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Book Spot: In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

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  • Write With Vision, Owner and CEO
    Black Pearls Magazine Interview with new author Martha A. Taylor Intimate Conversation with author Martha A. Taylor and Ella Curry, Black Pearls publisher In
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 2009
      Black Pearls Magazine Interview with new author Martha A. Taylor
      Intimate Conversation with author Martha A. Taylor and Ella Curry, Black
      Pearls publisher

      In The Land of Cotton is beautifully written. Martha Taylor successfully
      captures the essence of the era: racial tensions, war, space
      exploration, poverty, families transitioning North, riots, John F.
      Kennedy's impact of America and Martin Luther King's vision. The reader
      is transported back in time. Many may think the late 50's and early 60's
      were a time of innocence, but was it really and for who? In The Land of
      Cotton is a story of deep seated emotions, strong relationships,
      personal growth, and most of all love.

      Ella: Hello Martha! Tell us a little about your writing before, In the
      Land of Cotton.
      My writing career has been, until the last few years, one of those
      "don't quit your day job arrangements". Having made my
      living as a tax professional, I found early on that my creative writing
      skills came in handy when I had to write client letters to the IRS.

      Ella: Answer this for us: Why am I powerful?
      I am powerful because I never once accepted there were things in this
      world I could not overcome; I could not conquer; I could not embrace.

      Ella: Please introduce us to your book, In the Land of Cotton.
      As a child growing up in Memphis I could not have known that the Boyd
      family, the main characters in In the Land of Cotton, would have such a
      haunting effect on me. Last fall, their indelible personas became
      overwhelming. They were all I could think about. I sat down one
      afternoon and the book began to flow to paper. I still had vivid
      memories of Cypress Grove, a primitive farm the Boyd family had lived on
      since the days of the Civil War.

      They had no electricity, no running water and certainly no refrigeration
      yet they wanted for nothing. It was a step back in time but, as a child,
      I wanted to be part of that. As the reader journeys through the 1960's,
      they travel along side the Boyd family as they experience the historic
      events of that decade. You will find as a reader that you will become
      immediately vested in the characters. The Boyds have the voice for every
      Black American that lived through those turbulent times.

      In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor


      Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in
      the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.

      Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with
      the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and
      generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she
      discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her
      house, everyone's life changed forever.

      Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges
      relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of
      the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding
      snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times - a snapshot
      everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color. The
      year was 1956.

      Buy the book
      e/9781432734718/?itm=1&usri=1> here.
      e/9781432734718/?itm=1&usri=1> (Book info: ISBN-10: 1432734717;
      ISBN-13: 978-1432734718)

      Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader to pick
      it up?
      I hope the cover represents the book well. I wanted it to preview the
      contents and draw the reader inside. It makes the reader curious.

      Ella: Do you think we should celebrate Black History 365 days a year?
      Black History should be a daily celebration. Everyone should celebrate
      the sacrifices that have been made for the sake of freedom. Black
      History has rich roots that have woven the very fabric of equality. It
      has positioned every Black American to make history and not just be a
      part of history.

      Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
      Ultimately, if you lived through the 60's, I want you to revisit all the
      history that decade produced. If you weren't alive in the 60's, you need
      to learn about that decade from someone who had a ringside seat.

      Ella: What is the most surprising thing you have learned in creating
      The most important thing I have learned from writing books is that its
      not just words on a page. It becomes a creation from your heart. With my
      first book I discovered it could be a very personal journey that you
      shared with only your readers.

      Ella: What advice would you give another new writer?
      There are so many things I would share with a new writer but these are
      my top three.

      #1- Pick a topic you know well or that you have enough interest in to do
      the research. Most new writers write on subjects that are mostly
      autobiographical in nature. There's a reason for that.

      #2-Don't write and rewrite your work. Complete it, start to finish, then
      go back through it with fresh eyes. You won't loose your chain of
      thought and you won't loose your momentum. This tip will really improve
      the flow of your work.

      #3- You have to be true to your characters- even the ones you do not
      like. Your readers have to be able to relate to them on some level. You
      want someone to be able to "see" your characters and think,
      "Yeah, I know someone like that."

      Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
      I am very committed to the Boyd's story and bringing the various
      family stories to life. The next book, Dixie, will begin right before
      the Civil War and end at 1900. I can hardly to see how the historical
      events of those years will unfold and how they will effect the Boyds.

      Buy the Book: www.Amazon.com

      Martha A. Taylor, Author, "In the Land of Cotton"
      Email: Taylortsg@... <mailto:Taylortsg@...>

      Praise for In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

      Racism from the perspective of an innocent white girl who learns
      firsthand how absurd it is.
      Book Review by cashbacher@... <mailto:cashbacher@...>
      (TOP 50 REVIEWER, Amazon)

      The innocence of youth is a beautiful thing, it is refreshing to witness
      and gives the world so much, except when it is a young white girl being
      exposed to a poor black family in the southern United States in the
      1950's. In that context, it could have meant the death of some of the

      Martha was a young white girl who bonded with her black maid when her
      parents were generally absent. Her natural curiosity and openness led
      her to an enclave of an extended black family living in primitive
      conditions. Martha was quickly "adopted" by the family, as they allowed
      her to be a part of their activities and she responded in kind. Martha's
      parents were racist and she maintained her relationship with the black
      group in secret for many years and even over great distances.

      Martha also fell in love with Silas, first a playmate from the black
      family, then a companion and eventually a fiance. Silas was extremely
      intelligent and handsome and when he was old enough, he went off to
      school in Chicago and then joined the military, becoming a helicopter
      pilot flying rescue missions in Vietnam. Silas is seriously injured and
      Martha rushes to his bedside to take care of him.

      One simple, yet significant scene is when a white soldier in the
      hospital wing with Silas objects to the black-white relationship.
      Another white soldier immediately responds, telling the white soldier,
      "That man saved my life, he can have whatever girlfriend he wants." The
      history of the civil rights movement, from the Rosa Parks refusal
      through the assassination of Martin Luther King is chronicled and placed
      in context.

      Therefore, the story has two significant and complex tracks. The story
      of two people who grow to love each other within the bounds of a truly
      extended "family" and the broader context of the segregation of the
      south and how it was finally and thankfully forever broken. Given that
      the names of the title character and the author are identical, it seems
      clear that the book is an autobiography, which increases the power of
      the depiction of the events.

      * ISBN: 1432734717 * ISBN-13: 9781432734718 * Format:
      Paperback, 270pp * Buy the Book: www.Amazon.com

      Reader's Reviews for In the Land of Cotton

      The South of the 1950's and 60's, April 23, 2009


      Amos Lassen
      (Little Rock, Arkansas)

      I was born and raised in the South and have been here all my life except
      for an extended stay in Israel during which time I had forgotten about
      the racial situation in the U.S. Of course I was here during the heyday
      of the civil rights movement and was somewhat active myself but when I
      left this country, I also left the racial problems and did not think
      about them until I returned right before Hurricane Katrina. Now having
      back for a few years, I see the results of what was going on.

      In "In the Land of Cotton", Martha Taylor takes a deep look at the
      American civil rights movement and shows what goes on when the color
      line is crossed. Like myself, Martha is from the South and grew up in
      Memphis , Tennessee surrounded by the ideas of the white majority and
      her parents reflected this at home. When she was eleven, the predominant
      mentality was that Blacks knew their place and should stay there. Things
      changed for Martha when Lucy, a Black nanny came to work for the Taylor
      family. Lucy kept Martha infatuated with her stories and when money was
      scarce and hard to come by causing Lucy to lose her job, Martha would
      take secret walks on the weekends to the woods where Lucy lived. Little
      by little, Martha found herself drawn to Lucy's family and she felt
      comfortable with them. She also began a relationship with Lucy's nephew
      Silas and this was unheard of at that time.

      In the book, Taylor shows us what it was like living during a period
      when justice meant injustice. People's lives were determined by the
      color of their skin in the South. This is a book that must be read and
      digested and never forgotten. Slavery has continued to exist and we see
      that it has become part of the mind of those who allow it to rule their

      We see that once some of the Blacks that we learn of here leave the
      South, their lives become completely different. They were able to escape
      that state of mind as well as the stereotypes that had been pushed on
      them there. The situation of Blacks in the South is a sad part of our
      history and thanks to Martha Taylor we get to have a look at the way it
      was. I cannot emphasize how important this book is and how it cries to
      be read.

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