A young woman, an old woman, and the story of a lifetime
When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iolas rambling Victorian house. Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iolas walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, dating from Iolas youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paperthe hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything.
We have all heard attributes given to a certain elementary teacher or teachers when an individual attains a certain high level of success. For author, Lisa Wingate, it was her very special first grade teacher in Northboro, Massachusetts, named Mrs. Krackhardt. She saw talent in a shy little girl who had just transferred into her class. She read Lisa's stories to the class, and Lisa was hooked on the attention of an audience.
Even though writing was always a career goal, Lisa Wingate had other priorities to also accomplish. She decided to wait to pursue her writing career in earnest until she had graduated college, gotten married, held a position as a journalist and technical writer, and had children. She had wanted girls, but got two boys instead, and was immediately in love with each one.
One day when the first Wingate baby was small, Lisa's grandmother came for an extended stay visit. During that visit, her grandmother was sitting with the baby, when she began to tell Lisa the story of her life. They had interrupted the planting of flower beds to go inside to quiet the baby. It was that conversation that inspired Wingate to write the story, "Time for Tending Roses", which turned into her first mainstream novel, Tending Roses.
Today, Tending Roses, was the first of several books inspired by life and written during stolen moments of a busy mom, wife, and writer. She has said.......who knew all of that would come from a quiet afternoon with grandma and an unfinished flower bed?
Even though Tending Roses is her sentimental favorite, Lisa has treasured every book because they always begin with an inspiration from life, and she never knows where that inspiration will lead her in story.
The best thing an aspiring author can hear from a reader of their work is.......I wonder what happens next?