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mail@authorsguildoftn.org    +1.865.254-3054 and 865.657-9560.

I have lived in Oak Ridge, TN since 1958, and was a Physics/Mathematics teacher at Oliver Springs High School in Roane County, TN and at Hillsboro High School in Nashville, TN where I retired in 2000, and moved back to Oak Ridge. Here I play tennis, mow grass, hike as well swim with the swimmin women.
After retiring from a 25 year career as an educator, I wrote my first family history book entitled “The Matheson Cove: In the Shadow of the Devil’s Post Office”, which was awarded the North Carolina Society of Historians’ Award in 2008. Having acquired my Uncle Johnny’s personal photos from the 1950′s, I promised the person who gave the photos to me that I would ‘DO SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH THE PHOTOS’ but I had no idea what that would be. A few days after receiving the photos, that person died in surgery in Atlanta, GA. When I got the phone call telling me of his death, I knew I had to write Uncle Johnny’s story!
 
Now I am marketing my “Fiddler” book in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and East Tennessee.

Books by Eva Nell Mull Wike

Interview with Author

Why did you write “The Matheson Cove: In the Shadow of the Devil’s Post Office”?

I wrote “The Cove” because of my devotion to my family and to share the way of life in the Cove, where I was born and raised. The importance of recording our history was made clear to me by a young teenage girl who had helped my mother when I was being born. This young girl came back into my life 60 some years later and inspired me to write this family history.

How does a physics teacher become a prize winning author of a family history book?

I must admit I was overwhelmed by winning the North Carolina Society of Historians Award. But I had no trouble traveling ‘down East’ to accept that award. However I must give credit to Ms. Reba Ledford, the teenage girl , who lived on the farm next to our farm in the Cove. It all began on a fateful September day when her mother sent Reba to help the mid-wife, when I was being born. Soon Reba graduated from high school and left the Cove, never seeing ‘her little lost lamb’ again. When she left the Cove, she went to work on the Atomic Bomb in a city ‘behind the fence’ over in Tennessee. Decades later she accidentally came back into my life. And she was living just a few miles from me all those years but we never knew it.

How long did it take you to write “The Cove?”

Soon after Reba came back into my life, I became her chauffeur. She was unable to drive because of injuries from a car accident. She very cleverly shared her family story she had written years ago. I took her story back to the cove to share with my brothers and sisters. But I did not realize what she had up her sleeve! On our next ‘ride’ she ask what my brothers and sisters thought of her story. My foolish reply was, “Oh they said it was just like our story!” WHAM! She had me! Her unanswered question was, “When are you going to write your story?” I quickly declared, “I am a Physics teacher, not a writer!” She replied, “If you don’t write it, who will?”

Time passed and I continued being Reba’s chauffeur, cherishing every moment I spent with her. On a beautiful October day in 2006, I called Reba and said, “Reba, I have written the first page of our book!” She replied, “I told you that you could do it!” I wrote like a demon was on my trail, crying more than I wrote. But with the help of my brothers and sisters (5 brothers/5 sisters) and my devoted sweetheart, I was able to deliver a rough draft to my publisher on February 18, 2007.

Why did you write “Fiddler of the Mountains: Attuned to the Life and Times of Johnny Mull”?

After having had the amazing success and pleasure of writing my first book “The Matheson Cove” I was satisfied and never intended to write another book. However the accidental and amazing acquisition of my Uncle Johnny’s photos set me on another writing mission. And again I did not see it coming!

On October 5, 2012, my sweetheart and I were attending a musical program at the John C. Campbell Folk School down in Warne, NC. After a great performance everyone was just standing around talking and not in a hurry to leave. Suddenly I heard a stranger say my brother’s name as he was talking to my sweetheart. I eased over and ask him if I had heard him say my brother, William’s name. With a broad smile on his face he said, “You sure did if your brother is Bill Mull!”

A hour later we were still talking with the friendly fellow (Clay Ivester) out in the meadow – as the doors had long since been closed. Suddenly he declared,” You are Johnny Mull’s niece, aren’t you?” A shiver traveled along my spine as I recalled my Uncle Johnny had passed away in 2008. But I said, “Yes sir, Uncle Johnny was my daddy’s baby brother.”

Then Clay shared the fact that when Uncle Johnny had died, his landlady in Canton, Ohio, had sent all of Johnny’s photos to him. Clay admitted he had not known what to do with the photos. WHAM! He had me! I quickly said, “Well I don’t know what you will do with the photos. But if you give them to me I promise I will do something special with them!”

Where did you have “Fiddler” published?

Even before I finished writing “Fiddler” I was conferring with my extraordinary Editor, who had published several books. It was an easy decision to take her advice and go with The Donning Company Publishers. Steve Mull is the General Manager and they are located in Virginia Beach, VA.

Would you self-publish if you wrote another book?

The responsibility of marketing and selling your own book is a challenge. It is also a substantial investment to get a reasonable cost of production of a book.

What awards or recognition or experience you have received that is relevant to your writing?

Perhaps the greatest public recognition I have received is that of the North Carolina Society of Historians bestowing that award on both my books. Soon I will go back to North Carolina and receive that second award later in October, 2014.

However, to be told how much my books mean to folks who live on Tusquittee and the Matheson Cove, where I was born and raised, brings much joy to my heart. In fact that is the only reason I wrote the history books, for those beloved families! Finally I feel that my books serve as documentation and preservation of our way of life, albeit it is seemingly a forgotten way of living.

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