First off, most of our pictures are of doughnuts - not because the doughnuts were the most important part of Linda's reading, but because the action shots of Linda actually reading turned out blurry.
On the other hand, doughnuts are deeply symbolic. As we discussed at Saturday's book launch party for Linda Urban and The Center of Everything.
The Center of Everything's narrator, Ruby Pepperdine, lives in the town founded by the fictitious inventor of the modern doughnut's shape. She is watching the annual celebration of this founder and learning, as Linda said in her talk, "about the small towns that
make us feel like we're the center of everything and also about how it's
not always best to be the center, but to be connected in the circle."
For anyone who is interested in how writers structure their books, this book is for you.
The Center of Everything takes place over one day, Bunning Day, told in present time like telling a story to a friend. Ruby spends almost the entire book standing in a circle, watching the Bunning Day parade go by and waiting to read her Bunning Day Essay. A lot can happen with a narrative in that structure, trust us - there's loss of a grandparent, there are new friends and old friends, and the 12 year old narrator is starting to question what the future holds (and how she can make sure everything turns out okay). And other Bunning townspeople do get cameos in short monologue-style chapters throughout the book.
It's also a book for people who couldn't care less about the mechanics and just want a good story. But you're still encouraged to geek out over structure.
Although Linda didn't attribute her entire inspiration to Montpelier, I think it's fair to mention that the book began soon after watching Montpelier's 4th of July Parade when she realized that ". . . most of the time we walk through town, with a
parade we stand still and the town walks through us." Also, there is a doughnut shop named Delish and a theater named Hungry Nation.
Just putting it out there that Montpelier is the true Center of Everything.
You can read Linda describing the book in her own words at this blog post.
This post also explains The Next Big Thing Blog Tour. It's a chain of blog posts by authors with upcoming books. One author answers a set of questions on her blog, then passes those questions on to another author to answer on *their* blog, creating one link in the tour. Then that author links a new author. And so on. Check it out and find out where the next big thing is happening (and whether they'll serve doughnuts).