Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Me and Pat Conroy
I never read anything by Pat Conroy until a reviewer compared one of my books to his. Linda Linguvic, an amazon.com reviewer from New York City wrote in her review of The Backside of Nowhere: Frankly, I loved this book and actually found it better than Pat Conroy's latest, South of Broad because the characters seemed more real and not just stereotypes. Alec Clayton hit the mark perfectly, held my interest throughout and even surprised me at the end. Bravo!”
After reading that, I naturally I had to see what Conroy was all about. I’ve since read Prince of Tides, Beach Music and South of Broad, and I see the similarities. Same kind of quirky humor, same love-hate of the South. And we both go into detail about the family histories of our characters. Now I fear readers will think I’m copying him.
Ned Hayes, author of the best-selling The Eagle Tree, wrote in his review of my latest: “Tupelo is a haunting and personal tale, reminiscent of the best of Pat Conroy.”
I hesitate to say anymore because I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but as a self-published author with no money for promotion, I have to brag when I can. Here’s the thing I am exceedingly proud of: I think my “Freedom Trilogy” and Tupelo are in many ways better than anything Conroy has written, mainly because he over writes, and because his narrators are always too easily identifiable as Conroy himself and he/his narrators come across as both prideful and humble, but the pride is overarching and off-putting.
I hope you will read his books and mine and compare them for yourself. You might think I’m right, but maybe not.