I am an award-winning author in both memoir and spiritually based self-help. My unpublished manuscript, Glowing Houses: An Appalachian Girl’s Memoir, took second place in the nonfiction/memoir category in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association literary contest. My manuscript is complete (~86,000 words) and I have a full proposal that includes the following: table of contents; chapter-by-chapter outline; synopsis; competitive titles; marketing plan; full bio; and three sample chapters.
Glowing Houses is the coming-of-age story about a girl who grew up in a house that had dirt floors, drinking water pumped from the ground, and crumbling concrete walls. In a West Virginia holler, the house was always being built while at the same time falling down. It was nothing like the houses in town: houses that had matching windows, grass, inside bathrooms, and shelves with food; houses that glowed like candles—from the inside out.
Her dad kept the family, especially the girls, isolated and ignorant. He told his kids they were Supreme Beings and that he didn’t want them influenced by outsiders: fags, niggers, white trash, and people who used fancy words. If it wasn’t the law, they’d have never gone to school or gotten their shots. Aside from Bibles given to each of the nine kids by the church people and a small book of poems written by a preacher in the holler where her mom was raised, they had no books.
In the course of her journey, she learns the meaning of words like unorthodox and gullible, how to order food from a menu, and that ignorance and stupidity are not the same thing.
Glowing Houses is a nuanced, deeply felt memoir that both explores and explodes the stereotypes of the Appalachian hillbilly.