Yesterday, I reviewed a terrific new novel called LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT THE DAIRY QUEEN. I am very happy that the author of this book, Susan Gregg Gilmore, has written a guest post for Booking Mama. I just love her essay because it's so heartfelt -- just like her novel!
It’s time to come clean. Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, is much more autobiographical than I first thought or was willing to admit. Yep, I had a grandfather that sold moonshine and ran on the wrong side of the law till he went to a revival and started preaching himself. Yep, I had an aunt Gloria Jean that was a very striking young woman with deep auburn hair and married five times -- well maybe six -- there is still some family debate since there’s rumor she married one man twice. And yep, I spent a lot of time at the Dairy Queen eating Dilly Bars of course.
But that was where the similarities between my life and Catherine Grace Cline’s ended -- or so I thought. I grew up in a big town, i.e., Nashville, Tennessee. Catherine Grace grew up in a small-town, i.e., Ringgold, Georgia. I have a great mama. She, well, not so much. My daddy sold insurance. Hers sold salvation.
A couple of months ago, I was at a bookstore and taking questions from the audience as I always do at the end of a reading. A woman asked if the book was autobiographical. And yes, I have been asked this question many, many times. But for some reason, I looked this woman square in the eyes and said, “yes, I think it may be.”
What I realized in that moment was that even though Catherine Grace and I may have lived very different lives, we had always wanted the same thing. We both just wanted to know more, see more, touch more. We wanted to know what was out there in this big, big world of ours. And I think we both realized, somewhere along the way, that as trite and corny as this may sound, that after a whole lot of looking, the very best things can be found right here at home.
I absolutely adored Ms. Gilmore's debut novel LOOKING FOR SALVATION AT THE DAIRY QUEEN! I am so excited that I have five copies to giveaway. To enter, leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me what you're favorite Dairy Queen treat is. To double or even triple your chances, you can blog and/or tweet about this contest with a link back to this post. I will accept entries until Wednesday, July 8th at 11:59 p.m. EST; and I will notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only -- no p.o. boxes please. Good Luck!