Kristy Woodson Harvey
In her latest novel, Lies and Other Acts of Love, Harvey opens with a hurricane and a grandmother named Lovey who believes there are two types of people, those who flee and those who wait it out, "hovering over their possessions as if their fragile lives offer any protection against a natural mother that can take them out of the world as quickly as she brought them into it.'' Although the characters, members of a tight-knit family in North Carolina, are fictional, the author admitted that her own family has a few women like Lovey, perhaps not stubborn but at the very least "headstrong and self-assured.'' Harvey, whose book Dear Carolina was longlisted for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, will be a featured author at the Times Festival of Reading on Nov. 12.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm reading Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. This is the second time I'm reading it. I read it in high school. Time seems to bring another perspective. Then, I have an interior design blog with my mom, and we always get design books to review, so I'm also reading A House by the Sea by Bunny Williams. It's the most gorgeous book, a coffee-table book, but it's interesting and fun to read. I'm also reading Cathy Lamb's Language of Sisters. She's a beautiful writer, and it's a wonderful plot. I'm really enjoying it. I'm writing a series based on sisters, and it's fun to see the relationships.
Do you have sisters?
I don't. I'm an only child. I think that's why I like writing about sisters. It's a life study.
Speaking of Conroy, since you were honored by being longlisted for his award, how influential was his style to you?
Pat Conroy is kind of the godfather. The honor was huge for me, and actually, the day he passed away I was doing an event, and I was supposed to do it with his wife, Cassandra King. We were at Quarter Moon Books on Topsail Beach. Nobody could get through the day. I think he was one of the greatest of the greats of Southern literature. The characters he was able to write and the places he was able to describe were unique. He made the reader see a place in a new way. That's a special gift. You can't teach that.
Contact Piper Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.