I’ve had the pleasure of living in Georgia for two long stretches over the years—first in the historic city of Savannah, then years later in the capitol of Atlanta. “Fatlanta” offered everything you could expect of life in large city, including excellent art and history museums, a fine symphony, quality theater and loads of traffic. But the years spent in coastal Georgia were certainly the most colorful and have provided a setting for an upcoming novel. Savannah’s historic River Street runs along the old cotton exchange that was the life blood of the city until the boll weevil ate the heart out of the industry in the 1930s. Now the gray brick roadbed is lined with thriving bistros and shops. The city’s magnificent oak-lined squares are surrounded with buildings that range from the Colonial to the Victorian periods—gifts from former city fathers who chose to capitulate to General Sherman, who otherwise had an unfortunate habit of setting fires. The iconic live oaks with Spanish moss also line many of the side roads, some of which will lead you to the nearby beach, where the old Tybee Lighthouse is an enduring landmark. Among the more captivating regional festivals are Savannah’s all-out celebration of St. Paddy’s Day and the annual Blessing of the Fleet down the coast at Darien—an observance with roots in centuries-old European tradition. I was fortunate to do much of the work on my newly released novel Maya Lord while living in Georgia and always found people energizing and the landscape a source of imagination.John Coe Robbins is an independent writer and documentary producer. After receiving a B.A. in History from Duke University and an M.A. in Communications from the University of North Carolina, John worked as a television reporter and documentary producer for fifteen years. In 1994, he established an independent scriptwriting and production company.
John's television work has won numerous awards and has appeared on ABC, CNN, Discovery, A&E and TV stations around the country. His Hugo-Award winning documentary on organ transplants, Dying To Live, began appearing on public television stations across the country in the summer of 2012. Maya Lord is his first novel.
(Pictures provided by author)