Carolyn Gill Davis

Carolyn Gill Davis

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
December 21, 2007

Q.    Carolyn, what inspired you to write THE FALL OF MY BEGINNING?

A.    My mother passed July 1979. After I had moved from Indiana in 1954 to California I had always called and talked to my mother on Mother's Day. In 1980 I could not call her so I sat down and wrote the first letter that is in the book. I decided to carry this theme throughout the book. The original letter helped me to make a connection which I no longer had.

Q.    How did you come about the title?

A.    I was born on September 23, 1930. Some years this is the first day of fall. I loved going to school, which began in the fall. Throughout my life, there have been many downfalls, disappointments, and mistakes. After each one, I was able to begin again and tried not to fall down again. Thus the Fall (season/mistakes) of My Beginning (starting over and trying not to make the same mistakes again. But as the reader soon realizes I made one mistake four times. (marriage/divorces)

Q.   Will you give the readers a brief synopsis of THE FALL OF MY BEGINNING?

A.    Yes-summarized in my web site. A series of short stories/memoirs of my life described in retrospect. The meanings that could only be understood and comprehended by me in the fall (later years) of my life. They are not always in chronological order, but build on previous incidents.

Q.    What is your life like now in Indiana compared to when you lived in California?

A.    I am now able to drink in the happenings of my life. It is a relaxing time of settling in for a long winters nap. While living in California, I was busy working, making money, spending, raising a daughter and trying to raise a grown husband. I continued my education and received a Master of Education, community volunteer, enrolled in many educational classes, and studied photography. California was a 'never rest' keep going existence. I now feel more relaxed and able to move at pace my energy allows me.

Q.    If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently about choosing a husband?

A.    I should have kept my eyes, ears open and mouth shut so I could have heard the warning signs floating around, This should have been done before I said "I do." God looks after all of us, including me. Prayer and a closer relation with God would have been the ultimate tool and answer.

Q.    What inspired you to include poetry within your book?

A.    I was inspired by God. I didn't begin writing with the idea of using poetry in my book. I awoke one morning and there were words that fell into my head that connected with what I was writing. From then on I kept a pen and pad nearby.

Q.    What inspired you to include letters to your mother within your book?

A.    The letters added the inspiration I needed to keep my mother close to me.

Q.    What impact does your grandchildren have in your writing?

A.    I once heard one of my grandchildren tell a sibling, " I didn't know Grandmother could talk and write like that." This was following a workshop that I had conducted in Pensacola, Florida. My main idea was to leave written words that would be preserved by telling about the past history of my family. This also gave my descendants an idea of how I thought about life.

Q.    Are you currently working on another book?

A.    I am currently working on a book about my travels to South Africa and Ghana. I have many poems written and plan to compose a book of poetry and photography.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading THE FALL OF MY BEGINNING?

A.    When your descendants ask questions, do not answer with the "Makin' popovers to catch meddlers," answer. Tell them just like it was. There is no one living or deceased that has not made mistakes and fallen down. Let them know that they can fall down but God will pick them up. Tell the stories as they really happened.