Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?"

Punchy

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Quote-O-Rama!

"You can't say that!  You don't know!"

Monica Geller

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Web Sense Is Tingling

If you are following this blog-

WAIT!

Are you FOLLOWING this blog?! Then you are THE ONE, Neo!

And you may have noticed a flurry of posting about things I've already posted about, some from quite awhile back. It's all about using the blog as a convenient cyber spot to stash content for the website.

The newly revamped website:  www.amybriant.com!           ta duh

If you didn't understand that computer stuff, then you are clearly NOT The One and I must ask you to step away from Trinity because, dude, you are blocking my view.
"I believe I asked you not to put this in the dryer."

I will now re-post the HEAVENLY MOVES book trailer because that's truly the most recent post and the one I want folks to see.

Whew!

More About HEAVENLY MOVES


It's the summer of 1982. College dropout Heavenly Wilcox is thrilled with her new apartment in the Northern California beach town of San Tomas--even with the trombone-playing lesbian downstairs and the surly ex-cop next door. Heavenly (“Hev” to her friends) has a good job at the county Public Defender's office, a best friend in aspiring rock star Mona Murdock, and maybe even a new boyfriend on the horizon, one whose ambitions are exceeded only by his tattoos. So why does she keep thinking about that girl downstairs?

Also fascinating to Hev is the intriguing mail that continues to be delivered for the previous tenant of her new apartment, a man who mysteriously disappeared a few months back. A few harmless questions and one clearly inappropriate use of the county's computer system later, she finds herself at the center of a dangerous and tangled web of murder, missing persons, rock 'n' roll and sex with all the wrong people.

With each new twist and turn, Hev finds it hard to say who's the villain and who's the victim. And it's even harder for her to admit that she is not who she thought she was. The only thing she knows for sure is:  if she can't figure out what's going on, the next victim might just be her!

HEAVENLY MOVES
a novel by
Amy Briant
 


More About SHADOW POINT


The worst thing that could happen changes every day.

For Madison McPeake - young, beautiful, gay, acerbically witty, and with just a wee drinking problem - getting "not totally fired" from her job as a corporate trainer and being ordered to take three weeks off starting immediately seems like the worst thing that could happen.

Then the phone rings.

Her estranged brother has been found dead by the tide pools at a top secret Navy lab on Shadow Point, a rugged and remote San Diego peninsula. Madison has no choice but to go there and take custody of five year old Katie, the niece she's never met. But even her complete lack of parenting skills is not the worst of Madison's new troubles.

First, there's the malevolent phantom from Shadow Point's disturbing past haunting her isolated beach cabin.

Second, her dead brother's ties to the menacing Church of the Benevolent Fount, who have their own ideas about who should raise Katie.

Last, but far from least, is the alluring marine biologist with the Texas twang in the cabin across the way - whose side is she on?

And Mad thought her inner demons were bad - what a week to stop smoking and drinking!  Because Shadow Point is about to become a battleground for the possession of little Katie's soul. Good thing Madison has all that time off...

SHADOW POINT
a novel by
Amy Briant
 

More About ROMEO FAILS


Dorsey Larue feels trapped.

Trapped in her tiny, dead end, Midwestern hometown of Romeo Falls.

Trapped in her job, where she's a reluctant employee of the family business, Larue's Swingtime Hardware.

She'd much rather be doing freelance carpentry work or pursuing her hobby of “re-imagining” vintage furniture. She’d much rather be looking for love, but the small town, small minds and slim pickings in Romeo Falls have made her one lonely lesbian.

Then her best friend Maggie’s cousin comes to visit. Rumors are swirling about Sarah, and what may or may not have happened in the big city she left behind. Where others see a scandal, Dorsey sees only a quietly pretty girl with an intelligent gleam in her eye - maybe the girl she’s been waiting for all these years.

But is their summer romance ill-fated, when BFF Maggie forbids it, and the homophobic local citizenry suspect Sarah is behind the escalating series of malicious crimes plaguing the community? Dorsey may have found the love of her life - or her fragile heart may be ensnared in the cruelest trap of all.

A lonely heart.

A red Volkswagen Bug.

And a love affair that is anything but simple.

ROMEO FAILS
a novel by
Amy Briant
 

HEAVENLY MOVES Book Club Questions

SPOILER ALERT!

 WARNING:  Don't proceed unless
you've already read HEAVENLY MOVES.


And now for some book club questions!

1)  There are lots of different characters to love (or not) in this book. Who was your favorite character and why?  Least favorite and why?
 
2)  The 80s were awesome! What was your favorite bit of 80s pop culture in HEAVENLY MOVES?
 
3)  Hev suggests that maybe there's a villain in each of us, just awaiting the opportunity to get out.  Do you agree or disagree?  Why?
 
4)  Who do you think was the bigger villain - Jackson Miller or Werner?  Why?
 
5)  Although San Tomas prides itself on its liberal (not to mention quirky!) reputation, Hev encounters more than a little homophobia throughout the story. Which of those incidents had the most resonance for you? Which do you think was the toughest for Hev?
 
6)  There are many obstacles along the way in Hev's journey to self-awareness and self-acceptance - name one and discuss.
 
7)  At the end of the novel, Hev has not come out to her friends or family. Do you think that's the right decision?
 

Friday, April 12, 2013

What In The World!

One thing - one BIG thing - that makes my third novel very different from the first two is the size of the world.

objects in the universe may be larger than they appear

SHADOW POINT was more or less a locked room mystery - one claustrophobic location from which there was no escape (at least until page 254) and a handful of characters.

ROMEO FAILS was set in a very small Midwest town with a slightly bigger cast of characters.

But HEAVENLY MOVES takes place in the city of San Tomas, CA and Heavenly Wilcox, the main character, has friends! Family! Neighbors! Coworkers! Criminals! (at work & home) Not to mention the rottweiler and the band...

Ah, the world building! It may be my favorite part of novel writing. (you'd think it would be the words, but apparently that extra L makes all the difference) I hope you enjoy the world o' San Tomas. I have big plans for it!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Publication Day!

Today's the day - my third novel, HEAVENLY MOVES, is officially published!  Get your copy at www.bellabooks.com or Amazon or your choice of fine retailer.
yep, this was the best shot

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Thang!

Upon reflection, perhaps the one character missing from HEAVENLY MOVES who is most sorely needed is a nutritionist!  Criminy, those twentysomething chicks in the '80s do NOT eat well.  (They will regret this in their thirties.)  But Hev, who is even less of a cook than she is a gourmand, does share with us one excellent recipe: 

"Ed's Cafe was an unabashedly local joint with no decor beyond mismatched tables and chairs, no menu other than what Ed felt like writing on the chalkboard, a scuffed up linoleum floor you didn't want to look at too closely and the finest blueberry pancakes on the West Coast. (The secret, per Ed, is to use the waffles recipe on the side of the Bisquick box, not the pancake one. You're welcome.)"

Pass the syrup.
 

© Amy Briant 2013

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Who Day: All Hail the Monamobile

Hev's best friend, Mona Murdock, calls her car The Monamobile.  If you've ever had an old beater car with a name, you know it can be quite a character. And thus deserving of inclusion in TUESDAY WHO DAY. I can't imagine HEAVENLY MOVES without the Monamobile!
it kinda looks like this... about the same vintage anyhow
"As always, the back seat was a mess, littered with fast food debris, candy wrappers, soda cans, miscellaneous papers, broken bass strings, picks, a few random articles of clothing, bottles of motor oil, a naked plastic baby doll without the head (don't ask) and who knows what else. With the trash, the duct-taped seats, a big crack in the windshield and the mismatched, rusted exterior, it was a vehicle only an owner could love. Someone had once told Mona it looked like the car of a serial killer. She loved it."


© Amy Briant 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend Sampler

We've all seen those cars on the road - the ones adorned with MANY bumper stickers. And the rest of us thank you, crazy bumper sticker person. Although we do not aspire to be like you, you (sometimes) provide us with entertainment at stop lights. (I'd like to give a special shout-out here to the car with the REPUBLICANS FOR VOLDEMORT sticker I saw in the parking lot of an Atlanta grocery store.) One such vehicle is found within the pages of HEAVENLY MOVES:

"I'd seen a little blue Datsun B210 parked there, covered with typical San Tomas bumper stickers exhorting us to visualize world peace, visualize whirled peas, practice random acts of kindness and visit the Mystery Spot, among other things."

Hey, remember the B210?
yeah me neither


No matter. What's most important here is The Mystery Spot!  Yay, Mystery Spot. I love that place. Go to their website for a free bumper sticker - how cool is that is this day and age?  I should probably offer you a free bumper sticker.

Wait - I'm already providing all this free blogaliciousness...

You should give ME a free bumper sticker!

OK, OK, fine, I'll work on the freebies. You just enjoy your whirled peas. :-)


© Amy Briant 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Who Day: Meet J. D.

Hey, it's Tuesday!  Come on in, sit down in that comfy beach chair, have a Miller High Life and meet the family.

J. D. Wilcox is Hev's older brother and her only sibling. He's an auto mechanic, 26, described as a muscular 6'1" and lives in Hev's hot & dusty hometown somewhere near beautiful Sacramento, CA. Hev's parents bought her a '73 Camaro as a graduation present at J.D.'s suggestion, which he then fixed up. Hev loves her big brother, but suspects his occasional visits to San Tomas are more to see the Camaro than her. In this slightly edited scene, he is wearing a ratty Pep Boys t-shirt: 

"While J. D. worked on the Camaro, I watched from my beach chair on the west side of the driveway, in the shade under the one small tree in the grassy area. It was very pleasant there, drinking a cold one and watching someone else do the hard work. First he changed the oil, mooning over the engine like it was solid gold sprinkled with diamonds. Then he changed the spark plugs too. What a guy.

I got up from my beach chair, which was not as easy as it sounds, and..."

That's enough for now.  :-)  But remember those Pep Boys t-shirts?
the cornerstone of J. D.'s wardrobe
Super cheap (like $2, I'm thinking?) and SUPER thin. The original tissue Ts... I don't think they sell those anymore. Bummer.
 
On a happier note, just 6 more weeks 'til the release of HEAVENLY MOVES!  Now that's peppy!!!
 

© Amy Briant 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Who Day: Meet The Mongol

Long ago, I would occasionally drive past a bar in the Clairemont area of San Diego which I now think was Horatio's Moonglow Lounge.

I never set foot in the place. (sorry, Horatio) (not sure I was 21 yet) Anyhoo, the neon sign that said MOONGLOW had some bulbs out. Maybe it was supposed to look something like this:

But instead it looked like this:

I would just catch a glimpse of the sign as I whizzed by in my trusty pickup. My brain decided it was not MOONGLOW with a few letters missing; no, my brain decided it said MONGOL. I seriously thought the bar was named THE MONGOL.

Maybe the house special was a gin & tonic called the Genghis Khan-ic?
Or a pitcher of Mongol-itas?
With some Mongol Horde-ouevres?

Eventually, I realized it was Moonglow, not Mongol.

Duh.

But the dream lives on in HEAVENLY MOVES! In the book, the biggest, bestest nightclub in town is The Moonglow, but due "to ongoing problems with its neon sign, the Moonglow was known as the Mongol to its slightly dyslexic faithful."

Name aside, the club is based on my memories of The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA.  I played there a few times in the 80s with different bands.

[dang it, i was trying to insert a pic here, but this confounded Holiday Inn wifi is not worth spit!] 

And. We. Rocked.

Back in the fictional world of San Tomas, the Mongol is a crucial setting throughout the book. It's a what or a where, not a who, but is too important not to make the Tuesday Who Day cut.  ¡Viva el Mongol!

 

© Amy Briant 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekend Sampler

As you know, Dear Reader, HEAVENLY MOVES is a story about a girl named Heavenly who moves.  As in into a new apartment.

Like probably most other authors, I occasionally google myself to see if I've won the Pulitzer yet.  (this just in:  no)  I did find this, though, thanks to the kind folks at Google who are always thinking of ways to be helpful (it's real, for reals):
clearly they're unfamiliar with the genre or it would have been U-Haul?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Thang!

It's hard to keep track of what's fact and what's fiction in HEAVENLY MOVES as the novel is soooooo autobiographical.  (TIP:  I added the good stuff to make it not boring!)

FACT:  In real life, I once worked across the street from the biggest nightclub in Santa Cruz at a pizza place.  Their pizza was Very Good!  [I know.  I ate it almost every day.]  [damn you gluten]

FICTION:  In San Tomas, there's a pizza place across the street from the biggest nightclub in town - the Mongol I mean Moonglow. Thursdays are Dollar Nights at the Moonglow - a dollar to get in, dollar beers and 3 bands!  Such a deal.  And across the street is Rocco's Pizza - THE WORST imaginary PIZZA EVER!

See? It's hard to keep the fiction straight from the fact when even the fiction comes with a coupon.  Ah, well - meet me at Ed's Cafe!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teresday Where Day: San Tomas/Santa Cruz

HEAVENLY MOVES is set in a Northern California town called San Tomas. San Tomas is a fictional version of the real Santa Cruz, CA. Well, actually it's a mishmash of at least 3 different places I've lived, but it's mostly Santa Cruz.
 
Like Santa Cruz, San Tomas is home to a University of California campus, banana slugs, beautiful redwood forests in the mountains, beautiful beaches on Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean and a (mostly) far-left-leaning populace. Santa Cruz is a crazy and beautiful place as well as a popular tourist destination, famed for (among other things) the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
 
I highly recommend a visit and, hey, I know just where you can stay!  My former apartment (where the Fabulous Murdock Sisters live in HEAVENLY MOVES) is right across the street (Beach St.!) from the Boardwalk. Unfortunately for the Murdocks, that's only true in the real-life Santa Cruz. In San Tomas, they're not by the beach. But still by the bowling alley!
 
Anyhoo, that apartment (in real life) is now a vacation rental. Check out this pic:

Now I know this looks totally fake and too good to be true - BUT IT IS 100% REAL!  Promise!  I was just there not too long ago.  They've spruced the place up a lot since I lived there (A. LOT.), but the location was and is the best. That pier out the front window can also be seen from this Boardwalk roller coaster shot:

Next time I'm there, maybe I'll stock the old place with copies of HEAVENLY MOVES.  (let's see, one for the living room, each bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen cabinets, the stairwell...)
 

 

Monday, February 25, 2013

So You Say Your Writing's Hit A Brick Wall...

Fortunately, I do most of my writing at night so I don't have to look at the brick building RIGHT across the street. Or the people in it looking back at me.  (insert perhaps my favorite quote from "The Sixth Sense" here:  "STOP LOOKING AT ME!!!")
it's a teeny netbook - you are not a giant
A lovely view is not essential for writing, but it sure would be nice. I used to have this view:
The best Artist's View I've ever seen was the view from my high school piano teacher's piano bench in front of her Mason-Hamlin concert grand.  (now THAT was a piano!) Her house was on a hilly lot, so from her picture window, one could look down and see the gorgeous flower garden on the lower level of her sloping backyard. Very beautiful.  (even by San Diego standards!)

I recently saw a photo of another author's writing space - a screen(ed) porch looking out on a foresty view.  (sorry, can't remember whose view this was)  That would be pretty perfect. Outside-ish, but not with the wind blowing papers everywhere and bugs of every description feasting on my pale flesh.

I love Nature, but why is she always biting me?!

Don't answer that.

All right. Back to the brick wall.


stop looking at me!
 
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Who Day: Meet Bertha's Attic

Yahoo, let's meet the band! To recap:  the protagonist of HEAVENLY MOVES is Heavenly "Hev" Wilcox. Her best friend, Mona, is an aspiring rock star. Mona's band is called Bertha's Attic.
logo created by an internationally famous napkin designer (obvs)
The band's name is a Jane Eyre reference from Mona, the English major dropout - remember Mr. Rochester's crazy wife Bertha who lived in the attic? [or at least upstairs] Mona is the unquestioned (not to mention tyrannical) leader of her band - she writes the songs, sings lead and plays bass. The other members of Bertha's Attic are:

Petey Houlihan, guitar
"...red-haired, freckle-faced and looked like he was about sixteen. At age nineteen, he considered this a serious defect. He had recently dyed his hair jet black after cutting it very short except for one lock falling over his right eye. Which looked ridiculous, but Petey was such a nice boy that nobody wanted to hurt his feelings. He had told us all to call him Peter, not Petey, but who could look at that face and not say Petey?"

Handsome Pete, drums
"...tall and handsome, with hazel eyes, cropped brown hair and a fledgling moustache.... Gorgeous older women (like twenty-four) would show up at gigs from time to time and carry cymbals until they broke a fingernail."

LeClaire, keyboards
"She described her heritage as half Jamaican, half French and half Irish. That was about as much sense as I ever got out of the girl... Her appearance was striking...the audience could see her behind her keyboards with her mirrored sunglasses and beaded braids a-swinging."

And that's Bertha's Attic - coming soon to a Dollar Night near you! Don't forget your ID.
 

© Amy Briant 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekend Sampler

Here's a deleted scene (and true story) from HEAVENLY MOVES. Hev works at the county public defender's office. In this scene, she hones her customer service skills:
 
            "I'd had a few run-ins with other "clients" (as the attorneys called them) before I'd perfected my unflappable work poker face and steely composure. One small scrawny woman in her thirties had insisted she had to see a lawyer immediately, but I knew that office protocol demanded she and the rest of the customers be seen in the order in which they'd signed in. Her agitation escalated to rage, with plenty of shrieking and cussing. For a second, I thought she might come over the counter at me. And it was just a waist-high wooden counter--no bulletproof glass extending to the ceiling. There was nothing but air between me and the criminal element. Luckily (really luckily, as it turned out), when I raised my voice for the first and last time on that job and told her in no uncertain terms she needed to Sit Down And Wait Her Turn, she suddenly and inexplicably caved and meekly complied. Who knows why... When I covertly checked her paperwork later, I saw that she was out on bail for allegedly murdering her common law husband in his sleep. With a claw hammer.
            Ye Gods. And I'd told her (more or less) to shut up and sit down. I never again lost my temper with a client. And I made sure the counter top was always free of sharp objects. Blunt ones too.
            Good times at the Public Defender."
 
 
© Amy Briant 2013
 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Identifying That Rare Breed, The Published Author, In Her Native Habitat

Dear Reader,

If you, like me, still visit actual bookstores from time to time, keep an eyeball out for another customer who cannot wipe a goofy grin off her face. You may have just spotted an Author who has seen her own book on the shelf:
A Barnes & Noble in a dreary East Coast city last weekend
DO NOT APPROACH THE AUTHOR!!! Although docile in appearance, she may be about to move from the blissful state of LOOK THERE'S THE BOOK I WROTE ON AN ACTUAL SHELF IN AN ACTUAL BOOKSTORE to the more dangerous mindset of *&^%$#@! THAT MEANS MY BOOK IS SITTING ON THE SHELF BECAUSE NO ONE HAS BOUGHT IT.

Also, please do not feed the Author. She could stand to lose a few.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday Thang!

Today's romance-related excerpt from HEAVENLY MOVES is set at the Mongol I mean Moonglow nightclub where all of Hev's friends are off dancing, leaving her to dutifully protect their table and pitchers of beer:

 "A really gross-looking guy popped into my field of vision and asked me to dance. I gave him a small smile, but shook my head no. The song was obviously almost over anyhow, plus I couldn't leave the table, plus he was really gross. Poor thing. On the other hand, everywhere I went, I saw really gross-looking people in couples, so maybe I should spend my sympathy on someone more deserving. Like me."


© Amy Briant 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Who Day: Sit, Chopper!

After I (FINALLY!) finished writing HEAVENLY MOVES, there was one character in particular I really missed. (Yes, I miss imaginary beings. I hope this is not going to be an issue for you.) I'm so excited to introduce you two today. Last week we met Hev's new next door neighbor, the surly ex-cop Werner. Today, we meet Werner's dog - a Rottweiler named Chopper. (yep, 3 books, 3 dogs)

Chopper is a 120 pound goofball of love who seriously needs a bath, but never gets one in HEAVENLY MOVES.  Maybe in the sequel... CHOPPER BATHES... (that was a joke) Anyhow, Mr. Chopper is A Good Dog. He enjoys long walks on the beach, marking his territory and licking things.

"The beach was sparsely populated, so I let Chopper go. He dashed off in pursuit of some seagulls, and to sniff all of the flotsam and most of the jetsam within a hundred yard radius, but trotted back periodically to check in... A stray mutt wandered by and Chopper romped with the pooch good-naturedly, playing the submissive even though he must have had seventy pounds or more on the other dog, which looked to be a mix of Dalmatian, wire-haired dachshund and weasel."
 


© Amy Briant 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Sampler

Let's sample the who, what, when, where and why of HEAVENLY MOVES...

The WHOs are captured in my Tuesday Who Day posts.

The WHAT, I guess, is the novel itself - coming in April 2013!  Pretty darn soon!

The WHEN is 1982. HEAVENLY MOVES takes place in the summer of that year.

 
Here's what I looked like in 1982:

The blue pineapples!  The natural hair color!  The unpierced ear lobes!  The alcoholic beverage visible in the lower left corner!  don't hate me because i'm beautiful

Now I'll have to see a picture of what you looked like in 1982 before I allow you to judge me.

Yeah.  That's what I thought.

The WHERE of the book is San Tomas (hint: just south of San Francisco):

That leaves just the WHY.  This was my first novel, although the second to be finished and the third to be published.  I suspect many first novels, especially those that are highly autobiographical, MUST be written lest they burst out the author's chest like in Alien. 
(or Spaceballs)

That's the WHY of this one.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Thang!

My forthcoming novel is set in the fictional Northern California beach town of San Tomas.  Which bears a striking resemblance to Santa Cruz, CA - a unique and special place! One of Santa Cruz's most noteworthy residents is the beautiful (and... delicious?) banana slug.
This is a real Thang, I swear!  These brightly colored, slimy little dudes (not so little, actually) can be found in the redwood forests and sidewalks of both Santa Cruz and San Tomas, although no mention was made of them in HEAVENLY MOVES.  (a shocking omission!)

They are mentioned in my current work in progress, my YA post-apocalyptic story about some teenagers ALMOST hungry enough to eat a banana slug.  (if only they had vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce in the post-apocalypse!)  Someday, Dear Reader, there will be the San Tomas Chronicles - tales of that mythical region from the past (HEAVENLY MOVES) to the present (a not-yet-written mystery with the working title ABLE WAS I) to the future (THE BOOK OF KELL).

Until then, if you're feeling sluggish, go visit beautiful Santa Cruz (click on that link for a slideshow of gorgeous photos of SC highlights), where the mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz is (you guessed it):

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday Who Day: Meet Werner

And then there's Mr. Werner - another character whose first name I do not know. (nor care to) In HEAVENLY MOVES, the aforementioned Heavenly has just moved into a new apartment by the beach. Werner, a former police officer, is one of her neighbors. He lives alone in the apartment next door. (except for a certain Rottweiler) If I had to describe Werner's disposition with a five-letter word starting with S and ending with Y, it would not be sunny.  Surly's more like it. Hev's first meeting with him is not particularly positive:  "...a mean-looking man in his fifties with a pot belly the size and shape of a bowling ball... His graying brown hair was slicked back with some form of petroleum product and his wardrobe seemed focused on polyester."
 
Personality and wardrobe fouls aside, Werner is an ex-cop who lived next door to the now mysteriously disappeared Jackson Miller. So he's got the skills, the contacts and at least some information... but will he be a help or a hindrance as Heavenly tries to solve the mystery? Find out in April when HEAVENLY MOVES debuts!


© Amy Briant 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

HEAVENLY MOVES cover art

Beautiful job by the artist whose name I do not yet know! I love the colors. (and Mona loves the bass!)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Who Day: Meet Margo Murdock

The Murdock sisters play prominent roles in HEAVENLY MOVES and in Heavenly's life.  The older sister, Mona, is Hev's BFF. Today, we meet the younger (age 21) sister, Margo, known for her red hair, hot bod, grim stare and trademark unlit Marlboro.

"Mona Murdock and I were best friends from way back. Her family moved next door when we were both seven. Six-year-old Margo did not, of course, go around with an unlit cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth. But I contend she already had the grim stare down. I found Margo an unnerving child, as did most everyone."

The Murdock sisters share an apartment next door to the bowling alley, where Margo is the assistant night manager and bartender.

What else?  The girl is a hottie:  "Unlike me or her sister, Margo had to beat guys off with a stick. From a strange little strawberry blonde girl, she'd grown into a beauty. She was a little taller than me, and while I was more or less average in most respects, Margo had the drop-dead, killer body. Plus that red hair (often chemically enhanced) and the unlit Marlboro. She rarely had much to say to people she didn't know, but that didn't seem to deter the opposite sex. If I were male, I would have been scared to death of her and that grim stare, but most guys (and girls) thought she was hot."

Stop on by the Bowl-O-Rama lounge and she'll pour you a cocktail...

 © Amy Briant 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

You Say Tomato

In which I attempt to blog about short stories, but instead end up ranting about Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe, which I actually LOVE.
 
So, yay, I completed a short story last night.

This is where you say congratulations. Instead, you say, "But you're a novelist."

Oh, yeah.  *&^%$#@.

Well, novelists can write short stories, too, right?  If you write enough, you'll have a book of short stories.  Which even less people will buy.

Congratulations!

Seriously, when was the last time you bought a book of short stories?
in my defense, i bought both of these years ago

Which reminds me of a straight friend telling me, oh, your first novel is so great, straight people will want to buy it, too!

Really, Straighty McHetero?  Do you have a lot of books in your house?  Yes?  How many are about lesbians?

The funny thing is while they're thinking "one" (meaning mine) and trying to figure out how to get away from me, I'm smirking and thinking "two" because they also have Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and they don't even freakin' know it's a book by a lesbian about two lesbians!
How did Fannie Flagg do that?  She wrote a book that's clearly, obviously, totally about two lesbians and NONE OF THE STRAIGHT PEOPLE REALIZED IT!!!  They still bought a bazillion copies and made it into a movie that NOBODY REALIZED WAS ABOUT TWO LESBIANS!!!  Except for all the lesbians.  (Straight Person (still):  "No, no, those girls were just friends...weren't they?")

Hats off to you, FF.  I love FGTATWSC!  I just have to figure out how you did that.  Hmmm...

·       set it far enough in the past that straight people think lesbians did not exist then?
·       have the lesbians live together, raise a child together and run a business together, but never touch each other? (do they ever touch each other "on screen" in the book? was there a hug in there somewhere?)
·       have so many different plot lines going on simultaneously that the esbianlays just kinda faded into the scenery... whenever the reader was about to realize "hey, is that chick-" BOOM!  Switch to a different plot line!  bazinga
·       oh, wait, maybe this was it:  never use the word LESBIAN in the book!

Genius.

On a culinary note, I once had fried green tomatoes while traveling through Georgia and they were tasty.

Back to short stories:  Hmmph.  Well, I could post my short story on the internet for free as a gift to readers - a thank-you to those who've read my work before and a hello to those who haven't.  It's true.  I could do that.  When there's a year or more between novels, that would be a way to stay in touch with readers, so to speak.  I'd love it if my favorite authors would do that.  Of course they're all dead.  (fine, fine, not all of them)  (most)  And there are other ways to put the story out there as a single, but...

Speaking of death, I'm dying to share this new short story with you!  It's set in the Old West.  [When lesbians DID EXIST]  It's just so shiny and pretty and new!  So hard not to share.  Guess I keep picturing a shiny, pretty, new book of (unshared) short stories down the line... so pretty
I'd like to think that writing short stories is good for me.  That they're an opportunity to cleanse the palate between novels and/or exercise writing discipline.  Which means churn 'em out quick so I can get back to novel-writing.  Performance so far:  FAIL.  I always set aside a month, tops, and they always take wayyyyyyyy longer.

 But I love writing the occasional short story.

So why not just shut the hell up and post it?  Seems like I did that once before and I got no feedback.  Whatsoever.

Ouch.

Art/Pain/Life/Bazinga.
Let us all reread Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe in the month of February, crack the code of how this became a HUGE bestseller + movie despite being so damn lesborific in March and start our new lives as millionaire-recluse-novelists-to-be in April.  Who's with me?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thang!

Today's artifact from my upcoming novel, HEAVENLY MOVES, is real.  (just to mix things up!)  Although HM will be my third novel to be published, it's the first novel I ever set out to write. Here's an original handwritten page from the first draft, circa 1993ish:

Whew, A LOT has changed since then!  Like, I bought a computer.  Hello.  I rarely write fiction (other than the quick brainstorm of a note) with pen or pencil these days. I know you can't really see it in the picture, but this page was so fresh and first-drafty that Heavenly (the protagonist) wasn't even called Heavenly yet - somehow, "Jennifer" didn't survive the cut.  (I think she was straight, too - HA!)

20 years ago, I lived in Hev's apartment, 2 blocks from the beach: "...a fuse would blow if you even just thought hard about electricity. Clearly, the place was a tax write-off for the owner. Fine by me—I was thrilled with the cheap rent and hoped they wouldn't be demolishing the place any time soon to build condos."

Alas, they did. The condos go for about $2 million these days.  Hope they re-did the wiring!

I know the page pictured above is hard to read, but you know what won't be hard to read?  HEAVENLY MOVES, coming April 2013!

© Amy Briant 2013