If you love stories of strong, southern women facing tough life issues, then you’ll love Ane Mulligan’s Southern-fried fiction. Asked her how she gets her characters, and she’ll tell you they come from real life.
Here’s Ane talking about her latest release.
One question I’m often asked is, “How do you get your stories?” I get them from real life. An overheard remark (yes, I eavesdrop – every good novelist worth their salt does) can spark a “what if?”
For In High Cotton, the friendships between Maggie Parker, my heroine, her sister, Duchess, and others comes from my life. You see, I always wanted sisters. I had only one brother, four years older than me. He wasn’t truly my contemporary.
And I longed for sisters. In that absence, I gathered around me as many girl friends as I could. That continued into adulthood. There is nothing more fun than a girls’ road trip. Little did I know what God had in store for me. You can read the story of my adoption and subsequent discovery of my five birth sisters here on my website.
My brand, Southern-fried fiction, pinned on me by my dear author friend, Rose McCauley. Readers will always find in my books, whatever era in which they are set, an ensemble cast of strong Southern women facing life’s issues together. Friendship is woven throughout my books.
And never more so than in this first book in the Georgia Magnolias series. I had to dig far into sisters Maggie and Duchess’s family history to find out why they’re the way they are. I went back four generations. Their great-grandparents were wealthy plantation owners. During the Civil War (which wasn’t very civil at all) they lost the plantation and were forced to work as sharecroppers.
Maggie’s grandmother was a nine-year-old at the time and old enough to remember the parties and privileged lifestyle. Her mama was unhinged by it all. When Maggie’s grandmother had a daughter, she raised her on the stories of plantation life, telling her she was actually Southern royalty. Then, when Maggie and Duchess were born, their mama told them the same stories.
Duchess took to the tea parties like a bee to honeysuckle. Maggie, however, preferred to play with the farm animals and help her daddy. The two girls are as different as chalk and cheese. Even so, the love remains strong between them. Enough so that when Duchess arrives on Maggie’s doorstep grieving, with no skills other than her ability to hostess a social event, Maggie takes her in.
Maggie’s other friends include Sadie Moreland, who is half Yamasee Indian. Although old enough to be Maggie’s mother, she became a good friend and mentor after Maggie’s husband died. Then there’s Pinkie Yates, a poor girl Barry, Maggie’s just-turned-seven-year-old son, found battered and beaten. He told her, “I’m the Good Samaritan, like the Bible story you told me last night. We have to take her home, Mama!”
And so they did. This band of unlikely friends takes on Maggie’s father-in-law and a town full of prejudice.
Ane Mulligan has been a voracious reader ever since her mom instilled within her a love of reading at age three, escaping into worlds otherwise unknown. But when Ane saw PETER PAN on stage, she was struck with a fever from which she never recovered—stage fever. She submerged herself in drama through high school and college. One day, her two loves collided, and a bestselling, award-winning novelist emerged. She lives in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler. Find Ane on her website, Amazon Author page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and The Write Conversation.
In High Cotton
Southern women may look as delicate as flowers, but there’s iron in their veins.
While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?
Find In High Cotton here.