Monday, March 27, 2017


As I’ve walked on the treadmill, I've listened to the text-to-speech version of The Transformational Consumer by Tara-Nicholle Nelson. Although the book is nonfiction, I have enjoyed it as much as a novel.

It is designed to help men and women working in businesses obtain more customers.  The subtitle says it all: “Fuel a love affair with your customers by helping them get healthier, wealthier, and wiser.”
I suppose one reason I’ve gained so much from this book is that it hits a problem my friend, Sarah Walker Gorrell, and I are facing. It hits the problem right in the bull’s eye.

As co-authors of a novel, Sarah and I believe we have something to give people. I have needed the advice and teaching Ms. Nelson provides. She’s talking about companies; on an informal level, Sarah and I are a kind of company. We have written a novel that is based on our love for our readers and all those who will be our future readers. We wrote it to entertain, but also to love those who open the pages and become acquainted with the characters presented therein. We want our readers to go along with us as we show how our characters lived in their situations.
(We hope the words we have placed in the Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek will bring health, wealth, and wisdom. We want to give renewed hope and tolerance of the downtrodden...wisdom. Although making money isn’t the main theme, we show how our characters earn money in unlikely ways—sometimes amusing, sometimes whacky—and how they squander or manage money...wealth.  We show wisely functional families and dysfunctional families, we present caretakers, an abusive parent, the results of unfortunate love I don’t want to get too much into this discussion. Instead, I just want you to read the book and think about it.)

One principal I have grasped from Tara-Nicholle’s writing is the importance of working with others. In any endeavor, promoting a novel included, no man is an island. Yes, we do want to promote this book. We didn’t write it just to have it sit on the shelf. We want to share the joys and struggles found here.
Tara-Nicholle, who is Black, tells of growing up in a Black Baptist Church. Every church service was interactive—not with a mere occasional Amen but in active participation by the congregation.  On p. 130, she makes me laugh and teaches something important.

It reminds me of some of my experiences. In the early 1970’s the Black students gave up their school and joined us.  As a high school English teacher in a large public school in Mississippi, I was shocked at what happened when I put away the literature book one day and pulled out the grammar textbook. “We like grammar,” the Black eleventh graders told me.  
(Do you remember the grammar exercises in the English books?)

In previous years,  I’d always discussed the grammar rules for the day. Then we’d gone over some of the drills. It had been my habit to call on students one sentence at a time.
Suddenly everything was different. When I started explaining the rules, the whole class talked with me. It was as though a bright light had been turned on. Then when we hit the exercises, they all chimed in. It was an electric moment.

I said something to them about being orderly. At the end of the lesson, although I'd enjoyed the class, I felt the need to correct our behavior.  I thought they were rebelling somehow.

“No, Mrs. Cheatham. We love this. We’re helping you.”

Now, Sarah and I need you to help us that same way. We need help from all of you who have read Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek. Please go to Amazon or  Goodreads and give us a few words to show us you care about what happens to us as writers.  Please give us some good word-of-mouth participation so others will find our novel and read it.

No comments: