2022: Heather Bell Adams


Heather Bell Adams, Fiction

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Heather Bell Adams is the author of two novels, Maranatha Road (West Virginia University Press 2017) and The Good Luck Stone (Haywire Books 2020). Maranatha Road won the gold medal for the Southeast region in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and was selected for Deep South Magazine’s Fall/Winter Reading List. The Good Luck Stone appeared on Summer Reading Lists for Deep South Magazine, Writer’s Bone, The Big Other and Buzz Feed and won Best Historical Novel post-1900 in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Heather has won the Doris Betts Fiction Prize, Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Award, James Still Fiction Prize, and Carrie McCray Literary Award. Her work appears in Still: The Journal, The Thomas Wolfe ReviewAtticus ReviewPembroke MagazineBroad River ReviewThe Petigru ReviewPisgah Review, and elsewhere.

Originally from Hendersonville, NC, Heather lives in Raleigh with her husband and son. She works as a lawyer, focusing on litigation.

Photo credit: Megan Cash Photography

For more information about Heather, please visit her website.

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Reflections

As we enter another year marked by the global pandemic, it can be difficult to orient ourselves. Does our writing still matter? At a time like this, is fiction frivolous?

Growing up in western North Carolina, the first stories I crafted revolved around our pet cats. You can probably imagine the fur-raising adventures those cats would get into along the suburban landscape of Kanuga Road…

In high school, I wrote a truly embarrassing novel about a family whose mother was “mom-napped.” It’s okay if you’re cringing; I am too. But the hard truth is that I wrote the story when my own mother was receiving treatment for leukemia. By entering the world of fiction I could say what I could not share out loud: I was afraid of losing her.

Story does this for us. It opens a new world in which we can explore our darkest fears and try on our most secret hopes.

I don’t know what you’re dealing with today, what you’ve tackled in the past, or what you’ll face tomorrow. And I don’t pretend that fiction writing can flip a magic switch and solve our problems. (My mother died when I was seventeen, a little over a year after she was diagnosed.)

Here’s what I do know. If something—anything—draws you to the page, then you’re a writer. You’re welcome in this writing community of ours, whether you’re already a best-selling author or you haven’t yet published a word.

As we begin 2022, I invite you to consider what you’d like to accomplish and how, as your Piedmont Laureate, I can help. No matter where you are on the writing path, let’s decide, right here and now, that it’s worthwhile spending time on an activity that can offer healing, escape, and respite. Let’s embark together on this next phase of our fiction writing journey.