Sunday, February 16, 2014

Interview with Elizabeth Carroll Foster, author of 'Southern Winds A' Changing' - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: Southern Winds A' Changing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Elizabeth Carroll Foster
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 410
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-49170-108-9

It is 1932, and racial prejudice is common in Deer Point, Arkansas, where the lives of two women—a white school teacher and an African American sharecropper—are destined to become forever entwined. As Allise DeWitt gives birth to her first child, her husband, Quent, rapes eighteen-year-old African American Maizee Colson on their cotton farm. Fearing that Quent will terrorize her forever, Maizee’s parents take her to Texas, where, nine months later, she gives birth to a son whom she names Nathaniel. As Allise and Quent settle into life as new parents, she cannot shake the feeling that something is wedging its way between them. Financial troubles brought on by the Great Depression plague Quent, and he is forced to send his farmhands packing. Driven by the need to help and to do the right thing, Allise heads up a church project to donate clothing and other items to the sharecroppers. Years later, Quent is killed while fighting in World War ll, and Allise finds happiness in a second marriage to Dro McClure. Allise’s charitable journey continues, however, leading her through peril and prejudice and eventually bringing her to uncover a shocking truth that will change her life forever. In this historical novel, an independent Quaker school marm attempts to overcome racial inequity in her small community, inextricably intertwining her life with an unlikely friend who proves that peace is attainable even in the darkest of times.

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How did you become a writer?

It would be funny if I said I had a typing skill, and one day asked, “what can I do with it?” and my answer was, “I can write.”  Actually, when I made up my mind to take a stab at it, I subscribed to the Famous Correspondence Course for fiction writing.  It was so long ago, I hope the course name is correct.  It was in the early ‘60s, and I was already 32 years old.  I finished the course, having learned a great deal.  I returned to school in 1970, graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Journalism.  Freelanced for regional magazines in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, and was later was section editor and editor of Maryland county newspapers.  Leaving the newspaper, I returned to fiction writing altogether.

They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

I discovered Library of Congress photos made during the Great Depression on the Internet.  Since my book covered that period when cotton was “king” in the South, and one of the African American women in the photo could be the character Maizee in my book, and the small boy in the red shirt and straw hat could be the young character, Nate, I asked permission to use the photograph.  One of the talented people at iUniverse designed the cover.

What was your favorite chapter to write and why?

I enjoyed writing Chapter Twenty Three.  The voices of Elfreeda and Dodd were like music playing in my ear.  The manner in which the characters in this chapter saw the death of a white man and cast it in a comedic light, I think, showed how black people of the time used humor to endure their plight.

Why did you feel you had to write this book?

My innate nature is to be for the underdog.  A racial remark heard when I was 15 years old rattled around in my head, refusing to leave.

What is one thing you want readers to know about who you are?

I want readers to know that I care about my characters because, while they are imaginary, they represent real people in our world, and that I was shaped as a military wife living in many places, experiencing different cultures.

If you could interview one of your favorite authors, who would it be?  What would you ask them?

Harper Lee has always been a mystery to me.  I would ask why she—a person of real talent—stopped at one book.


Elizabeth Carroll Foster is an Arkansas native. As a journalist, she worked as a feature writer and editor for southern Maryland newspapers and as a freelancer for regional magazines. She is also the author of Follow Me and Musings, Mutterings, and Aw Shucks, as well as several other books. Elizabeth currently resides in Arkansas.

Pump Up Your Book and Elizabeth Carroll Foster are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 2 and ends on March 14.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 15.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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