Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Morning Reading: "the story couldn’t happen anywhere else"

from today's Los Angeles Times, an interview with Orange County writer Peggy Hesketh about her debut novel, Telling the Bees:


Why did you choose to set the novel in Orange County?
There was an incident that inspired the story. There were two elderly women who were known as the "bee ladies" who lived in my neighborhood in old Orange County. I used to drive by their house every day and they would sit on their porch selling their honey and one day, there was police tape wrapped around their house. Being curious, I checked the paper and found out they had been murdered in a botched burglary. And I went, "Wow! How could something like that happen?" That part of the story is absolutely true. Their house was eventually bulldozed....
I didn’t know anything more about that murder and I very consciously didn’t want to know any more because it just made me sad, but there was something about and I just kept saying, "How could something like this happen?" And then I started thinking, "How could I tell this story?" Because it was more than just simply these ladies dying. It was this whole era, this whole part of old Orange County. These were old settlers, these were farmers. It was kind of a sweet, old, little neighborhood. And I still live there and I’ve watched all the changes....
Orange County was a really interesting place when I arrived here when I was 9 years old with my family. I would wake up at night and I could smell the orange blossoms and the jasmine and the eucalyptus trees. It’s part my own memory but it’s also part a collective memory of people from our generation. But again, I have to say, I’m not Albert and I actually love that my neighborhood right now is incredibly diverse.
That’s why it’s set in Orange County—because the story couldn’t happen anywhere else.
To read the rest, click here.

Hesketh will be appearing at Literary orange and at readings around the county.  Check the readings calendar sidebar for more information.


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