Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Amy Wallen's Moonpies and Movie Stars

I'm excited to have Amy Wallen visiting today as she goes on tour with the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit this week!

A little background on Amy: Aside from studying fiction under writers like Janet Fitch (WHITE OLEANDER), Amy also gives creative writing workshops in California and hosts an open mic night in San Diego, Los Angeles and New York called Dime Stories Live, which is in collaboration with the national public radio show aring this summer. My Texan friends and family will especially love her funny debut, MOONPIES AND MOVIE STARS (Plume, 6/24/08), a novel that chronicles the journey of a group of spunky Texas ladies from their small town to the glittery streets of Hollywood. Beyond the many laughs, it's also a poignant story of dreaming big, finding home, and coming to terms with family.

Welcome to Brant Flakes, Amy!

Can you tell us the basic premise of your book? Ruby Kincaid is the owner of a six-lane bowling alley in Devine, TX. When she spots her runaway daughter on a ButterMaid commercial she sets off for Hollywood to find her and make her own up to her responsibilities.

What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why did it excite you? "The Price Is Right" scene. I had a blast researching it, writing it and it was the only scene in the book that I didn’t rewrite 12 times. I learned some things about dreams coming true by watching the show for 3 straight weeks.

Name 3-4 of your favorite musical artists/groups. Did you use any musical references in your novel? If so, do they play a significant role? My favorite music tends to be weird, eclectic African beat kind of music. Usually acoustic and instrumental. Or, I like the really popular stuff on the radio. Pop mostly. I used country and western like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline and Hank Williams in my novel, but the characters are Texans, so it was appropriate. I grew up listening to their music as my parents are Texan, and my grandmother owned a honky tonk (beer joint) where live music was played every weekend.

Do you have a favorite food? Chicken pot pie. Or just pot pie. I’m a fiend about them. But now I make my own and will have none of the frozen ones. My favorite one to make and serve at dinner parties is Salmon and Portobello pot pies. Yum.

Who was the first person you told when you got The Call announcing you'd sold your first novel? My boyfriend, Eber, and then I wrote a group email to my family.

What's your Writer Fantasy--i.e., to see your book make into a feature film, to be on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 consecutive weeks, etc.? My fantasy is to see my book as a Broadway musical. Like Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I would love to see that. I don’t know if it’s the right kind of story to be on stage, but it’s my fantasy and has been since the first draft.

Would your high school friends be surprised to discover you'd become a novelist? I think they know. I don’t think all of them, but I know my best friends from high school who I’m still in touch with know.

What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication? Just write.

What's a personality trait you love about one of the characters in your novel and why? That they are happy with who they are, and it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks of them.

Amy, thanks so much for being here and for sharing your book with us! Looking forward to reading it :-).


L.A. Mitchell said...

This sounds like a fun read. Great interview, too. I'll be sure to look for it on my next B&N trip:)

Anonymous said...

Marilyn--great interview! I may have to steal some of your questions next time I have a guest blogger.

And Amy--your book sounds delightful! I'd say more, but I need to rush to Borders to pick up my copy!

K.M. Saint James said...

I just love Texas ladies. This sounds like an absolutely delightful story. Can't wait to read it. As for Broadway -- bring it on. If you just had Texans show up to buy tickets, you could sell out for a year.

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, L.A.

Pam--steal as many questions as you want!

And, Sandra, I may be a native Midwesterner, but I'm with you on the Broadway tix. I'd love to see a show like that :).

Amy Wallen said...

Thanks Marilyn! I loved your questions. The Girlfriend Cyber Circuit Tour is a fun place to hang out. You have a fun website too.

Maybe, maybe, maybe, I'll see you on Broadway!


Marilyn Brant said...

You're welcome, Amy. It was a treat having you here! Looking forward to that Broadway show someday :).