Meet Two New Friends

Today I’m happy to introduce my blog subscribers to Carol Heilman, an author I met through Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (the publisher of my book THE HOPE OF GLORY) and her wonderful character Agnes Hopper. Carol’s book, AGNES HOPPER SHAKES UP SWEETBRIAR, will release on January 29th. Having met some wonderful “characters” in assisted living communities myself, I can’t wait to read it. Click HERE to order on

_DSC0432When I asked Carol how she came to write about Agnes, this is what she told me:

AGNES HOPPER SHAKES UP SWEETBRIAR began as a short story assignment for a creative writing class at the University of South Carolina over ten years ago. Our instructor told us to place ourselves, along with some of our friends, in a foreign environment and to step back and see what developed.

IMG_0010I chose the porch of a retirement home because a standing joke, among a group of my friends and myself, was that one day we would end up living in such a place together. Before I had written two pages the characters, with their own, unique names took on their own personalities. I was fairly new to such writing adventures and was taken aback. They began to assert themselves and I decided I needed to pay attention, to listen and watch—for my scenes often unfold like a movie in my mind’s eye.

The short story ended when Agnes slipped out the back door of Sweetbriar Manor. Then I began to ask questions. What if she . . . Agnes Hopper’s story evolved and continues to evolve and surprise me. I am delighted to have a part in the telling of it.

Wishing all the best to you and Agnes, Carol! Thanks for sharing.

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  1. Thank you, Nancy, for having me and Agnes as your guests on your website. Maybe one day I can thank you in person. Thank you for writing The Hope of Glory, an encouragement for the elderly and the people who work with them. I’m looking forward to the companion book, Take My Hand Again. Many blessings to you and to your writings.

  2. It’s been great “meeting” you also, Carol. Hopefully we will meet in person one day soon!

  3. Great interview Carol. I did not know Agnes Hopper began in a short story.

    • I used to write lots of short stories, and at first didn’t consider expanding the story of Agnes.But Agnes and her many friends, plus her family and Miss Johnson, the retirement home administrator, would not leave my thoughts and my imagination. I’m so glad they stayed! Thank you Judy for your interest and support.

  4. Nice to meet you, Carol. I love novels that began as short stories, and Agnes Hopper’s continuation sounds delightful.

    • Thank you, Marylin. Writing about Agnes, and her adventures, is such fun,! I am thankful that my parents shared many of their experiences while they lived in an assisted-living home, the good and the bad.
      When Agnes says, “My mind is writing checks my body can’t cash,” I think of my daddy. This was one of his favorite expressions in his later years.

  5. Ann Greenleaf Wirtz says:

    So excited to soon be reading about Agnes and her adventures at Sweetbriar Manor. She is a character to treasure and enjoy – can hardly wait until January 29th!!

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