Carolyn Jourdan: CARE-ol-lin jour-din (as in journey)
Carolyn Jourdan is a former U.S. Senate Counsel to the Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Governmental Affairs (now Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs). She has degrees from the University of Tennessee in Biomedical Engineering and Law. She lives on the family farm in East Knox County, Tennessee with many stray animals.
Carolyn works as a writer and webmaster for the Great Smoky Mountains Association, a nonprofit education and publications partner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She chose to stay in East Tennessee to be with her parents and because she felt her "glitzy" life in Washington, D.C., didn't fit her anymore.
Her resume also lists her as the Founder and Director of the Nuclear Waste Documentary Project, a nonprofit scientific organization that produces educational materials on nuclear waste issues for public television, museums, and schools.
This biography was last updated on 08/07/2013.
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A Conversation Carolyn Jourdan, author of Heart in the Right Place
What inspired you to
tell your story?
I love my little community - the culture and the dialect - and I wanted to preserve a picture of what Smoky Mountain culture was like before it was overrun by new people moving to the area and by the effect of the increasingly pervasive presence of national media in our lives. I also wanted to preserve a picture of what family medicine was like at its best - before the business people got in charge of health care and when the doctor not only knew his patient but also knew four generations of the patient's family and all his cousins too.
You portray people and events so vividly. How were you able to accomplish this?
I like to jot down things I hear people say, just a remark or a snippet of dialogue. That's what truly interests me, the way real people talk. Most of the book originated on fast food drive-thru napkins and Post-its where I'd make notes to myself of things I'd heard. I used to be ashamed of that, that I didn't write by sitting at a desk and having deep thoughts but was inspired by listening to anybody and everybody around me talking about the most mundane aspects of their ...
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