Donna Everhart

First Sentence Fridays – Chapter 27

Reminiscent of the novels of Lee Smith, Kaye Gibbons, and Sandra Dallas, Everhart builds a firm sense of place, portraying the tiredness and hope of a dry southern summer and voicing strong southern women.” 



I remember sixth grade, of being keenly aware what others thought about what I wore, the way I talked, and what I said, in other words, how I was perceived. There’s a name for this feeling when it feels as if all eyes are on YOU. It’s called the “imaginary audience.” This is normal, a transitory part of growing up, but can make some kids super sensitive as they worry over what everyone else thinks about them.

Once a child develop this awareness, and depending on the sensitivity of a child, it might have little, if any affect on the way they behave, or it can be crippling. Everything matters. Yet, for example, I still did dumb things to bring attention to myself. Like talking in class and getting called on by the teacher to answer a question when I was clearly not paying attention, then spending the rest of the day mortified when I ventured to guess the answer and got it wrong. Those little things can be crushing, like everyone now thinks you’re dumb, at least until the next day when it seems as if some sort of emotional reset button is pressed.

My main protagonist, Sonny Creech, and her best friend, Daniel, are right at the age when this sort of behavior and self-awareness develops. They’re twelve. Twelve can be such a tender, awkward time, where on top of the emotional complexities beginning to take hold, physiological changes may have also started. Sonny and Daniel have never had an uncomfortable moment between themselves in the six years they’ve known one another. But as the story progresses, and time goes on, that painful self-awareness brings about a change.

Chapter 27

When I think back on it now, the time at the water tower was a turning point, a moment when I’d realized my ability to divine water hadn’t left me, and confirmed Daniel had, in some way.

***Unbelievably, we are only seven weeks away from the ON SALE date for the book, January 29, 2019. 

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4 thoughts on “First Sentence Fridays – Chapter 27”

    1. Hi Carol – will do! I know there will be an audio but not sure when it comes out. Usually the audiobooks and the “library binding” or hard cover are later. I’d love for you to review it! Thank you!

  1. That is a stunning sentence. I can so identify with your story about feeling mortified by something I said or did at that age including a painfully awkward moment similar to yours. It was seventh grade and my (male) teacher apparently said something funny because the whole class laughed, but I wasn’t paying attention (no surprise there, ever the daydreamer) so I raised my hand. I hated that I’d missed out on a joke. Mr. V nodded at me and I just said, “What?” I can still see his and the rest of my classmate’s dumbfounded look, and feel the burning heat in my cheeks for stupidly asking to rewind. Gah! I wanted to crawl under my desk and out the door. On the upside, these experiences help us write three-dimensional REAL characters with depth and awareness. So there’s that. 😉

    I clicked on the link you provided to Imaginary Audience. What an insightful page! I know of adults (some of them rather famous 🙁 ) who are stuck in this phase.

    I can’t wait for the world to read THE FORGIVING KIND. It’s so good.

    1. Thank you for that! (as I tried yet again to determine if there were TOO MANY commas. Editing never ends – even after the CE has been through it!)

      I have MANY moments I remember like the one I shared above and I bet you do too. And what a serendipitous moment of thought we shared – b/c as I read about the imaginary audience information, I had that same thought with a particular person in mind – two actually – who believe they are always in the spotlight. One acts like it, and loves it, the other hates the idea of it, even though they must know it’s not actually true.

      Thank you for all your support Eldonna – it means the world to me. xoxo

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