BookPage contributor Alden Mudge has been interviewing authors for more than 20 years. In a guest post, he gives us the story behind the dedication of the book The Cove, the subject of our April cover story interview with North Carolina author Ron Rash.

Ron Rash dedicated his new novel, The Cove, to his sister, Kathy Rash Brewer.

Why? Not because she has experienced anything like the dark fate endured by the novel’s heroine, Laurel Shelton. Quite the opposite, in fact. Rash’s sister’s story is one of remarkable, open-hearted generosity.

“Beside the fact that we’re very close,” Rash says, explaining why he chose to dedicate this book to her, “my sister kind of bought me out of bondage. I mean when I was in my 30s and really starting to write seriously, I was teaching at a community college. I was teaching five or six classes a semester, most of them composition classes. Obviously it was very hard to [find time to] write. What my sister did—you know it’s funny, my brother and I are English majors; she’s a ceramic engineer—was she paid the school to allow me to teach only three classes in the spring semester. In a sense she paid the difference to the school, essentially to get them to bring in somebody as a part-time adjunct.”

All of this so that Ron Rash could have time to write.

“And she did that for, I think it was, three years. Actually that is why I really started writing novels. I started writing the first novel I ever published, One Foot in Eden, then. That was such a generous thing to do. And this is a way of thanking her.”

Thanks, Alden! Read our interview with Ron Rash here, and check out his author page for reviews of his previous books.

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