Interview with an Author: Last Chance Trailer Park

Published 1:07 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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Mavis Stevens is the author of a book called Last Chance Trailer Park. She met for an interview recently, telling about her story. “My book is just about community and it’s about people getting along solving problems in love and joy and understanding instead of malice and coming at each other.”

Stevens talked about how her life journey inspired the book. She detailed how growing up in Americus she was inspired by folk artist Eddie Martin to create, leading her to make characters out of yarn. However, her world was abruptly upended when, at nine years old, she moved to another State. “We left this beautiful little environment of Americus where I had gotten bitten by the bug of wanting to be an artist. In 1969, two weeks after man landed on the moon, we ended up moving from Americus to Trenton, Florida, from a nice house here into a trailer park, and I thought that it was just the worst that would ever happen to me, and for a while it was.”

Stevens said she later realized that the worse thing that could happen to you was not always so bad. She talked about how Last Chance Trailer Park was inspired by the people she met while living in a trailer park herself. “These are all pieces of people that I’ve actually met.”

Stevens described the characters that populate her book, starting with Lucy, the main character, who becomes the manager of a trailer park. “She falls upon the job by default, but it turns out that after trying several jobs, that is the perfect job for her. She uses her people skills and her love of community to bring the community together. She walks with them, not against them. She leads them by example. And so people want to be with her.”

Stevens described all the characters Lucy comes to know in the trailer park, from two inseparable friends, Papa and RJ, to Margo, an artist who participates in shows, Larry the maintenance man who loves to fix things, and the discontented Pandora. She talked about how readers had reacted to the story. “It has been very well received. I have been shocked at some of the people that have like stopped me on the street, and various places, and said they just liked the way it [spoke] to them, the way people have said ‘I see myself in this character,’ the way they can’t wait for the sequel, and there is going to be a sequel, and I am working on that right now. They say it makes them feel really good, it makes them smile, it makes them feel hope. And that’s what I want, is for people to feel hope. I don’t think anybody denies we are in kind of weird times right now, and sometimes it doesn’t feel so good. But all it takes is working together to a solution.”

When asked if she felt her story’s uniquely positive take on life in a trailer park was what made it unique, she replied: “I think that it’s whatever you look for wherever you are. If you look for the good stuff, you will find it. If you look for the bad stuff, you will find it.”