INTERVIEW WITH PEARLE MUNN BISHOP by Maggie Bishop
Give us the "elevator speech" about your novel.
Oak, Cleo, a midwife in the 1800s, channels her story through Willow, a contemporary sixteen year old girl. Everyone that
ever had a grandmother should read this story about sex, birth, death, marriage, divorce, spirits, magic, Celtic beliefs,
war, religion, adultery and perhaps murder. Across time, human values hold true, regardless of era and place.
you to Watauga County?
When we were looking for a retirement place,
I told my husband "It must be in the mountains and it must be in North Carolina." He found the outskirts of Triplett.
the most famous person you've known or met? Tell circumstances.
twenty minutes alone with George Bush in bed. Circumstances? Why spoil the fun?
you miss most about childhood?
your pet peeve?
the worst storm or disaster you've been in? Tell circumstances.
A typhoon on Chiba Beach, Japan. The wind was
so strong it blew most of the roof of the rental house that my husband and I along with our five children stayed in. The house,
protected by sand dunes, was two hundred yards from the ocean. It was night and I kept moving the beds to stay dry. We watched
as water came up to the floor and into part of the house.
the smallest space you've lived in? What was it like?
A kitchen pantry. Thirty young women were living
in a house in Baltimore. My room-mate and I had a choice of the pantry or a room with three beds and six women. Somebody had
to build airplanes and most of the men were fighting the war.
As a time
traveler, where and when would you visit?
I like this time. After all, they say we live
your name mean? Why were you named that?
I don't have a clue what my name is supposed
to mean. Pearl White was the early movie star that a villain tied to the railroad tracks. Louise was in honor of a social
worker named Effie Louise Vines who worked heroically during the influenza epidemic in 1918.
the nicest thing anybody ever said about you?
Once someone said I was "impeccable." I had to
go home and look it up in the dictionary before I knew it was a compliment.
thing would you like your obituary to say about you? Why?
That my body had been donated to science and
that there would be no funeral. Hopefully a scientist or doctor will discover the secret to long life from clues found in
your favorite time of year?
your guiltiest pleasure?
Like half the world, it's chocolate and afternoon
the highest mountain you ever climbed?
Matterhorn. The cable car takes you to the top.
a ski patroller for 25 years. What was the most fun you had on a mountain?
a snow-cat with Joe White to the top of Sugar Mountain.
the name of your favorite daughter?
Margaret Ellen. She is my only daughter.
your proudest moment?
The day my novel "Cleo's Oak" topped the best
seller list and Muriel Street agreed to play the lead - or is that a dream?
question is ...?
is heaven like?