Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Calling Me Home"

Julie Kibler began writing Calling Me Home after learning a bit of family lore: as a young woman, her grandmother fell in love with a young black man in an era and locale that made the relationship impossible. When not writing, Kibler enjoys travel, independent films, music, photography, and corralling her teenagers and rescue dogs.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Calling Me Home and reported the following:
The cover flap for Calling Me Home claims: “Forbidden love. Unlikely friendship. A journey that will change two lives forever …”

My potential reader scans the rest of the description, then flips to page 69 and reads the top paragraph.
Now Miss Isabelle’s mother, she sounded more hands-on that was strictly good sense. Of course, things were different then, but I don’t believe Miss Isabelle had even been given room to breathe.
She thinks, This book isn’t just about an interracial relationship, which is obvious from the cover art and flap copy, it’s about families. It’s about the precarious balance between mothers and daughters—most especially the balance between this Miss Isabelle and her mother in the past.

Her gaze drops down a few paragraphs to the chunk that ends the page.
… more than one man had learned not to mess with me the harder way. I was thankful Momma seemed to avoid the worst ones—ones who wouldn’t have been intimidated by a scrappy girl with a good set of lungs and a pair of sharp scissors in hand.

I’d been careful with my kids. My daughter knew she was safe at home. My son knew no matter how many of his so-called friends tried to talk him into stupid, all he had to do was come home to be talked back around the smart. Even so, he had me worried.
Dorrie has trust issues, my potential reader thinks. And something is up with her son, and it’s probably not good.

She has been able to nail several of the themes and conflicts in Calling Me Home on the head. And I, the writer, from my position as eavesdropper, do a happy dance because Calling Me Home just passed the p. 69 test with a pretty good score—well above 69, I’d say.
Learn more about the book and author at Julie Kibler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue