Back in October, I received the 5-Star Highly Recommended Award of Excellence from the Historical Fiction Company. This honor automatically advanced From the Drop of Heaven into the Book of the Year Awards.
This is an excerpt of my 5-Star review from the Historical Fiction Company.
“For lovers of rich, immersive history wrapped in a captivating and heartbreaking story, this book grabs hold from the very beginning and refuses to release until the very last word. Juliette Godot is a master storyteller, taking her own astounding family history and offering the reader a beautifully crafted tale worthy of ten stars!”
Reedsy, one of the largest author support networks in the world, recommended The Historical Fiction Club’s Book of the Year contest as one of the top writing contest for 2022.
I don’t know how many hundreds of people entered their books in the Book of the Year Awards. Simply making it into the contest was a great honor, but then, my book advanced into the semi-finals!
That I did not win the Book of the Year did not surprise me, but getting into the semi-finals and then winning the Honorable Mention did!
It’s hard to believe that my debut novel was considered among the best books of 2022. I have to pinch myself whenever I think about it.
I recently was invited to talk about my book on the Sunbury Press Book Show on the #BookSpeakNetwork Podcast. I am not an accomplished public speaker, so I was very nervous. I know the reason.
As a Yinzer from the hills around the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, I catch myself saying regional words that might be confusing to those who don’t live here. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
For example: I remember when I was in grade school. The word CHIMNEY was on my third-grade spelling list. I had never heard of a chimney, though I had often heard the word CHIMLEY. LOL. So I learned the “right way” to say and spell the word.
But where did the word chimley come from, and why do they say it in my neck of the woods? There are many instances of the word coming from Scotland and Northern England, but my ancestors are from France and Germany. I’ve searched for references, but could find nothing.
Other sources of the word chimley
Here are some sources found on the Ulster-Scotts Academy website:
chimbley, chimleyn A chimney. [oed chimbley, chimley n Scottish and dialect; dost chimlay n 1540→; snd chimbley, chimley n; dare chimbley n A chiefly South, Midland]
1829 McSparran Irish Legend 294 Out of the chimley she goes like a wild goose.
1880 Patterson Antrim/Down Glossary 18 chimley = a chimney.
1886 Lyttle Ballycuddy 43 They put anither big sod on the chimley so as nae licht cud get in.
1928 McKay Oul’ Town 64 His next move was to pelt stones down widow Rooney’s ‘chimbley’, an’ if he didn’t break her teapot.
1981 Pepper Ulster-English Dict 18 That’s the second time this week the chimley’s went on fire.
1939 Hall Coll Boys, you’uns [are] talkin’ about rough country, but I’m going to tell you one time the roughest country I was in. It was so steep the people had to look up the chimley to see if the cows was still in the pasture.
1969GSMNP-38:62 They had it about all finished except the chimbley.
So, you see, chimley is not a made up word spoke by unintelligent hill folk. It has a very long history and is perfectly fine to say. I try not to say it simply because it is ancient and has fallen out of favor, though one day at Carnegie Mellon University, it slipped out. Old habits die hard. I just laughed, and called myself a hick. One colleague from Italy didn’t know the word hick either. I confused him completely.
But what does this have to do with the #BookSpeakNetwork Podcast?
Juliette Godot in the Author’s Guild Member Spotlight
Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world?
Writing is important to the world because it allows the writer’s experiences, ideas, and dreams to be understood and contemplated by others who would never have met that person and would never have had the chance to see the world through another’s eyes.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block?
My tried and tested remedy to cure writer’s block is to read something. Something as mundane as the local news or a magazine article could trigger the perfect idea. Always keep your mind open to any reading opportunity.
What is your favorite time to write?
My favorite time to write is in the evening. I got a lot of my ideas on my long commute home. As soon as I arrived, I had to quickly get them written down before I forgot them.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
The best piece of writing advice I’ve ever received and would like to impart to others is to get beta readers that are not your friends or family. Friends and family won’t tell you the truth. They mean well and since they know you personally, they may also know the situation you are describing. You need someone completely impartial to give you honest feedback.
What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age?
What excites me most about being a writer today is that research is so much easier. We have access to most of the world’s history at our fingertips. Within a few minutes, I can search for every historical event that happened on a certain day, hundreds of years ago. As someone who was born prior to the rise of the internet, I remember having to search my family’s encyclopedias (back then, every family had a set of encyclopedias) to find information for a school paper. Now, I can find that information in an instant.
Juliette Godot’s From the Drop of Heaven is out now with Brown Posey Press.
Find out more about me and my research for the novel, From the Drop of Heaven.