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Friday, November 30, 2012


has a new book. Some time back, I bought my copy because we
are blog friends and she is from Virginia. Candice is one of a kind and so is Rebel McKenzie, the hero of her book.
Recently, Candice had the privilege of participating in the Frog Level Fall Festival and Parade,
What does one thing have to do with the other you ask?
Here's why!
Rebel McKenzie lives in Frog Level!
Candice had a ball.

She ate cotton candy....

Rode in the parade...
and saw all that Frog Level had to offer.
When she got home, she answered some questions for me...
1. Candice, I think I read that Rebel was based on you as a girl...true? Yes, Rebel is me . . . and not me. She is self-centered and very ambitious and driven, as I was, even at a young age. She also tends to think the world is against her, instead of the other way around, an attitude I had (and still do!). But Rebel became her own self a few chapters into the book. She is more assertive than I ever was--I wouldn't have entered a beauty pageant or gotten onstage even for money! While Rebel isn't gracious, she is more generous than I thought she'd be. There is much that's true about the book, and much that isn't, and that made for a delicious writing experience. My sister (who is "Lynette") and I laugh over the parts we know are true and are thrilled they are preserved.
2. Now that you've seen the REAL Frog Level, does it look as you thought and described it in your book? I know the 301 corrider from 30 years ago, back when it was the heydey for antique shops. I'd been to the real Frog Level many times--years before I even thought of doing this book. I knew about the fire department and the territory and it seemed to fit this story. I added a few things, like the trailer park and the 7-Eleven, but that's the beauty of writing place-based fiction. My story grows from place, but I'm not a slave to the map--I move things around, add things, bring things in from other places I know.
3. Lastly, what do you have on the front burner right now? Any more adventures for rebel in the future? The front burner! I need more "stove-eyes" for all the projects that are simmering. I'm determined to finish the first draft of a chapter book I've been piddling with for three years before the end of 2012. I'm working on a YA historical proposal. And I'm still revising the book I wrote last year--may need to do another complete round. I want to write short stories for adults, and more essays. Maybe go back the memoir I began in 2007. I can't see any more adventures for Rebel--she seems complete and content where she landed. But that cat Doublewide! He may up and demand a book of his own!
I can't thank Candice enough for answering the questions for me. She is super busy, has way over 100 books in print, and is such an inspiration to me. She's just "good people." I learn something from her everytime I get to "talk" to her or read her BLOG ... Lucky lucky me! Candice is just one of those writers who has a way of making you feel....she writes in such as way as to put into words thoughts you've had forever and didn't even realize you had them. And, she is from Virginia...we think alike.
Rush out, RUSH out, and get your own copy of
at your local bookstore or click the link for Amazon. I loved Rebel, but I have to say, Doublewide was my favorite must read the book to see for yourself why!

Have a great weekend and come back next week ready to celebrate


  1. I love being "good people!" No one has ever called me that before and it's high praise! Yes, we do think alike . . . and I'm delighted you asked me the questions for your blog. It made me think more about my process (such as it is).

    As for Rebel--I'll be signing Rebel (and Iva Honeysuckle) at our brand-new Barnes and Noble in Fredericksburg (where the old Borders used to be), on Sat. Dec. 15, from 1 to 4. C'mon up!

  2. I love Rebel, too! My husband and I grew up in a small community where beauty pageants were just like those in the book. We giggled over Rebel's antics and I was hooked on Necco wafers all summer, getting my sugar fix.

    This interview was a joy to read. As a "just down the road" friend to Candice, I mostly ask her boring questions, like "What are you fixin' for dinner tonight?" Your questions and her answers help me to better know this this talented writer who is indeed good!

  3. I have Rebel on my wishlist.
    I have been a fan of Candice since I was about ten years of age. Thats' over 23 years of Candice appreciation. Funny to think that the book that I judged by its cover when I was a kid would turn out to be one of my most favourite books in my collection ["Fourteen and Holding" is held together by sticky tape from so much handling in the first two years that I had the book].

    ReplyDelete happy to hear from you.........