Author Lisa Wingate was special guest speaker at the February 17 meeting of the Mason Bluebonnet Study Club held in the home of Mary Hemphill. Surrounded by the beautiful antique book shelves that line one wall of the front room of the building which serves as a bed and breakfast as well as private residence, the author recounted some of the history of her newest series of books set in the Texas hill country fictional town called Daily. The series entitled Daily, Texas has two editions to date. The first is Talk of the Town and the most recent is Word Gets Around. Characters featured are so typical of any small town in Texas that one feels recognition and could swear that the locals are featured. Imagene Doll, one of the leading characters, holds the record on hitting the most buzzards and sustaining damage to her car which is taken to the local combination body shop and beauty shop housed in the same building for repairs. Word spreads about any “secret” happening more quickly than a wildfire in a stiff breeze. In Talk of the Town, a local girl has placed among the finalists in an American Idol type competition and plans for her big hometown appearance are supposedly kept secret. Of course, in a flash, everyone in town knows exactly when, where, and how, to the consternation of the promoters who have no idea about the grapevine in rural Texas. Lisa Wingate captures the flavor of smalltown life perfectly. The most recent edition is about a movie to be filmed in Daily. It should be very entertaining also. A yet to be titled edition in the series will come out next February.
By popular demand, the author also read from her first book entitled Tending Roses which was the beginning of a series which included Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, Drenched in Light, and A Tousand Voices. These books were inspired by stories told to the author by her grandmother about life in rural Texas. Grandma Rose dispenses homespun common sense solutions to everyone’s problems. The series title came from advice to pay attention to the children as they grow up even if the rose bed is full of weeds..... the roses will take care of themselves and bloom beautifully.... and those little children stay small for such a short time.
Another series by the author which is a favorite of audiences is the Texas Hill Country series which includes Texas Cooking, Lone Star Cafe, and Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner.
The author’s newest creatiion is called Blue Sky Hill series and has one edition in print so far called A Month of Summer. Another book in the series is at the publisher tentatively entitled A Summer Kitchen and will come out in July. In this series of books, the author tackles the problem caused by Alzheimer’s disease and how a family must pull together at times of hardship.
Lisa Wingate grew up in Oklahoma and studied writing at Oklahoma State University. She and her husband live in central Texas and have two sons. She told her audience that she has always invented stories for the entertainment of family and friends and loves to write. Members of her family who came to the meeting with her admitted that one should watch what one does because it will end up in a book. The author admitted that inspiration comes from real life situations and suggestions recieved from readers. On some of her trips to promote books, she met unforgettable characters which are woven into the tapestry of her books.
Her audience voiced appreciation for all the entertainment and inspiration recieved from her written words as well as from her spoken words. After the program, books were autographed for those attending.
Attending the meeting were guests Lila Baron, Mildred Yates, Corrine Wright, Pam Scott, Sharon Mannion (Lisa’s mother), La Verne Benton, Norma Murray, Joan Crowell, Beverly Fox, Barbare Harkey, Welda Armour, Joan Williams, Barbare O’Banion, Wanda Burns, Elaine Peveler, Jackie Pena, Janice Wingate, Wanda Hankins, Margaret Steele, and Lisa Wingate. Many of the guests traveled from other towns to hear the author speak. Some came from Menard and two even drove all the way from San Antonio. Members attending were Edna Earle Benton, Mary Carlman, Julie Harrison, Mary Hemphill, Tonya Lamoreaux, Mary Ellen Merkel, and Betty Meyer.