Getting to Know Gail Thornton
From the desk of Red Dwyer:
As publishing editor, I am afforded the opportunity to get to know authors on a much more intimate basis than many fans. As an exercise to acquaint more people with the phenomenal authors I know, I have asked them to speak. Specifically, I wanted to know why they write. No, not in that tone of voice. Genuinely, why do authors write?
Gail Thornton, author of The Girl in the Iron Lung and The Regret of a Flower, took some time to tell me why she writes.
“My home is a place of wannabes. I look all around me, and the evidence is there. First, you must know I live alone with my cat, Mooshi. She’s a wanna-be cat model, but her voice is so atrocious she couldn’t do interviews or spot ads on TV. But I’m the real culprit.
I’m a wannabe gourmet cook. I watch cooking shows and go to internet recipe sites, but the meals I dredge out of my fridge and cabinets the two or three times a week when I actually do cook are a far cry from the glossy magazine ads I drool over.
One week, I invited my son and his wife for a Brazilian dinner. I’m not Brazilian, I’m a Yankee and have never even eaten Brazilian food, but I got it into my head I wanted to cook this elaborate dish of fried plantains and coconut encrusted fish. They arrived, and there was chile con carne in the Crockpot. My daughter-in-law said, “So, where’s the Brazilian fish?” I just pretended like I didn’t hear her and felt no remorse either because, in my grandiose imagination, it was the planning of the Brazilian fish meal that got me excited, not the actual execution of it. I never even shopped for the ingredients. Hmph. Not happy about myself over that one.
I’m also a wannabe painter. One year my artist mom came for a visit and gave me her cherished watercolor brushes. Wow. I’d admired her paintings for years. I just knew I had the genes and could do amazing things with watercolor because I gained extensive praise from an art teacher for a painting with magenta in the sixth grade. She also gave me books on watercolor technique, but I knew I didn’t need those, I didn’t need to learn. I would just master the paint and brushes because I’m the daughter of an award-winning painter. Well, guess again. I still have the brushes, books, and unused paints and paper and this is going on eight years later. But I still want to be a painter.
I want to be a photographer. I bought a new camera in November, against the wisdom of my budget, and waited patiently for snow so I could take close ups of icicles on reeds and branches with cardinals in the background. You know, the kind which make the rounds on Christmas cards? It’s a cinch. First, you put on long underwear and wool socks.
Then you layer up to your neck and head. The snow has been sitting there for a few days because you procrastinated, so it’s dirty and frozen, not fluffy and sparkly, but you’re determined this time. Once all bundled up with your gloves on, you take the camera as far as the patio and look for something picturesque. Okay, okay, the weeds have snow and ice on them, forget about the cardinals, they aren’t showing today. You get the camera out of the case without having to take your gloves off in the zero degree weather, and get an angle on the weeds with snow. That’s what you’ll name it, too.
The glove is too much for the shutter, it won’t depress. Take the glove off, and point and shoot, right? Wrong. The lens is all fogged up from your baited and frustrated breath and you grab everything and rush back into the house, deciding to write a poem called “Weeds with Snow.”
And that’s why I’m comfortable being a writer.”
If you have not already, stop by and get to know a bit more about Gail Thornton and her books, The Girl in the Iron Lung and The Regret of a Flower. If you would like to contact Gail, press the Contact Us button at the top of your screen.
Image credits: Coconut, Watercolors & “Weeds in Snow” ~ Gail Thornton
Caricature of Gail Thornton via Bearman Cartoons.
All images subject to copyright policy.
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