WELCOME TO THE WEB HOME OF ERIN L. MCCORMACK WRITER, TEACHER, FAMILY MEMBER, YOGA STUDENT, DRUMMER, FAMILY TREE MAKER, AMERICAN VOTER, CITIZEN OF THE WORLD
A quick take on some of my works to date:
IN REGALIA (2019) uses three voices to examine the past trauma and present day medical crisis that is confronting an extended family in present day New England. The main narrative is from the point of view of Helene, a 40 year old white married nurse living in an affluent Boston suburb with her husband and cat. The second voice is from the pages of a journal kept by Renee, Helene's formerly estranged, now deceased younger sister who escaped addiction and married into a Native American family which lives in a community in the western part of the state. The third point of view is a series of blog post entries by Izzy, Isidore Lopes, a 21 year old Native American, brother of the man that Renee married.
SPANISH SOAP OPERAS (2011) uses the device of soap opera action to examine social behaviors and attitudes of young working women in the crucible of New York in the late 1980’s. Against her parents’ wishes, recent college grad Gretchen Kemp has left small town Ohio with best friend Kimberly to make a new life in New York City. But when Kimberly is assaulted outside their apartment and decides to leave, Gretchen is on her own. Lonely and isolated, she takes a chance on two new friends from very different worlds: on the one hand, Bloomingdales and celebrity auctions with golden girl Paige; on the other, salsa clubs and telenovelas with vibrant, sassy Marisol. Quickly, New York becomes a place of wonder and excitement as Gretchen gets caught up in her friends’ soap opera-like lives. But the city has another side, the scourge of cocaine, which links all their lives in unexpected and dangerous ways.
BLUE EYES IN BLACK WONDERLAND (2015) is a novel which addresses the issues of adaptability and change, lack of power and empowerment, and the value of difference. Set in the early 1980's on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the story line chronicles the experiences of nineteen-year-old Nora Lennon, forced to drop out of college in California due to unexpected family problems. She moves in with her older sister, Meg, the responsible one, taking a job as waitress at a hotel/inn where the vast majority of employees are African-American. Inadvertently and with the best of intentions, Nora runs afoul of the unspoken rules that govern race relations in small-town Sutton, becoming entangled in humorous, dangerous, and romantic predicaments.
DOVETAILS : FOUR NOVELLAS
DOVETAILS are places where pieces of cut wood come together to make a joint, give strength, support each other. Alone, the pieces don’t function; together, they make something complete. The novellas in this anthology are about lives that are imperfect, incomplete, who become stronger at the point where they meet:
1. A FRIEND OF THE RACE: Ethan is a white, suburban wonderkid interested in all things black - African American. After his parents divorce, he moves with his mother to Cambridge where, finally, he has contact with black culture. Through some black students, he meets Calvin, teenage denizen of the inner city. Unknown to Ethan, his Cambridge friends are using him only for money and sport, but Ethan and Calvin develop an unexpected friendship, which is put to a dangerous and deadly test.
2. VIRGIN SACRIFICES Trudy is a high school senior, whose mother and older sister are bitter about men. Trudy wants nothing more than to get rid of her virginity with someone who cannot disappoint her. Burton returned from Vietnam seven years ago, works on the family farm, and cannot get past his isolation. Trudy sees Burton at the hardware store where she works: “that Hallowell boy, the one hurt in the war.” Then one day, Trudy shows up at the farm, looking for Burton. Nothing in Burton's life has prepared him for Trudy; and she learns that love can have many definitions.
3. NO DAUGHTER OF MINEA middle-aged waitress with distant, grown sons and a failing mother-in-law discovers one of the younger waitresses is pregnant, and looking to get rid of the child. One of the boys' empty bedrooms could once again become a nursery, or will it be the place her husband's mother spends her last days?
4.CRIPPLED Sheryl was living her dream, moving from the Midwest to California with her soul mate, Chad, and opening a coffee house. Then she catches Chad with a waitress, and discovers his cocaine habit, wasting their hard-earned profits. Along comes Bobby Christie, visiting a mutual friend, crippled from a motorcycle accident and rich from the settlement. He, too, takes cocaine, but only when the pain medicine doesn't work. Bobby is impressed with Sheryl, willing to bankroll a new business, but what in turn does he want from her?