"Stories Come From the Ancestors"
Amanda Peters on her Debut Novel "The Berry Pickers"
My latest podcast features an engaging conversation with author Amanda Peters, who penned the novel “The Berry Pickers.” In this dialogue, we explored the profound art of fiction writing. Amanda revealed her unique relationship with fiction, shaped by her vivid imagination and wisdom from her mentor at the Institute for American Indian and Sam Houston. She eloquently expressed that there's "nothing to fear than fiction," a sentiment that resonated with me.
We delved into her book, "The Berry Pickers," a tale inspired by her father's stories of being berry pickers in Maine during the '60s and '70s. Despite initially resisting the idea of writing about her family's history, Amanda's father's persistence led her to the fields where they worked, where she heard his amazing stories. I was touched by her journey, seamlessly blending those real-life anecdotes with her own creativity.
"The Berry Pickers" isn't just a novel; it's a testament to the power of fiction, where different truths form one compelling story. Amanda's creative process and the finished product inspired me, illustrating the beautiful harmony between reality and imagination.
Big Talk is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The novel immerses readers in a tragic mystery, where summer's innocence is shattered by a young girl's disappearance. As four-year-old Ruth vanishes in Maine's blueberry fields in 1962, her family's world is upended. Journey with her brother Joe as he grapples with guilt and questions that linger for 50 years. Alongside Joe's narrative is Norma's tale, a girl sensing an unspoken family secret. Together, their stories create a thrilling saga of loss, longing, and redemption that will captivate readers.
In our conversation, I also asked Amanda about the Indigenous heritage reflected in her stories. She shared an insightful connection between storytelling, identity, and ancestral wisdom, explaining that her stories come from the ancestors, an insight gained from a friend. This profound perspective resonated deeply with me as an Indigenous person, reflecting not just our shared heritage but a sense of pride and belonging within our community.
Grab a copy of "The Berry Pickers" and get lost in a mystery that transcends time, or tune into our conversation to discover the creative process behind this moving tale.