An Open Letter to Booksellers from Robert Hicks

An Open Letter to My Fellow Booksellers,motherofrain_card

Okay, first of all, I know I don’t own a bookstore and so I guess most of you won’t count me among your ranks. I don’t spend my days keeping the door open, the lights on, making payroll, or stocking books and then hooking them up with my customers. But—that understood—in the end we’re both in the same business; selling books to readers.

So, with your permission, I am writing as one of you on behalf of Karen Spears Zacharias’ debut novel Mother of Rain (Sept 2013) being published by Mercer University Press. Of course, I could have simply written a blurb, but as I made my way through the manuscript, it seemed this historical novel deserved more than a blurb.

As a Southerner and a Tennessean, I am always happy to see a book about my people come up through the ranks. In her opening notes, Karen wants to be sure we know her voice is authentic as she chronicles her own heritage, long anchored in East Tennessee. I guess she does this because of having been replanted in the Northwest many years ago.

Truth is, the words of Mother of Rain speak far louder than any family pedigree ever will. Her story is authentic, through and through.  The folks that populate her world are as hard and rough as the mountainous terrain they struggle to survive.

Their lives are filled with the sadness and craziness that seems to be our lot in the rural South, coupled with a depth of love that gives meaning to their struggles. She has given us a beautiful book, brilliantly written—a book for generations to come.

I owe you booksellers a lot. Any success I’ve ever had is forever linked to the power of hand-selling a book. Hopefully, I will never miss an opportunity to thank you for that privilege. Likewise, because of you and your passion, I have been introduced to other books and storytellers I would never have known.

So, here I am, asking you to meet the folks Karen has given us in Mother of Rain.  I hope you love this book as much as I do—and, if you do—I hope you will pass it on to your readers.  She has done her part and done it beautifully. Now it’s up to us to get the word out.

Thank you again,

Robert Hicks

The Widow of the South

and A Separate Country


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