Dorothy Allison talks about writing at SBWC.

NOW: This is my 2024 revision of this post I wrote a few years ago.

As I prepare for publication date of SweetSpot: Now and Then, a novel, I’m aiming my  my P.R. and marketing team, me, my publisher and an intern, at promoting this novel with roots in my own life experiences. I did not know that Ms Allison’s bestselling novel about a young women growing up southern and in a chaotic family was rooted in her life and why she described it as an ‘autobiographical’ novel. My belief? If fiction is not rooted in some life truth, it won’t resonate with readers. The more seasoned of a writer I become, the more I believe this to be true.

In 2012, Dorothy Allison’s critically acclaimed debut novel, Bastard Out Of Carolina, celebrated its 20 year anniversary, I did not read this coming of age story until I met the author when she keynoted at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.

To borrow a phrase said often by SBWC’s beloved Ray Bradbury when he talked of other writers’ works “I fell in love” when I heard Dorothy Allison speak. Snippets from Ms. Allison’s very funny keynote –  that zoomed in on our writing life – include these: ‘You know your mama doesn’t respect you and your daddy is afraid you’ll never make a living. And your sisters? They’re scared shitless you’re going to tell things about them…..There’s a world of people out there who don’t understand what you do…”

This short video captures a bit of Dorothy Allison’s essence.

Dorothy Allison’s site offers an overview of her teaching and her literary works, which includes She Who, a novel coming out soon by Penguin Putnam. (2017 update: novel not published as of yet.)

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