My fantastic friend C.M. Franklin had the genius idea for a PitchWars participant blog hop. She’s riding herd on a very unwieldy cattle drive of authors for this puppy, so here’s a hat-tip in your direction, pardner.
Now that I’ve gotten my inner cowboy out of the way, here’s my answer to her question: why did I write this book?
Of course, it’s complicated. 🙂
The first part of this story is a bit embarrassing, but because I love you all I’m going to tell you. The summer of my senior year in college, I found a wild hair on my chin and decided to buy a corset on my annual trip to the Ren Fest. And let me tell you: all those fainting spells women suffered in Victorian novels? Yeah, there’s a reason. That puppy was unbearable. Nothing in nature can possibly prepare you for how difficult it is to move in a corset. You cannot bend. Your legs are free, but your lungs are not and so as you’re walking and talking your entire autonomic nervous system is twitching messages: Dear God take this thing off before you die.
So…anyhow, I’m wandering around in this godforsaken corset, trying not to die. After a few, oh, feet, I need a rest at a nearby music station. Now, you may be wondering: why didn’t I just take the damn thing off? Well, because (a) it was $100 and no returns and (b) my ladies burst upward in tremendous splendor and I liked the gleam in my boyfriend’s eye. But the experience jumped the shark when I sat down on the rough-hewn log bench, and my ladies pillowed around my chin because they had nowhere else to go. Just as I decided, enough, I heard a sickening crack.
I broke the bench.
Yes, friends. I broke the bench. The wood beneath my ass split and tumbled me to the ground. Now, that’s humiliation enough, but here’s the real treat: I couldn’t get up. Why? Because of the mother-f$!@% corset. I couldn’t bend. So I couldn’t stand. While my boyfriend examines the broken planks and declares them rotted, I roll on the ground, back and forth, just like Randy in A Christmas Story.
Yep, it was the musicians. Who stopped their concert and broadcast my predicament, over their mics, to the entire audience and passers-by. My boyfriend hoists me up, we run for the car, but I can’t escape because every single performer we pass asks the same question. “MiLady, are you okay?” “MiLady, we heard you fell.” “MiLady, do you require assistance?” Don’t ask me how they knew. But they did.
So here’s where my novel comes in: as we drove away — after I threw the corset out the window, of course — I wondered to myself. Who are these people? Are they for real? And it sparked a long-term interest in the lives of people who work in Fests and Faires, who run psychic shops, pagan stores, roadside family attractions like the Mystery Spot: what are their daily domestic dramas like, what do they really think about their patrons and do when they’re back home or the lights go down. My character Gran, a dimestore psychic/cynic and a hoarder to boot, was born of this.
Now, Emily, my protagonist, she has a more honest beginning. I’m your standard child of divorce, and of course this experience imprinted on me, as it does every child. So, for me, issues of security are very important, and many of my own personal hangups and ticks developed from my efforts to ensure security in my personal life. In Emily, who’s lost her mother, this need manifests in strong desire for control and a deep aversion to change. So you put a cynical psychic hoarder with a control-freak teen who’s dazed by her first experience with love, and – whizpow! – all kinds of fireworks and fun and fear and…most importantly…opportunities for everyone to grow and be more alive than they every thought possible.
So there you have it…the birth story of Wild is the Wind. I hope you get to read it someday, so you can tell me if the trauma of the corset was worth it. 😉
Now….I hope you’ll all go visit all the other PitchWars Blog Hop participants. It’s a talented group and you’ll be glad you did. Wouldn’t YOU want to be the person who could say “I totally knew that author before they were famous. We go way back.” 🙂
Tracie Martin: WILD IS THE WIND (MEEEEEEE!!!!!)