for twenty-five years until two men–one black, the other white–return to their hometown to prosecute and defend the man who’s finally been charged.
So–words and pages will be reduced, and ideas sharpened. There’ll probably be a new cover, and I may change the title as well. In the meantime, The Nun’s Dowry is now available from Amazon and others, and Juvenal’s Lament is almost ready for my editor. And soon it’ll be time to begin something new.
This is the AME Church in Chapel Hill where critical scenes in A Hollow Cup take place.