Skip to content
April 16, 2010 / theoldsilly

ATTMP Feature Post – Carol Smallwood

As many of you Free Spirit readers know, in addition to being a writer and author, I am also an editor. I do freelance, and am also on staff with All Things That Matter Press (ATTMP), where I published my last book, Between the Storm and the Rainbow, and where I will soon be publishing more books.

ATTMP is a group of great people, from the co-owners and founders, multi-published author Phil Harris and his wife, ATTMP’s Editor in Chief Deb Harris, to the growing collection of up and coming new and talented authors. It’s a team/family atmosphere, and we do what we can to help each other out, promoting the publishing house and our fellow authors within the group.

Today I’m putting up this feature on Carol Smallwood and …

her new release, which, by the way, The Old Silly happened to do the editing for, so I can personally vouch for how good of a book this one is, titled … 

Lily’s Odyssey.

If you click on the cover, you can read some excerpts.

Here’s some information about Carol-

Carol Smallwood has appeared in English Journal, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Writer’s Chronicle, The Detroit News. Short listed for the Eric Hoffer Award for Best New Writing in 2009, a National Federation of State Poetry Societies Award Winner, she’s included in Who’s Who in America, and Contemporary Authors. Writing and Publishing: The Librarian’s Handbook,  is one of her recent American Library Association books. Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages, co-edited, is her 22nd book.

Here’s a short info paragraph about the book-

Lily’s Odyssey

ISBN-13: 978-0984098453

All Things That Matter Press

Carol Smallwood

Lily’s Odyssey unfolds in three parts with the inevitability, impact, and resolution of a Greek play. The dialogue rings true, the concrete conveyed along with moods and half-tones to paint Midwestern middle class flawed characters with poignancy. The psychological detective novel explores the once largely unacknowledged: it is not only soldiers who get post-traumantic stress disorder and child abuse whether it is overt or covert incest is a time bomb. From daughter to grandmother, Lily’s voyage is told with lyricism, humor, and irony using a poet’s voice to distill contemporary American women’s changing role in religion, marriage, and family.


This is taken from the Preface-

Weight of Silence, and Nicolet’s Daughter were considered as novel titles but it remained Lily’s Odyssey. Odysseus, the epic hero from Greek mythology in The Odyssey, helped by the gods with his band of men, maneuvers the Scylla and Charybdis passage as one of his many adventures in ancient times. Lily, from the Midwest, named by a gardener mother she doesn’t remember, struggles with a subconscious she fears will destroy her. Her narrow passage is between reality and disassociation, her time the latter 20th and early 21st Centuries. Her odyssey without help from the gods, reflects a passage through linear labyrinths women interpret as round. Lily’s fragmentation is echoed in the writing style.


And how about a great excerpt – read this –

That evening after we saw Dr. Schackmann, Cal said, “You must realize that building my practice takes all my energy, and accept that as reality.” He was mixing his martini before dinner on the glass-topped mahogany sideboard. As he spoke, I studied the sideboard’s inlaid rosewood and ebony squares, again thinking he was a good surgeon, widely respected, and it must have been my fault that I wasn’t a good wife.

I got a coaster and placed it on the sideboard. He frowned and turned it so the pheasant on the coaster squarely faced him. “You don’t even know why you’re so dissatisfied,” he said, and laughed. “How can you not even know that?”

At the luncheon, I made as many trips as I dared to the restroom without causing people to wonder if something was wrong with me. Inside the unheated cement block room, my long deep breaths came out like smoke signals when I opened and shut my mouth to relieve my clenched jaw, shake my head in disbelief. Each time I went in, I saw cracks in the ceiling that I hadn’t seen before. Some natural light came through a small casement window dotted with snow, and I recalled making dots of snow on windows into fairy tale pictures when a child.

When people had complained about the cold rest rooms to Father Couillard, who was the priest before Father Mulcahy, he’d say, “Enjoy the cold while you can, my friends. Where many of you are headed, it will be plenty hot.”


Impressed? I was, and so were these people in the literary world-

Smallwood is a watcher. Her eyes are unblinking. And her ears can detect the mercurial ticks of a heart. As a storyteller, she’s as sure as any Preakness jockey. She knows when words need to clip-clop up to the gate, when to bide, and when to unfetter them, to let the truth loose. Truth thunders in Lily’s Odyssey.

-Katie McKy, author of Pumpkin Town, Houghton Mifflin, and Wolf Camp, Tanglewood Press.

Smallwood is an incredibly gifted author with a broad range of experience. She demonstrates commitment to conscience in her work through Michigan Feminist Studies, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, and Best New Writing 2009.

-Sandra Potter, CEO & Founder, Dreamcatchers for Abused Children,; co-author, Unnecessary Roughness: Till Death Do Us Part; The Child Abuse Survivor Project.

Ready to get a copy? Here’s the way you roll …

To order Lily’s Odyssey, go to the buy page at ATTMP, or, here on

All right, peeps – let’s show Carol some love in the comments, she’ll be checking in to interact with you all, and hey – check out ATTMP and buy some good books from a rising star pub house in our industry.

Chow gang, blog back in tomorrow for another daily dose of Free Spirit.


Click on Tweety Bird and Tweet this post if you liked it!

Tweet Me from The Old Silly's Free Spirit Blog



Leave a Comment
  1. yvonne lewis / Apr 16 2010 8:41 am

    Looks like a very interesting book, you’re quite a busy man with writing and editing,
    how do you keep up with it all. Is there more than 24 hrs in your day?

    Have a smashing week-end.

  2. Elizabeth Spann Craig / Apr 16 2010 9:37 am

    Marvin, I don’t know how you keep up with all you do! Thanks for sharing this info on Carol and her book with us. 🙂


    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. Arlee Bird / Apr 16 2010 9:53 am

    From the given excerpt I like what I’ve read. I especially like the little details and the meandering memory surfacing in the narrator’s thoughts–much like happens in reality. Good overview of this book.

    Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

  4. L. Diane Wolfe / Apr 16 2010 10:00 am

    I think it’s great you guys support one another!!!

  5. Alex J. Cavanaugh / Apr 16 2010 10:28 am

    How fortunate – you got to be an early reader then.

  6. Cactus Annie / Apr 16 2010 11:14 am

    Fascinating sounding book, Carol? What gave you the inspiration to write it? And thanks for sharing this with us, Old Silly. Really cool that you authors support each other and the pub house!

  7. Thelma Banks / Apr 16 2010 3:19 pm

    Great feature post, Old Silly. And Carol how interesting your book sounds! I also, like Cactus, would be interested in how you came up with the idea for it?

  8. Leeuna / Apr 16 2010 3:51 pm

    I enjoyed reading your feature post, and Carol’s book sounds intriguing. It seems there’s always something exciting going on here at The Old Silly’s place. 🙂

  9. tashabud / Apr 17 2010 6:50 am

    The book excerpt sounds intriguing. I’ll definitely be putting this one on my birthday list.

    Knowing how critical and demanding an editor you are, the finish product has to be an excellent one. I agree with the others, do you even get a wink of sleep to do everything that you do?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: