What with all my posts about sneaky Christmas kitties and murderous t-shirts, you're probably wondering--what ever happened to her novel?
Or maybe you're not wondering that. But in case you are, my novel is currently under review by my early beta readers.
Now I've got the germ of an idea for a new novel. It would be YA, but different from the one I just wrote. It's historical, and not a genre mystery.
The difference in the process this time is that I dreamed up the character before I had the novel idea, which was not the case with my first book. You always hear that character should come before plot; this time it actually happened.
Her name is Ruby and she wants to be the next Kitty Wells (above) or Patsy Cline. She lives in the poor white trash section of a small southern town in the 1950s (60s?). Her mom isn't the brightest bulb and her dad is a schemer who sees Ruby as the family's meal ticket.
That's not much of a hook and it's short on plot--mostly because the plot's still percolating in my brain. I was even worried for a while about whether this germ of an idea would be enough to keep my interest in writing the whole book. After all, it doesn't have a central mystery, there aren't any dead bodies and nobody's solving any crimes (yet...).
But I do love historical novels and I adore good country music (note I said good, not the total crap you usually hear on most popular country stations--Tim McGraw, I'm looking at you). I love Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton. Last week I did some "preliminary research" and read their stories on Wikipedia (Dolly and Patsy).
They're fascinating. Patsy is probably more the era I'm going for; Dolly's career didn't really get going until the late 1960s. But I love reading about Dolly anyway because she's a brilliant songwriter and fabulous performer and genius businesswoman and generous philanthropist. Don't get me going about her, becuase we'd be here for days.
Seriously, how beautiful is she?? In above photo she's with Porter Wagoner, who gave her one of her first big breaks by inviting her on his country music TV show in the early 70s. I actually saw him perform at the Grand Ole Opry last year in a fuschia bedazzled pantsuit, similar to this one:
Sweeeeet. Unfortunately he died in October of last year at age 80, about 3 months after I saw him perform. His was not my style of music, but he was crazy popular back in the day. Plus he recognized Dolly for the fabulous talent she is, so obviously he was a smart guy.
Anyway...you're probably tired of my fangirly ruminations on the greatness of Dolly Parton.
I'm still not sure about this new novel idea. Old-fashioned country music has limited appeal (especially with the YA set). But Walk the Line was great, right? And Nashville was an exciting place back in the 1960s. So we'll see. I'd appreciate any comments or opinions!
Ok, I couldn't resist. Here's a clip from Porter Wagoner's show where Dolly performs one of her first hits, "Dumb Blonde." The line about peroxide cracks me up.
Ok, and here's different one, of her early hit, "Just Because I'm a Woman." Ignore the big hair and static pose. The words are just brilliant.