Sylvia Dickey Smith examines Author Darden North

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National Arts and Entertainment Austin Writing Examiner

Darden North, author and M.D., earns thicker looser skin
October 4, 10:55 AM
Austin Writing Examiner Sylvia Dickey Smith

Darden North is not only an award winning fiction author, he is also a practicing, board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist. He lives in Jackson, Mississippi, with his family.

Darden is a brother member of SIC and his book, Fresh Frozen won, Best Cover Design and Finalist, Regional Fiction in the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards; Honorable Mention in General Fiction in the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival Awards; Finalist, Best Cover Design Fiction and Finalist, Regional Fiction in the 2009 New Generation Indie Book Awards.

When asked how age and life experience has contributed to being a better author, he says:
"Sylvia asked me to explain why being a mature author makes my work better. First, I had to come to grips with what mature meant. In all aspects of life or professions, maturity for me translates into knowing what matters and what doesn't but does not necessarily earn a thicker skin, only a looser one.

"Of course, reaching the ripe-old (or ripe-young --- are we splitting hairs here?) age of 53 would chronologically place me in the ranks of maturity and, I hope, having written three novels and working on a fourth transforms me into a maturing writer.

"But writing evolves and improves as it should, and through that process a good author reaches beyond a comfort zone and with that grows the thicker skin. Criticism or (let’s soften that a bit) the critique becomes welcome in that the author learns what readers or reviewers are looking for regarding character or plot development. Then the fun part is twisting everything around to shock those fans and experts into reading something different and even better than expected.

"The knowing what matters and what doesn't thing I defined above doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with writing, but instead applies generally to life’s path. There a moments that belong in their particular sliver of time, the memory of which can rekindle worry or pain. But writing, even fiction, can truly become a healing method – a wonderful example of alternative medicine.

"So, becoming an author and reaching the ripe-young age of 53 garners one a thicker skin. It’s inevitable. Then what can be done about the loose stuff? Well, that’s for the cosmetologists, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons."

Set in the Deep South, Darden's contemporary novels are built around intense -- yet believable – characters often embroiled in controversy. As one reviewer has said, he writes “the truth of medical fiction." Don't miss a chance to read Fresh Frozen. You won't be disappointed.

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