Wild Times on Skidaway Island, Georgia's Historic Rain Forest, details life in a unique Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge. There, golfers pitch balls around endangered great blue herons, mama raccoons march their babies across backyard decks where once Guale Indians trapped ancestors of the same raccoons, and residents dodge alligators and rescue snakes.
Even the vegetation is wild. Three hundred-year-old oaks dripping Spanish moss and poison ivy surmount an under-story of wax myrtle and holly. Carolina jasmine, Cherokee roses, and endangered orchids grow wild in the rain forest. The book examines choices residents make when stared down by a bald eagle, when a red-tailed hawk mistakes a golf ball for bird food, when wakened at midnight by deer munching hibiscus. Wild Times on Skidaway Island educates about the species that residents must adapt to on this historic island.
When Walt and Carol Culin topped their house at The Landings with a coated metal roof they were confident the roof would be problem-free for a hundred years. Walt’s contacts as head of an industrial coating company helped him get the latest technology. Even a hurricane shouldn’t destroy their unusual–looking roof.
But nothing in Walt’s Princeton-educated background prepared him for dryocopus pileatus, the pilated wookpecker.
Male pilated woodpeckers are fixated on the notion that female woodpeckers are attracted to the stud with the noisiest pecker. Usually the woodpecker has to be content with drumming on a hollow tree to resonate his sound. Walt and Carol’s metal roof, however, raised the bar for the local woodpecker population. Walt and Carol were regularly awakened by mate-seeking woodpeckers as soon as they moved into the house.
Walt ended up having to make a run to Toys ’R Us for rubber snakes. Glued to the chimney alongside a big fake owl, the snakes allowed Walt and Carol to catch some winks in the early morning during woodpecker mating season.
I’ve been practicing law for 36 years in Savannah, Georgia. I’m heavily into crime and divorce, which are often one and the same.
How did you get started writing?
After I turned 50 the last of my children grew up and left home. All I had left was a 60 hour a week job and 3 bedrooms of furniture rejected by the Salvation Army.
To fill the void I started running even though I had never done anything athletic in my whole life and had been practically banned from P.E. by my instructors.
The beat of my footsteps as I ran alone mile after mile inspired a torrent of random thought that I threw into my word processor as soon as I got back home.
What was the inspiration for your book?
The beautiful wildlife I passed in my neighborhood as I ran at sunset after a long day in the courtroom and at the county jail.
What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I’ve never written any fiction. My work requires me to keep my private life hidden, but I’m thinking if I fictionalize it, maybe I could let it out.
Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
True crime or courtroom fiction. I spend all day living it. That goes for murder mysteries too. I’ve spent time with several murderers and reading about it is too much like work.
So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
Right now I’m working on getting my new book Wild Times on Skidaway Island known, but I’m still writing a nature column for my local magazine. Hopefully there will be enough response for me to publish a sequel.
Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
I love all the colors of the rainbow, and also the colors not in the rainbow. This year I’m mostly wearing black or white. However, I’ve been known to favor the blue of the sky closest to the horizon on a sunny day.
Since I practice law more than full time, help care for my husband, 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild, run outside at least 3 nights a week, lift weights, kayak, go on long distance bicycle rides, and write regularly for at least 2 magazines, I usually spend my spare time working on whatever book I’m writing. It’s been years since I watched a movie.
Book that inspired you to become an author?
Most probably the Bobbsey Twins or The Five Little Peppers, both popular children’s book serials in the 1950s. I loved both series and couldn’t wait for the author to finish the next book. That introduced me to the concept of writing as a craft and for pay, not just putting down something because it was true.
Alright, you would like to have one superpower. What is it?
Going without sleep. I never can squeeze in all I’m trying to do.
Last question: Which of your characters do you most like and how/why?
My husband, Joe. You’ll notice many of my stories are his stories. Joe is big and loud and not generally the type who is thought of as sensitive, but animals love him. He seems to be able to swap thoughts with the wild creatures who live on our island.
Karen will be awarding a $25 Walmart gift card to FOUR (4) randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an Apple iPad to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.
October 28: Hope Dreams. Life... Love
October 28 SECOND STOP: Writer Wonderland
October 29: Full Moon Dreaming
October 29 SECOND STOP: Andi's Book Reviews
October 30: Dina Rae's Write Stuff
October 31: The Hedonistic Minimalist
November 1: Bunny's Review
November 4: Sexy Adventures, Passionate Tales
November 5: This Writer's Life
November 6: Long and Short Reviews
November 6: Sharing Links and Wisdom
November 7: fundinmental
November 8: A Writer's Life
Author Bio and Links:
Karen Dove Barr, Attorney, was recently recognized by the Georgia State Bar for providing legal assistance to military families and service members. She has practiced in the field of family law in Savannah for 34 years.