Just like a Woman!

“Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy;
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true–
I love April, I love you.”
                       —-Ogden Nash

Yep! The month of April is just like a strong woman. Don’t you think? Sometimes moody, always beautiful both inside and out, committed to being the best she can be, and always strong and determined to survive!

Since February, I’ve been attempting to grow veggies and herbs from seed indoors without much luck. I began with seedlings in 12 peat pots. I’ve transplanted the broccoli, thyme, and onions, and they are stagnant because of the cool nights of late. The tomato, cherry tomato, and sweet peppers stayed indoors with a grow light. Unfortunately, the other morning I awoke to three dead baby tomato plants. Ugh! I probably forgot to give them a drink before I went to bed. The good news is that one healthy one survived. I named her Spring Wonder Woman! No doubt, she will produce the best, juiciest babies ever. She is the strongest!

Female protagonists fighting for emotional or physical survival are the most interesting. They take you on fantastic rides, show their true colors, and though not perfect characters, make you want to cheer for them. I like to think that Jessy Tate is one of those women in my novel, Relative Consequences.

My April Guest

Let me introduce you to Author Gaby Anderson, a first-generation Hungarian-Canadian, born in Montreal, Quebec. She lived in Paris as a child and then moved to the U.S., where she’s been ever since. She’s been a member of The Atlanta Writers Club since 2011 and part of the Wild Women Who Write Podcast since 2020. Her essay, “Queen of the Hungarian Mafia,” was published in 2021, and her debut novel, South of Happily was published in January 2023.

You can find more information about Gaby at www.Anderson-Author.Com. She has an author page on Amazon (G.A. Anderson), on BookBub and GoodReads. Her book is available on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and all the usual places books are sold.
Strong women come in all shapes, sizes, and opportunities. Some recognize their strength from the get-go, others need a shove, a seminal moment when there is no choice but to stand and fight.

For Katy Kiss, the daughter of immigrants, the moment doesn’t come until her late twenties. Married to an emotionally abusive philanderer, and stuck in her parents’ version of American dream, Katy takes the long way around to find what she’s made of. That she deserves the good thing – the “Happily” her Hungarian grandmother wished for her when she was a child. It also takes a little therapy, a non-negotiable item because her lawyer/ best friend, Jesse, says Katy is reactive, scattered, living her life like she’s been plugged into a light socket.

Now that South of Happily is published, many people ask if I’m Katy. The answer is yes, of course. After a twenty-year gestation from first line to last, Katy and I have both learned that we are flawed but repairable, sweet, funny, often frustrating. We are brilliant, sometimes nonsensical…imperfect in so many ways; almost always hopeful. Most importantly, we’re strong. We keep going.

In other words, we’re like most women.

And that was the first of my goals for this book. To show Katy’s arc, from the moment the reader meets this quirky young woman in a “coming of awareness” story, to shaking their heads and saying “No, Katy! Don’t do it!” Through the tears, the laughter and an ending to sink your teeth into. I wanted to develop a character you can relate to. One who grows on you.

My second goal was to honor my family. The Hungarian immigrants who migrated to Montreal, Canada after the Russians invaded their country in 1956. Their story is told through Katy; the history she learns about them in the first book, and will continue to discover in the second.

The third goal, though I couldn’t have told you this when I began writing, was to make you smile. To entertain by creating a small cast of characters who are developed enough to be recognizable if you walk past them on the street.

  • You’ll know Katy because of her energy, her hazel eyes, just like her dad’s, and that thick knot of dark wavy hair crammed into a scrunchy that’s about to bust open.
  • Jesse, her best friend. You’ll want to hang out with her and hide from her at the same time. She’s funny, direct, mean as hell. The friend who loves us. The same one who tells us we’re being ridiculous.
  • Katy’s parents. Thick Hungarian accents, quick-witted, salty. Full of color, humor, and wisdom that comes when it’s most needed.
  • Dylan. The husband. The blue-eyed Floridian who thinks speaking in the “fourth-person” is an actual thing. He’s not wearing his wedding ring, but he is wearing a leather bracelet that Katy didn’t give him.
  • Quinn. Tall, dark, and handsome must be a good thing. Or is it?
  • And one more, but that’s a secret for now.

A secret I’ll end on, and I hope I’ve enticed you enough to give the book a try, and because I’m a first-time author, hope to hear your opinion, either through my website or Amazon review.

Gaby Anderson, South of Happily – Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Walmart.com, and other booksellers.
Home | Anderson-Author.com
Wild Women Who Write Podcast 

Don’t forget, my current novel, RELATIVE CONSEQUENCES, is available here:

BookShop – https://bit.ly/3IMV1Nk
Amazon – https://amzn.to/3GN4l1M
Barnes & Noble – https://bit.ly/35BMdLW
Kobo – https://bit.ly/3IStGKl
BooksAMillion – https://bit.ly/3OifwDp

Next month, my guest will be Author Jessica James.

Thank you for stopping by.


Published by jodywritessouthern

Jody Herpin writes with a southern accent. Re-discovering her love of writing in the last ten years, she has completed her second novel, "Relative Consequences," and is currently researching her third. In 2015, Jody received First Place for Novel Submission at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for "Weather Permitting." In 2014, she received Third Place for the Microcosm Award at the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop for her piece, "View of a Lifetime." She's constantly reading, researching and soaking up knowledge about her craft. Born in Savannah, Georgia, she has lived most of her life in the South, attending Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia and living in Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolina, Florida and Virginia. If she's not writing, she is decorating her home, attempting to paint with watercolors, reading, rediscovering the guitar, walking her Mini-Australian Shepherd, Bella, or cheering for her beloved Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Jody married the love of her life in 2014, and she and her husband, Mike Boggioni, a professional musician, live north of Atlanta, Georgia. She has two grown children and six amazing grandchildren all of whom live close enough "to holler at."

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