D.G. Martin

One on One: Good News for New Bern

Last month’s flooding from Hurricane Florence brought such bad news to New Bern and its neighboring cities, towns and communities. There is a little bit of good news for New Bern this month. The town’s best-selling author, Nicholas Sparks, is releasing a new book, “Every Breath.” All of Sparks’s 20 novels have been regulars on The New York Times Best Seller lists, often at No.1, making him one of the world’s most successful writers of what some call commercial fiction. others say simply that he writes love stories. The new book, like almost all Sparks’s books, is set largely...

Read More

One on One: Miss Potts, Me, and FBI investigations

“You’d better be careful,” my wonderful seventh grade teacher, Miss Winifred Potts, preached to my class more than 65 years ago. Miss Potts had a set of strategies to encourage us to behave, in and out of class. To discourage mischief-making while she was writing math problems on the blackboard, she told us that people said she could see out of the back of her head. Her most persuasive tactic, one she used when one or some of us were flirting with serious trouble, was to tell us about her visits from the FBI. “They come to talk to...

Read More

One on One: Atticus Finch and I. Beverly Lake

What explains the staying power of Harper Lee’s book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and the film that starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch? For some it is its poignant story of Jean Louise or Scout whose love and respect for her father Atticus and his example gave her the courage to face the dangers and unfairness of a flawed world. For others it is Atticus himself and his example of dignity, kindness, and courage. But it is much more complicated according to a new book, “Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters: What Harper Lee’s Book and the Iconic American...

Read More

One on One: Florence’s Floods and Puppy Love in Kinston

Like all North Carolinians, I am worrying about the flooding causing heart-rending damage throughout our state following Hurricane Florence. I have a special worry, though — a puppy in Kinston that I fell in love with a few weeks ago. I’m worried that the floods from Hurricane Florence might put that puppy’s place of business in danger, much like Hurricane Matthew did two years ago. I was on my way back from New Bern, where UNC-TV was recording a North Carolina Bookwatch interview with author Nicholas Sparks. In Kinston, I dropped by Kings — a barbecue restaurant that is one...

Read More

One on One: Literary Leader Champions Heritage Foods

How did Carrboro writer and teacher Georgann Eubanks become the leader of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association? In a word, she earned a top role in our state’s cultural community by her diligent and unselfish community service that has made things better for all of us. For instance, she spent years traveling up and down our state’s roads, stopping in all our major cities and many towns and rural crossroads to find material for her three-volume “Literary Trails of North Carolina.” Along the way, she met hundreds of North Carolina’s writers, their families, friends, and people who...

Read More

One on One: Raleigh or Ralegh?

Anna Beer could cost North Carolina taxpayers millions of dollars, but how in the world could this British author and scholar cost us so money? Based on her comprehensive research, she argues that the last name of the Sir Walter, who organized and promoted the enterprise we now call The Lost Colony, should be spelled “Ralegh” rather than the way we have always spelled it, up to now, Raleigh. If we were persuaded to change the name of our capital city, the state will have to replace hundreds of thousands of items of property that contain the Raleigh name,...

Read More

One on One: A Once-Beloved Guest Who Overstayed His Welcome

He is like the houseguest who stays too long, and then when he’s finally gone, you miss him a little bit. I am talking about Silent Sam, the Confederate memorial statue whose presence over a hundred-plus years on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ended last week. On the Monday night before the opening day of classes, a large crowd gathered to continue the ongoing protest of the statue’s prominent presence on the campus. Police were there to keep order and, as they have done for months, protect the statue from damage. But before...

Read More

One on One: Will the 60th be the Final Reunion?

“This may be the last time we get together like this.” We hoped he was wrong. But my classmates and I knew that Charles Holland, the organizer of my North Mecklenburg High School Class of 1958’s 60th reunion, might be right. Time is closing in on us. But what a time we have had. We have lived through historic times. Most of us were born in 1940, about 78 years ago. If you went back 78 years before 1940, you would be in 1863. So my classmates have had the privilege of living through more than one-half of post-Civil...

Read More

One on One: The Great American Read

Could a North Carolina novel be the country’s best-loved? “The Great American Read,” a PBS series, is in the process of selecting America’s best-loved novel. Is there a chance it could be a North Carolina book? Maybe. “The Great American Read” is an eight-part broadcast series. The opening broadcast in May revealed 100 novels that are in contention for selection as America’s best-loved. The series resumes on Tuesday, September 11, and will air each week until October 23 — when the final selection will be announced. These programs will, according to PBS, investigate “how and why writers create their...

Read More

Two Hard-Earned Reputations-Unnecessarily at Risk

Most of this column is going to be copied from another writer. He knew how to say what I want to tell you much better than I could ever do. While I am at it, let me confess that most of what I write for you each week comes from material other people have written or told me. So very little is really original. I try to give credit where credit is due, but I am not sure I always get it right. NPR summarizes the general rule as follows: “Attribute, attribute and attribute some more. No material from...

Read More