Friday, May 7, 2010

Guest Post from Barbara K. Richardson (Don't forget to enter the Giveaway!)

Let's welcome Barbara to The Cajun Book Lady as she shares her "Aha!" moment!

“Guest House”—the Crystallizing Moment

What happens when a sensitive boy has addictive parents who forget his needs in pursuit of their own happiness? Melba Burns is what happens, in the case of “Guest House,” a novel about the grace that flows from daring to intervene in a stranger’s suffering.

I remember, several decades back, hearing Tom Wolfe say he’d researched spaceflight and astronauts exhaustively for years, but it was when he bellied up to a bar and listened to the locals talk about “the right stuff” that all of his hard work flew into focus. His novel would follow the pilots who had “The Right Stuff.”

Finding that crystallizing moment for “Guest House” didn’t involve a bar but a rather unlikely place: a labyrinth. It was solstice, and a friend of mine had taken me to a house where a woman had converted her front yard into a path for mindfulness. By the time we arrived and waited in line to start, it was deep dusk.

I walked step after slow step, with no impressions at all, until I reached the center of the circle and looked up into a line of tall yew trees blacker than the night sky. Instantly, I knew. My novel would be about darkness. A descent into black. And the discovery of beauty there.

Once I embraced this, the beauty in blackness, all the parts of the novel offered themselves up to become a whole. Matt, whose heart is almost broken from neglect, his mother JoLee who reaches and reaches for that perfect mate, his father Gene who craves JoLee nearly as much as a liquor bottle, and Melba Burns, the brave woman who sees in the shy, ingenious Matt someone genuinely worth protecting.

My next novel may be a slapstick comedy, but “Guest House” explores the territory of the handsome dark changing human heart.

Watch a “Guest House” trailer and see glamorous shots of Atomic City, Idaho, population 24, on Barbara K. Richardson’s website:
And don't forget that I'm currently running a giveaway for this book and it ends in a few days!


  1. I look forward to reading this one. What a great post.

  2. A super book to win and read. Please enter me.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  3. I'd love to win this book. Love the cover!

    Cindy W.


  4. Please include me in your giveaway—thanks!


  5. Sounds like a good read—please enter me to win!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  6. Thanks again for stopping in!