|Mr. Possum's desk looks suspiciously|
similar to mine.
Secondly, even though I respected the journalism department at UNC Chapel Hill enough to attend their camp, I was, and still am, a Wolfpack fan through and through. I would later attend NC State. It's where I met my children's father. My middle son is currently a student at NC State. But I digress. I had dreams of being a reporter, columnist, and children's book author. Journalism camp was a stepping stone toward realizing my dreams, even if it was offered by a rival university.
Mr. Possum, the reporter, editor, and publisher of The Hubbleville Chronicles, is my journalistic alter-ego. I poured into him some of the quirky aspects of the writer that lives deep in my soul. His messy desk, tattered notebooks, lack of attention span, and assertiveness when it comes to getting the scoop are parts of me that come alive in a seemingly aloof, yet good-hearted character in the world of Hubbleville.
When I first began to write him, I thought I was simply making up a purely fictional character to help bring the stories about Thurston T. Turtle alive. Many would assume Mr. Turtle to be my favorite. But after the books were published and I stepped back to re-read and re-discover the stories, it was Mr. Possum that won my heart. He has earned a top spot as one of my favorite characters. And as it turned out, he was not purely fictional at all. When he first emerged from the creative depths of my brain a quarter century ago, when I was merely a junior at NC State, he was more like the person I would become as a writer than even I could have predicted.