USA Today bestselling author Donna Everhart’s newest work, The Moonshiner’s Daughter, was inspired by a memory of her grandfather and the moonshine he called “Sneaky Pete.” In this, her fourth novel, she tells the story of a 16-year-old growing up in Wilkes County in the 1960s and trying to come to terms with her bootlegging family’s past.
When she got the idea for the book, Everhart thought that she might tie the beginnings of NASCAR into a story, but research led her to the more personal topic of how bootlegging affected families. “Some of my favorite stories are coming-of-age, like Ellen Foster (Kaye Gibbons) and Bastard Out of Carolina (Dorothy Allison), where young narrators are at the mercy of the adults in their lives,” Everhart says. “Likewise for my own writing, telling a story from this perspective juxtaposes innocence with the revelation that some adults are flawed.”
A North Carolina native, she now lives in Dunn, near Raleigh, but has set two novels so far in the Blue Ridge Mountains. “I do visit the places I write about,” she says, “especially the mountains.”
Her writing has been compared to that of Gibbons, Lee Smith and Sandra Dallas, among others. “I think readers who enjoy those authors would enjoy my work, too, but I also like to think I’m crafting my own unique voice in telling stories,” Everhart says.
The Moonshiner’s Daughter, December, 2019, fiction, paperback, $15.95, e-book, $9.99, by Donna Everhart, and published by Kensington Publishing Corp., NY. To learn more, visit DonnaEverhart.com. A signing will be held at the Wilkes County Public Library in Wilkesboro on Tuesday, April 21, at 4 p.m.