Middletown author set to release fourth book
Aug 30, 2016 01:49PM
● By Steven Hoffman
Faye Green, a Middletown resident, will be publishing her fourth book later in 2016.
By Steve Hoffman
Later this year, author Faye Green will publish a new book which represents the latest chapter in a burgeoning, if somewhat improbable, writing career.
The Middletown resident has now written four novels—“Boy on the Wall,” “Gertie,” “Dicey,” and “A Daughter is Given”—and maintains a busy schedule of speaking engagements at a time in life when many people would be cutting back on their workload.
“My life turned around when I retired and I decided that I wanted to write books,” Green explained during an interview.
So each day that she can set aside a block of time, Green will sit down at her computer and work—whether she's writing, revising, or editing one of her novels or writing short stories and poems.
As a novelist, Green likes to put her characters—often women—in difficult situations to see how they will respond.
It was eight years ago when Green was facing significant real-world trials of her own. Her husband, Bill, passed away after a lengthy illness. And, after careers with the Prince Georges County School System in Maryland and with the U.S. Department of Defense, she needed to fill up her life with new pursuits.
As Green refined and developed her skills as a writer, it did not take her long to start discovering what kind of writer she was going to be. She likes historical fiction, and many of her stories have historical settings. There are often political and societal overtones to the work. And she frequently builds the story around female characters.
“I usually have a strong woman at the center of the story,” Green explained. “I like to study human nature and how women react to things.”
Green incorporates a lifetime of experiences into her writing. She was born and raised in Laurel, Md., and always had an affinity for writing short stories and poems. She studied at the University of Maryland before embarking on a career and starting to raise a family. Later, when her children were a little older, she returned to college to finish work on a liberal arts degree. She and her husband both worked for the U.S. Department of Defense for a time.
Spending so much time in Maryland, Delaware, and also Arapahoe, North Carolina influenced her writing, and her books often feature the flavor of the Chesapeake Bay and the beautiful Atlantic beaches along the coast.
Her first book, “The Boy on the Wall,” is a story about a boy who is jailed for stealing bread during the famine. She was inspired to write this story after a trip to Ireland.
The second book, “Gertie,” focused on a young woman dealing with divorce—a scandalous concept in the early-20th century world that protagonist Gertie MacGregor was living in. Gertie became the first and only divorced woman in Laurel, Maryland after her husband, Edward broke her arm in a fit of anger. Her friends and neighbors in the small town expected Gertie to make the best of it, but she sought a divorce instead. She suffered great consequences—the friends and neighbors shunned her, she was removed as soloist in the church choir, and she later lost her job because she chose to stay home and care for her sick child.
The book spans the years 1909 to 1946, a period when the country was undergoing significant changes, albeit slowly. Gertie raised her child on her own. She helped serving veterans at nearby Fort Meade through World War I and World War II. The second World War, in particular, changed the place that women held in the world as they increasingly became a part of the workforce. Eventually, Gertie is recognized for helping to care for wounded soldiers by Eleanor Roosevelt, the revered First Lady who was an inspiration to millions of people because of her efforts to promote human rights. Gertie illustrated how women's roles were changing in society as they faced their fears and hardships.
The challenge that the woman at the center of “Dicey” had to overcome was attempting to find a new life after her husband passes away. Delores “Dicey” Grant has an adventure that is ignited by a longtime friend and gambler—and that adventure unfolds in Washington, D.C., Delaware, and an unnamed village in Haiti. Green said that this story explores the feelings of a widow as she looks to move on with the next chapter in her life.
“A Daughter is Given” is Green's fourth book. It is set in the mid-1950s and it has political overtones—the protagonist is a young woman who grew up thinking that one man is her father, but discovers that the man's business partner, who happens to be a powerful U.S. Senator, is in reality her real father. When that U.S. senator ascends to the presidency, the stakes are raised for everyone involved.
The story was inspired, in part, by the real-life circumstances of Sen. John Edwards, whose bid for the U.S. Presidency was upended by allegations of a scandalous affair that produced a child. Edwards allegedly had one of his business partners claim that he, not Edwards, was the father of the child. The sordid real life political drama made Green wonder, 'What if...?' and it set her on the path to the story that she wrote.
Green said that as she has gained experience as a writer, she has become much more disciplined with it.
“I spend a part of every day writing,” she explained. “When I sit down to write, I try to have a minimum of three hours to work. I won't write if I only have 15 minutes or a half an hour. I also find that it's necessary to work continuously on a book to maintain the continuity of what you're working on.”
When she's not writing, Green fills her days with time spent with her children and grandchildren. She attends the St. Paul's United Methodist Church. She also likes interior decorating, traveling, sewing, and gardening.
She has a busy calendar of speaking engagements where she talks to book clubs, writing groups, church groups, retirement groups, professional societies or schools. She loves meeting people and talking about her books.
“I have met the most amazing people,” she explained.
She encourages everyone to make the most out of retirement, and to do what they've always wanted to do—including writing a novel, if that's been a goal.
“I always tell people that anyone can write if they take the time to do it,” she explained.
Every writer needs support of some kind. Green joined a writing group in Georgetown that has provided help, support, and encouragement to her. Her family and friends have been very supportive, too.
Gertrude Roe, the longtime, award-winning editor of the Laurel Leader newspaper, is another longtime supporter who was always encouraging of Green's work.
Green admitted that she is still sometimes surprised to find herself standing in front of a room full of people talking about her books and writing.
“I think the person in the room most surprised about that is me,” she said.
She considers her greatest reward for her work to be a reader who says that he or she liked a book that Green wrote.
“The goal is to have a reader say that they loved it, or that they passed the book along for someone else to read,” Green explained.
As for future projects, Green is already doing the preliminary research on a book about the workhouse system and Irish immigration during the years of the famine. She also has a collection of short stories that she thinks would make a nice book at some point.
Green's books are available from the author, at amazon.com, from the publisher at authorhouse.com, and by request at local book stores like Barnes & Noble. To contact Green about a speaking engagement or her books, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.