About With a Name Like Love
When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession? Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.
Welcome Tess Hilmo to The O.W.L.!
With a Name Like Love was primarily inspired by my appreciation for old, classic Southern gospel music. I grew up with a single mother and didn’t have many extras. Most of our vacations were spent camping on California beaches or taking road trips out to the desert towns of Death Valley. I have beautiful memories of my mother leading her children in singing “Do Lord” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Amazing Grace” around a crackling campfire. We would clap our hands and sing in rounds and be filled with the hope that these songs inspire. It was never tied to a particular religion, but it was always a message of love and faith and the belief that we could rise above our circumstances.
As an adult, I began dabbling in music composition. I wrote songs for each of my children when they were born and would sometimes write simple tunes for my poetry. At one point, I wrote a song patterned after those Southern spirituals I remember from my youth titled “Lead Me On. ” It is written in a pentatonic, or five note, scale. Did you know almost every classic African-American spiritual is written with only five simple notes? There is a magnificent simplicity to those songs.
That was so neat to learn about! I love hearing how authors are influenced as they write. The background of how a story comes together fascinates me! I hope you enjoyed it as well.
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