Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Frances Farmer and a nice surprise...

If you haven't noticed, I have been taking an hiatus from writing.  But, that's not to say that my hiatus will be permanent.  Not by a long shot.  Instead, I have been immersed in reading autobiographies which always whet my appetite to write.

One of the books I had the pleasure of reading was about Frances Farmer.  I had always heard the stories and even saw a clip from the show, "This is Your Life" that featured her very dark life.  She was a hopeful, shining star in Hollywood that soon fell into the depths of her mental illness, causing  years of chaos, bitterness and deep sadness.

I'm not sure why I am so drawn to dark stories, but I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Ms. Farmer found happiness at the end of her tragic life.  I also was amazed at the family that befriended her in her later years.  They were the absolute rock of her regrouping herself.  If ever divine intervention was in play, it was between these friends and Frances Farmer.

The horrors of the mental institutions she inhabited were almost beyond description.  However, she was very deft in describing the torturous and inhumane treatment she received during her stay in these facilities.  I promise you, it's a story you won't soon forget.  I know I haven't.

Working on story ideas for my next novel...stay tuned, dear readers.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Featured in the Beaumont Enterprise

As I have been racking my brain for a new novel plot, I recently checked my email and discovered a request from a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise.

She asked if I would give her an interview regarding my novel, "The Long Road from Perdition".  I decided that I would, I mean, who doesn't want free press for their book?  When the article came out, I read about the books that other Southeast Texas authors were producing.

I became fascinated with Jeffrey Hopper's book soon to be released, "Stealing Vegas".  I went to school with Jeffrey's brother, Royal and remembered reading about their father and sons robbery of a Las Vegas casino.  I remembered it felt so surreal to know that a former classmate was caught up in this type of situation. I felt badly that their father was the catalyst for the robbery.  It revealed a troubled home life that none of Royal's friends at school ever suspected.

As I read more about the book's premises, I learned that each of the Hoppers were dealt prison time for the crime.  Fortunately, Jeffrey turned his life around and studied at the seminary to pursue a life as a minister.  He now spends his time talking to prisoners about the consequences of their actions and how to turn it all around.  Very inspiring to say the least.

Jeffrey didn't reveal any information regarding Royal's current status, but you can bet that I'll be picking up his book when it is released.  I think you should too.  Check for the status of his book here

 Read the article, I'm honored to be in such talented company:  SE Texas writers on either side of the law tell their stories.  Sometimes I think my hometown is haunted.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Closing the Chapter

You may have noticed that I haven't posted to this blog in quite awhile.  After promoting "The Long Road from Perdition", I began that journey of "what's next?"  

Readers have been asking if another novel was on it's way to reveal Nicholas's life beyond the novel's final chapter.  I'm not sure that I want to delve into that story at this time.  I'm trying to stay open and see what inspires me to write.  Coming up with a good story and believable characters is a daunting task regardless of whether you are a novice or a professional.  

I've hit that proverbial writer's block of a wall.  I promise to not be a one book wonder, but I do need to discover what needs to be said through another character.  Stay tuned, dear reader.  I promise to continue on that written path of being a writer. No matter how frustrating it becomes!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Important Review

Yesterday, I was pleased to see an email from Indigene from Indie Review blog.  I had sent her The Long Road from Perdition several months ago to review and after being slammed with work, she was able to finally offer a critique to my work.

You know, reviewers, avid readers and the like are so important to Indie authors such as myself.  I have to say, the waiting for the review is the worst part, but I am pleasantly pleased with her comments on my novel. See what you think: CLICK HERE for the review posted on her website.

Do yourself a favor and bookmark her blog, INDIE REVIEWS.  She is a voracious reader and offers exceptional insight into the books she reads.  She's really something.

Thank you, Indigene.

A sample of her review:

"...I found the author's writing style to be quite an interesting mixture of realism and romanticism, with strong elements of the American southern gothic tale. While the author does not hold back in describing the harshness and horror of Nicholas' reality, in particular during the first part of the story, the writing style also provides somewhat of a buffer to this reality allowing the reader to safely remain with Nicholas through his journey and yet not lose the emotional impact of all that the character experiences throughout the novel ."

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Familiar Stench of Southeast Texas

As I was glancing through some posts on Facebook, I saw an entry with a short video attached by Mary Karr, the famous memoirist/poet from Groves, Texas.  I clicked on the video and watched as she and her sister filmed their journey into Port Arthur, Texas.

They shared memories of Luby's cafeteria, the countless refineries with "alien-like pods" or storage tanks that were plentiful on the grounds.  Then, it happened.  That familiar, God-awful stench of rotten eggs permeated the air.  The overhang of pollution and sludge was thick in the air and the sisters giggled at the foul stench wondering aloud how they ever survived the smell!

The funniest comment came from Karr as she quipped, "I can't begin to tell you just how much of nothing there is out here."  I chuckled.  That's why I included that stench in my novel, "The Long Road from Perdition".  Karr speaks of it as well in her own memoir, The Liar's Club.

If Nicholas hadn't made mention of the pollution and rotten smell of his home town, it wouldn't have been a major oversight for someone writing about southeast Texas.

No one knew better than Nicholas that there's "so much of nothing" in his hometown.  But, it was his hometown nonetheless.  Thanks to Mary Karr for that familiar journey that is pure Golden Triangle nostalgia.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Miss Boudreaux and The Bum

During Nicholas's journey, the reader finds that he is being fostered by Miss Boudreaux.  When I was writing this novel, I sometimes contemplated, "What if The Bum never moved in with Miss Boudreaux?"

Would Nicholas stay until legal age and take care of his foster brothers and sisters? Or, would he run away regardless and start a new life?  It's hard to say, because if you've read the story, Miss Boudreaux's love interest, aka "The Bum" is the catalyst for Nicholas leaving.

While most teens would consider his living environment at the foster home to be miserable and neglected, Nicholas seemed to be happy that at least he wasn't being beaten on a daily basis.  Miss Boudreaux used the system and was lazy.  Laziness is something he could live with, it was continued abuse at the hands of "the Bum" that he couldn't stand.

Have you ever been in a situation similar to Nicholas's?  I think most people sometimes settle for "livable conditions" instead of great conditions.  Because let's face it, even though Nicholas assumed Miss Boudreaux's responsibilities because of her laziness, he would have become lazy himself, in the long run by not finding a better home for himself.

I think that situation is where the saying, "Thank God, for unanswered prayers," came from.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chi-Chi and Gitch

Alot of people ask me about these two characters in my novel, "The Long Road from Perdition".  Namely, if these two personalities really exist.  I have to say though, that I have known some guys that gave me inspiration for their personalities.  Go to any gay bar and you will likely see waitstaff that could easily be Gitch or Chi-Chi.

I envisioned them to be thin, wiry guys that flaunted their sexuality.  I think they definitely gave Nick a crash course on what it is like to work in a gay bar!  While I wanted these characters to be stereotypically effeminate, I wanted them to also show a strength and power when push came to shove.  When Nick makes the mistake of wearing his handkerchief in his backpocket, it was these two characters who protected him and  stood up to those who were ready to take advantage of him.

I also wanted to show that Gitch and Chi-Chi are hard workers...loyal to a fault and accepting.  Cause that's what it's all about when you frequent a small gay bar.  You're family.