"When Nighttime Shadows Fall" was Diane Michael Cantor's first novel, but not her first published.

"Like many writers, I got to a point where I wasn't sure what to do with it," says the Atlanta native and Savannah resident. "I wasn't sure how to finish. I put it aside for many years."

A novel has to tell a story and have a plot, she said, and sometimes the characters are undecided in their direction.

Cantor will be at E. Shaver Bookseller from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 2 talking about, reading from and signing that first book, which is just now off the presses. Her first published novel "The Poisoned Table" will also be available.

"When Nighttime Shadows Fall" is about a young social worker from Atlanta who struggles to gain the trust of pregnant teens in rural Appalachia, according to the publisher, The University of South Carolina Press.

"'When Nighttime Shadows Fall,' portrays the world of these girls with compassion, hardscrabble humor, and reverence for their families' capacities to prevail despite hardships."

University of South Carolina Press doesn't usually publish storylines outside of South Carolina and doesn't usually print fiction.

"They told me they were interested in this because it had a very authentic Southern voice," Cantor said. "I felt very fortunate."

Publishers and critics can be unkind when reviewing a book, she said, and shares that with writers who attend her workshops. "I try to encourage people to start [writing]," she said, and expect some people to not like the results.

Develop a shell like an armadillo, she added. "People can be unkind in the rejection of you. Some just will not like it. We just can't help what we like."


What: Reading, signing of "When Nighttime Shadows Fall" by Diane Michael Cantor

When: 1-3 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: E. Shaver, Bookseller, 326 Bull St.

Info: eshaverbooks.com