Saturday, August 14, 2010

Author Spotlight: Letters from Sweetwater by Dr. Dale Garland

Deep in the mountains of North Carolina is a tiny but wondrous valley called Sweetwater. Mysterious forces, both good and evil, have converged there to produce a tender but compelling story. Through occasional flights of fantasy, Jesse Gernon gets to peep “behind the curtain” and catch a glimpse of the Glory land.

When Keith, Jesse’s troubled uncle, comes to visit it is with the intent of disclosing a secret he hints could involve the family honor. En route, however, he encounters a mysterious stranger who strongly advises against such. Soon thereafter Keith is stricken with bacterial encephalitis, leaving him permanently brain damaged and with amnesia…. Is his secret lost forever? A question that is certain to haunt the reader.

Written in poetic prose, Letters from Sweetwater is a tribute to the human spirit with its ability to overcome and achieve when guided by Divine purpose.

At the age of 73, Dr. Dale Garland recently published his first novel, Letters from Sweetwater (Revival Publishing, August 2009, 978-1-926625-31-7, $19.95). An optometrist for over 30 years, Garland took up creative writing to relieve some of the stress and tension associated with being a health care professional. Starting with poetry, he gradually worked his way up to short prose, and finally, the idea for Letters from Sweetwater was born. When he had the opportunity to sell his eye-care practice in 2000, he left full-time optometry, opting instead to work parttime,
and has been writing ever since.

A long-time resident of western North Carolina, Garland earned his bachelor’s degree from Shaw University. He worked in the microbiology field for 10 years in hospital, private and public health care settings.

In his mid-thirties, Garland returned to school and earned his doctorate in optometry from Indiana University in 1979. Garland opened his own office and has practiced primary eye care for two decades. Now semi-retired from optometry, he continues to treat patients a few times a week at a group practice in Bryson City, N.C.

Currently, Garland and his wife, Mackie, live on a mountainside near Andrews, N.C., with their dog and two cats. When he is not writing, or treating patients, he enjoys spending time with his three adultdaughters and four grandchildren, volunteering with Meals on Wheels and meeting other writers through his active membership with the North Carolina Writers Network.

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