Delores Phillips On-line Chat Transcript

with the Coffee Will Make you Black Book Club
Sunday, the 14th of March 2004

delores = Delores Phillips (Author) The Darkest Child : A Novel

The Darkest Child: A Novel
Click to order via Amazon or
Barnes and Noble

ISBN: 1569473455
Format: Hardcover, 388pp
Pub. Date: January 2004
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated

  Thumper: Hello Miss Delores. How are you doing this evening?

  delores : Fine, happy to be here. .

  Thumper: Hello Anita, how are you doing this evening?

  delores : Hi Anita

  anita: Hello. I'm fine.

  Thumper: Hello Shevi.

  delores : Hi Shevi

  Thumper: Delores, how did you come to write The Darkest Child? Was it something that you had been thinking about for a while?

  delores : It started out as a poem that filled a 500 pg composition book. I wanted to explore what happened to abused children in the rural south before child protection laes.

  Thumper: Rose was something else. I thought she was evil. To you, did she have any redeeming qualities?

  delores : Not really. She was a product of the times, and of the things that happened to her.

  Thumper: Anita and Shevi, you two can jump in any time you like.

  Thumper: I'm having a time figuring out what could have happened to her that was so severe that she would make her daughters into prostitutes?

  anita: I loved the book and want a sequel. I promise, when Judy was tossed from the porch, I WENT NUTS!!!!! That's powerful writing when your words effect a reader on such a deep level.

  delores : Nothing happened to her to make her do that. She did it because she wanted to and because she could. She did it for the money. Most of what rozelle did was out of her own meaness.

  Thumper: Anita: I agree with you. I must have re-read that part three times before I finally believed it.

  delores : Anita, I am planning a sequel.

  shevi: I was so sad about Judy,it actually made me cry. I could feel Martha Jean's pain.

  anita: WONDERFUL..I can't wait.

  Thumper: Tangy was a complex character. Was she really that naive about what was going on with her mother or was she trying to see the good side to her and pretending the bad away?

  delores : I think it's wonderful when a reader is touched on an emotional level by my writing.

  delores : Tangy knew her mother was evil. She had known it since the age of six. She did not want to believe it. Tangy wanted desperately to love her mother.

  Thumper: Delores: When did you say, "I'm going to turn this into a book"? And by writing the novel, did the story move into territories that you hadn't planned on?

  anita: How did you create such a realistic world? How long did it take you to complete the novel?

  delores : I worked on the novel for two years while working full time in a psychiatric hospital. I had to create a world and step into it. I watched the characters grow, then allowed them to do as they pleased.

  delores : Thumper, the story did get away from me. As I began writing I had no idea just how evel Rozelle would become.

  Thumper: Were you surprised by Rozelle?

  delores : To all, please forgive the slip of my fingers and the misspelled words that are jumping up on this screen.

  Thumper: Delores: Don't worry about that. I've never been hung up on correct spelling and all that.

  delores : I knew from the start that Rozelle was a mean woman. I worked without an outlne, and certainly there were unexpected surprises.

  Thumper: What I loved most about Rozell was that I didn't get the sense that you were making her evil for evil sake. I was really surprised that her kids, at some point, didn't strangle her in her sleep.

  delores : They thought about it.

  anita: I didn't think they'd strangle her; I got the sense they just wanted her to open up and love them.

  shevi: Bye, bye!

  Thumper: I have to applaud you on Rozelle's children. Each had their own personalities and tragedies that you conveyed very well.

  delores : Rozelle had brainwashed her children with "honor thy mother."

  Thumper: Anita, I have to agree with you. But I would think that there would come to a point where a person would get tired of the abuse and either rise up against her or leave her.

  delores : Mushy, Harvey, and Sam managed to get away from her. Even Martha Jean.

  delores : Wallace left at a young age, and found a way to stay away from her.

  anita: Of course, Delores, I have the standard question: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

  Thumper: But Mushy came back. Harvey was gone for a second, but he was still giving her his money. And Sam got carted off to jail. And Martha Jean she sold off. But none ever managed to finally break away from her, except Wallace.

  delores : Hang in there, stick with it, write, write, write, and never give up.

  Thumper: Delores, our time is up. What's next on your agenda?

  delores : Working on a second novel at this time.

  anita: Thanks, Delores.

  delores : Thanks, Thumper, for allowing me to share.

  Thumper: Delores, thanks for stopping by. Gawd, I so loved this book! I'm looking forward to the next one.

  delores : Thanks, Anita. Bye

  anita: Bye, bye!

  Thumper: Thanks for stopping by Anita. *smile*

  Thumper: Good night Delores. Thanks again.

  Thumper: Bye, bye!

  Thumper: Bye, bye!

  Thumper: Bye, bye!