Sally J. Pla's new novel is The Someday Birds.
From her Q&A with Beth McMullen:
Birds and birding are central to this novel. Are you a bird watcher?Visit Sally J. Pla's website.
When I was a kid, yes. I was an amateur birder. I took it very seriously. I had a bird book, and a notebook for my observations.
My dad mocked me once, when I was tramping around the backyard. He said, “Oh, look! A yellow-bellied sapsucker!” He didn’t know anything about birds or birding, and he thought it was just some funny made-up name to tease me with.
I got super excited. I whispered, “Where? Where?” looking all around — and then he laughed at me.
That crushed me, because there really was such a thing as a yellow-bellied sapsucker, gosh darn it! It wasn’t a made-up bird at all! I showed it to him in my bird book, later on.
But you know, that was one of those childhood tipping-point “moments,” somehow. The moment I first felt really self-conscious. When I realized the intensity of my interests might make me different, different enough to warrant being mocked. Even by my own dad.
My dad is very loving, and he still feels regretful about that incident. In fact, he donated to the Audubon Society last year, because the sapsucker is now endangered. An act of yellow-bellied penance, to make me smile. Because the yellow-bellied sapsucker has been this running thing between us, for about forty years, now!
I know all that plays into...[read on]
Coffee with a Canine: Sally J. Pla & Leo.