Author Jill McCorkle reads in Washington

Published 10:10 am Monday, November 5, 2007

By Staff
Invited by Friends of the Brown Library
Senior Reporter
A delight to listen to, Jill McCorkle brought smiles to the faces and chuckling from her listeners as she read a one-hour presentation of her short story “Intervention.”
McCorkle is an author of novels and short stories who came to Washington Sunday afternoon to the Civic Center to be the second reader in “Conversations with North Carolina Authors,” a program sponsored by the Friends of the Brown Library.
McCorkle is a serious-enough reader until she shoots a bit of cynic humor through her lips. Some of her sudden, seemingly inappropriate, short bursts from her reading, brought laughs from the audience instead of from a prude crowd.
She gained the attention of the approximate 50 people in the room with ease and entertained questions from the audience after her read.
Many of her characters, she said, “are all about relationships.”
And, indeed, that is simply what her reading centered around on Sunday afternoon.
Her short story “Intervention” took her about a year to write. She said that often it takes her a long time to visit and revisit a story in order to get it right and in the condition she feels it is ready to be published.
McCorkle compared her writing to the preparation of a pie crust. The bulk of the crust is your novel, and the pieces cast off are your short stories.
The short story has just become her favorite interest, she said.
McCorkle said she “was very lucky” when she was published for the first time.
Also, she said she “was in the right place at the right time” when it came to her first publication. And, she said it did not hurt that she “knew the person who was helping” her with her first publication.
Before McCorkle completes any of her work, she said, “I only feel right about it when all of the parts fit together.”
McCorkle grew up in Lumberton and is a N.C. State University visiting professor.
She is the author of “Tending to Virginia,” “Final Vinyl Days,” Creatures of Habit,” “Ferris Beach,” “Crash Diet” and “The Cheer Leader.”