Why I am a Closet Southern Belle


One of the reasons I wrote Hot and Bothered and Hot and Irresistible was I wanted to set a book in the South, the real South. It has a flavor all its own from the way folks talk…How’s your mamma and daddy?…to the food…anything that has a stick of butter and cup of cream has got to be delicious! Just ask Paula Deen…to the way gals and guys behave.


So my question today is… Are you a closet Southern Belle? Now you ask, Okay what the dickens makes a Southern Belle? Well, I just happen to have a little list…


                             Do you never wear white after Labor Day or before



                             Do you own a strand of real pearls and wear them

                                      with pride


                             Always drink sweet tea and love it when they

                                      have it on the menu


                             A part of you truly believes in those Yankees


                             Civil War? What Civil War? Now that unfortunate

Northern Occupation…that you know about


                             Have Lee as part of your name or your children’s


                             Fav movies are GWTW and Steel Magnolias and Fried

                                      Green Tomatoes


                             Actually read GWTW and reread parts from time to

                                      time. Wish you had the name Scarlet


                             Have a tiara hidden in your panty drawer and

                                      know how to twirl a baton


                             Have an umbrella that looks a bit like a parasol


                             Make sure your children know manners and use them


                             Love Red-eye gravy, grits, country ham and make

                                      your own biscuits


                             Know that prime real estate is The Mall,

                                      The Country Club and The Beauty Salon


                             Buy more then one can of hair spray at a time


                             Have actually said Y’all come back, Bless your

                                      your heart, Drop by when you can, How’s your



                             Love white gloves and wear hats


                             Have a subscription of Southern Living or ripped

                                      a recipe from that magazine at the doctor’s



                             Have a pineapple decoration somewhere in your



                             Think the magnolia is a piece of heaven on earth



And what about the food? Do you own a Paula Deen Cookbook? Catch her on TV whenever you can? Actually copied a recipe and made it and know how to make cream gravy from scratch and would rather poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick than put cool whip on your homemade pumpkin pie! Is there anything better than southern cooking? Well maybe Italian but that’s another blog.


So, how do you measure up? Is a part of you a Southern Belle? Know someone who is? I really tried to keep these characteristics in mind when writing Hot and Bothered. A gal in NY city is way different than a gal in Savannah and I sure wanted it to feel that way.


I am definitely a closet Southern Belle! I do make fried chicken and bathtub gravy. That’s what my kids call my cream gravy because they could eat a bathtub full of it. I do make my own pies, have white gloves, crab at my kids if they don’t use their manners, buy extra-hold hair spray, subscribe to Southern Living, have a fancy umbrella that I’ve been known to twirl from time to time and do know how to twirl a baton for real. Even took lessons.


On the Southern Belle scale I’m about a 7. What about you? What is your Southern Belle Score?


Thanks for being here!


Hugs, Dianne Castell


USA Today best selling author Dianne Castell writes for Kensington BRAVA. She also writes a monthly editor interview column for Romance Writers Report. Her books have won Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, been on the cover of Romantic Times Magazine and included in Rhapsody Book Club, Doubleday Book Club and have made the Waldenbooks Bestseller list.

The second book in her Savannah Sizzles series for the BRAVA line, Hot and Irresistible, hits the shelves Nov‘09. Hot Summer Nights is out May ’10.

Dianne lives in Cincinnati with her two cats and will do just about anything to get out of housework.

You can visit her website at http://www.diannecastell.com/.