Friday, July 9, 2010

I totally planned it ...

Did you hear that Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Why is that significant to me? I'm so glad you asked!

Not only is Mockingbird one of my favorite novels of all time, but I make a couple of references to it in my latest release, True Vision.

Charlie Trudeau, my super-empathic heroine, has a cat named Atticus. Charlie named her furry friend after Mockingbird's hero, Atticus Finch, a man who reminded her of her father when she was a kid. At one point in True Vision, when she feels her dad has let her down, she thinks this:

Her throat thickened with the familiar yearning for him to be her hero again, her Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, the tall, handsome man who fought the good fight and protected his children from evil.

Charlie has some of the same qualities as Atticus Finch, too, in that she considers it her journalistic duty to help "the innocent, helpless and screwed" (that's how she puts it). When I read Mockingbird in high school for English class, it might have been the first time I enjoyed, and got into, my homework. I just fell in love with everything about that book: the writing, the characters, Atticus Finch.  

Just for gigs, I've included a picture of Charlie's cat Atticus. Doesn't he totally look like an Atticus? He should also look like a MacArthur, because that was his actual name. He was my bud for 15 catnip-y, purrfect years. He had the Eeyore slouch just like Charlie's Atticus. Not to mention the ability to look really, really smug, as you can tell from his mug here. :)


  1. TKAM is one of my fave books too. Warning - Rant coming. It's so sad that through all those years of school I can count on one hand the books I enjoyed. If they want kids to read, the school boards had better make other choices for reading
    material. Most of them were boring & some were awful. My grade 12 English teacher got mad at me
    one day. We were reading Hemingway. Pages & pages of dialogue with no clue to who was speaking unless you went back & counted who was who. Run on sentences that were a paragraph long.
    I dared to say to the teacher, "Why are we reading this? If I wrote like that you'd fail me." Oh he was pissed. Better to say that the board picked the books than try to defend that to me. That's why I treasure authors that can make me forget I'm just reading a book. Okay I'll shut up now. TKAM always makes me do this.

  2. Hi, Mary!
    I think that Hemingway wouldn't be able to get published today. At least, not until he had a copy editor. :)
    High school was when I finally got to read books that I enjoyed: Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace, Jane Eyre (another HUGE favorite!).
    I agree that many of the choices of books for kids to read are so odd. Some teens and preteens are just too young to appreciate them. That's why I went back and reread most of them as an adult -- and many times ended up nodding and thinking, "Oh, I get it now."
    Sort of like going to museums. I love museums now, but when I was a kid, they were mostly just borrrrringggggg.

  3. Oh I forgot about Catcher In The Rye and A Separate Peace. I always liked museums anyway.
    forgot to tell you that a while they ago people wanted TKAM banned from schools. Can you imagine? In a huge diverse city like Toronto?
    Didn't happen though.

  4. I'm glad it didn't happen, Mary. What a shame that would have been. People get so crazy about the weirdest stuff sometimes.