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Set in the 1940s, The Quarters features quite the cast of characters and is a funny, quick read with themes of murder, family, race, church, community, passing and a con artist.

Set partially in the small rural town of Preston, Georgia where Louise and Betty Jean (a.k.a. “Honey”) were raised by their loving father and not so loving step-mother.  After the third-body that Louise has had to help Honey dispose of, Honey decides to get the heck out of dodge before someone starts missing those boys.

When she takes up residence in a quirky, yet humorous community called The Quarters, life is peaceful and as comfortable as can be in the humid south until a handsome stranger rolls into town, talking sweet and looking nice.  Simee brings news of money that could come to the local church, but like any overly-confidence con artist, Simee is up to no good and soon the church’s leadership is knee deep in a scam that could result in the loss of valuable land.

Unfortunately… he’s not been made privy of the “accidents” Honey has been prone to and how men tend to end up dead all around her…

The Quarters


What initially got you interested in writing?

This novel has been a part of me for over 25 years. My mom and aunt shared some quirky stories with me from their childhood that I couldn’t shake. The stories were compelling, funny, and in my opinion worthy of documenting. I was compelled to write the stories.

How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?

It never occurred to me to “not” publish my novel. Prior to actually starting to write, I knew I would have a novel. I wasn’t so sure others would want to read it.

What do you want readers to take away from reading works?

My hopes are that readers will take away a few things. One thing in particular is the commonality of community and family. I’ve not encountered one person yet, regardless of race, sex, religion, etc. that hasn’t found a character they can personally relate to. From the nosey neighbor to the quirky church folk, there’s a character in there for you. One other thing is that I’m hoping readers walk away entertained. One question I consistently ask readers (if I can) is, did it make you laugh.

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

The most rewarding part of writing is getting “stuff” out my head. The more I write, the more I want to write.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

The most challenging part of writing is hoping “it” makes sense to the readers. Am I able to translate my thoughts, humor, etc. in an acceptable and entertaining manner.

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

I would say, go for it. Write, write, and write some more. One more thing, be sure to hire a professional editor. It’s worth it.

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

Let me think. I love red wine and cheap gummy bears…together. LOL!

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

Visit my website marikbell.com, fb page, author Mari K. Bell, or simply email me at marimkini@gmail.com.

 The Quarters - Mari Bell
I’m Marichele Bell.  I know, you’re thinking Marichele Bell?  Yep, that’s a real name and it belongs to me.  Prior to getting married, I was Marichele Scrutchins.  But you can call me Mari, everyone else does. I’m a sales manager by day and a writer by night.  If you consider funeral announcements, editing friends and family’s writing assignments, and cleaning up resumes writing, then I’m your girl.   Seriously, from the age of maybe 11, I can remember being told by someone “you can write”.  The complements came from a variety of reputable sources, starting with my Mom.  Who’s more reputable than her.   That’s a rhetorical question.  Over time, others, i.e. professors, employers, friends, and more family would on occasion make the same comment.  One of my first memories is from my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Moey.  I remember her quite well.  She was tall, wore cat glasses, had black girl hips (like me), and very tall stiff blond hair, straight up and down. The kind of hair that dared not to move or it just might have toppled her over.   I do believe she kept cans of Aqua Net on standby.  Any hoo, one of our class assignments was to write a short story.  I chose purple bubble gum as my subject.  I can’t remember whether it was Bubble Yum, Bubblicious, or Double Bubble, but it was bubble gum and it was purple.  That simple short story drew laughs from her and my fellow 11 year old comrades.  I remember being surprised by their reaction and laughter.  It was only a few paragraphs, but hey, who am I to dismiss my super hero comical talents.  From there, I received more compliments by others; I just never took them that seriously.  Flash forward years later, I sat down with my Mom and my Aunt and listened while they shared memories of their childhood.  I couldn’t believe some, well, most of the stuff I was hearing.  The community they grew up in held secrets, shame, and humor, so much humor.  I was captivated.  They were beyond entertaining. I couldn’t stop asking questions, but more importantly, I couldn’t stop laughing.  Thankfully, those two planted the seed for The Quarters.  Here it is over 20 years later and finally I was compelled to write this book.  It’s in memory of my Grandmomma, Mrs. Louise Scott who was one of the funniest ladies I’ve ever known.  It is also a tribute to my Mom, Pearline Scrutchins. She is not only hilarious in her own right, but  smart, loving, and just a wonderful mother.  I surely can’t leave out my aunts and uncles.  Some of the funnies in The Quarters, came directly from them.  And finally the real people of the Quarters.  Most of them have passed away now, but they left such a rich impression on me.  My hopes are that this book will carry their humor, kindness, and love for generations.

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