Cordell Adams proves doctors have their creative side with his first novel
Watch out Madea, we have a new Southern mother on the scene and she sounds like no joke, either. In fact, far be it from her to carry a gun.
Veola Cook passes her wisdom and humor on with a spoonful of sugar while doing some mystery solving in local author Cordell Adams’ debut novel, "Light Bread."
How does Adams — an ophthalmologist by day — turn into a published fiction author?
"My left brain works pretty good but sometimes you always need a little balance. My right brain kicked in and I started a story while thinking about the memoirs of my grandmother," he says.
By no means were these memoirs just a genealogical hobby. Adams connected to this deeply.
"I realize there was something in my life to do before God called me home. I wanted to pay tribute to my ancestors. I only knew my maternal grandmother. It was an easy subject for me. It’s something taken from my heart," he says.
The original idea was a memoir created just for his family, but publishers saw something more in his work.
"Editors and consultants didn’t want me to go any further with this memoir in terms of publishing just for my family. They told me I had something special. They said I wrote something about their grandmother as well," Adams says.
After some creative writing classes, the doctor added author to his resume. He finds himself now not only clearing up glaucoma, but also signing books and reading passages. The Dallas Public Library’s GLBT Adult Programming Committee co-sponsors his appearance this week where he’ll introduce his main character who seems to have a little bit of everybody’s grandmother in her.
In the tiny Texas town of Jacksonville, Adams uses his childhood growing up in the 1960s South as the backdrop for Miss Veola Cook’s adventures as the "nosiest woman in Parkerville, Texas." Adams says his grandmother would never admit to being nosy, just concerned. Cook operates this same way as she "investigates a little further" into something more than she bargains for.
Maybe Adams will give a clue as to what happens.
J. Erik Johnsson, Central Library, 1515 Young St., first floor. July 28 at 7 p.m. Free. Dallaslibrary.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 24, 2009.