Published: Jun 07, 2012 11:36 AM
Modified: Jun 07, 2012 11:37 AM
Fuquay-Varina novelist writes about life after retirement
Fuquay-Varina novelist Lila Hopkins just celebrated her 83rd birthday and is celebrating by promoting her seventh book, “Mabel’s Way.”“Mabel’s Way” follows widow Mabel Yancey, who is ambivalent about moving to a retirement community. Once there, her life becomes fun but hectic as she offers to “help” others. Mabel soon finds herself at the center of both romance and mystery. Q: How did you find inspiration for “Mabel’s Way”?Many people are afraid of moving to a retirement community. With so many Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, I wanted them to know that in many ways, it’s just the beginning. I wanted to write something that was fun and full of life. Q: Are your characters based on people you have met in real life? My neighbor across the hall (who has since passed away) was the inspiration for the main character. I deal with real people and real problems. But Mabel is only the inspiration; it’s not a biography.I do write about real life character traits, and not all of my characters are pleasant. I don’t want people to read about a character and see themselves reflected in a bad way. It is fiction. Q: What is your background? We moved to North Carolina over 30 years ago, and we lived in the mountains (Linville) for 12 years. I have written children’s books and three regional, inspirational novels. I was a member of High Country Writers, which was a great group. Q: One of the places your novel is for sale is on Amazon, as an e-book. Do you read books on an e-reader now?I didn’t used to, but when “Mabel’s Way” was published that way, I started. My husband bought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas. It’s quite easy. Now, I can take 15 books on a trip without carrying anything extra. Q: Are the people at Windsor Point interested in your writing?They are. I have been teaching a creative writing course there for about eight years, and there are great writers in the group. We started with our parents, writing descriptions of each of them. We have a collection of memoirs, and I hope we can publish them in a single book. We critique each other’s work, but also, these writers now have stories they can share with their families. Q: How long does it take you to write a novel? Do you plan to write another one?It took me about three years to write each of the other three novels because they required a lot of research. “Mabel’s Way” didn’t require the same amount of research, so it only took about a year.As far as writing another novel, I keep saying, “Absolutely not,” but I’ve said that before. I’ve learned to never say never.