Meet the Dames

Last week I proudly revealed the big title change and release date for my third book, Nola Fran Evie (formerly The Bra Game).

I’m stoked to be taking part in my very first blog hop thanks to my sweet blogger friend, Andrea Stephenson of Harvesting Hecate, who tagged me.

Andrea’s writing is beyond brill, always lovely and thought-provoking. Be sure to check out her piece for her up-and-coming novel, “The Skin of a Selkie”, which I am super duper excited to read when it comes out.

The theme of this blog hop is “meet my character”. I decided to format it a little differently as I wanted to take this time to introduce all three of my main characters to you.

Naturally trying to wrangle up writers for blog hop tagging, especially with the looming book release, is a no-go for me. So I’m cheating a bit and leaving the tagging option open.

Here are the questions if any of you writers out there want to play in the blog hop by answering them at your place…

1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
2. When and where is the story set?
3. What should we know about him/her?
4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
5. What is the personal goal of the character?
6. Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
7. When can we expect the book to be published?


 

Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

Nola Fran Evie follows three strong dames who were former players in The All-American Girls Baseball League. They accidentally reunite in 1954 on Wrigley Field and find their lives intertwined once again.

There’s feminism, sport, jazz music, civil rights, and romance in this retro, summertime romp across the great city of Chicago. Call it a deeper, sexier “A League of Their Own”, and what happens after.

I love classics, so all three main characters favor iconic movie stars: Nola as Grace Kelly, Fran as Audrey Hepburn, and Evie as Marilyn Monroe.

In fact, Evie takes after Marilyn so much that I weaved a running joke throughout the book, where she is constantly mistaken for the actress. Being that it was 1954, Marilyn was at the peak of her career so I thought it would be fun to play with.

As fashion is always an important element in my stories, I included costumes worn by these actresses. So those of you with a love for classic movies may recognize some of the clothing.

I’m happy to introduce these gals to you now…

NOLA JEAN “FARM GIRL” TURNER

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

An All-American girl from a farm in Waterford, Wisconsin, Nola played ball during the Depression with charming country boys using bats made out of rotting fences. Raised by her father, he encouraged her to try out for the women’s league, knowing that she would become an integral part of women’s history.

In the league she was known as Farm Girl, a pretty face who pitched like a fierce ballerina. She’s elegant and confident but tough as nails underneath the classy lady.

By 1954 Nola is a lonely widow raising her son and working as an executive secretary at a bank. When she comes to Wrigley Field after being away from the league for a decade, the reality of her suburban unhappiness comes crashing down as she faces the colorful past she left behind.

“Like the thick noise of the stadium every part of the experience blanketed her, smothering everything Nola thought she needed, replacing it with what she really craved…baseball.”

FRAN “LIPPY” MARCIANO

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

An Italian-American from the South Side of Chicago, Fran played ball in alleys with her three older brothers and other mouthy city kids in the neighborhood. When Fran’s brothers went off to war, she tried to follow them. But Fran and nursing didn’t exactly mix and she was declared unsuitable for service. To do her part in the war, she tried out for the league.

In the league she was known as Lippy, a fearless back-talking catcher who played and spit like one of the boys. She’s feisty and loud but has a heart of gold underneath the tough girl.

By 1954 Fran is living unconventionally with a Cubs ball player and working for the Sun Times as a sports photographer. While she’s covering a game at Wrigley, she spots Nola in the stands with a little boy and makes a beeline for her. It’s been far too long since she last saw her friend, and she knows that fate has brought them together on this day.

“To get Roland’s attention she put her fingers in her mouth and whistled at full volume. She pictured Nola and the other women behind her cringing at the indelicate whistle. But like any other day, she didn’t give a hoot.”

EVIE “TOOTS” SHAW

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A Polish-American from the wealthy Chicago neighborhood of North Shore, Evie played ball and flirted with fun boys until she reached her full curviness, and they either stopped talking to her or tried necking. Evie’s mother was an austere Polish woman after riches and status who ordered Evie to marry for money rather than love. Evie rebelled and ran away from home to try out for the league.

In the league she was known as Toots, a busty lefty and the league’s sporty pin-up girl for the boys overseas. She’s come-hither and charming but vulnerable underneath the va-va-voom.

By 1954 Evie is unhappily married to the rich, womanizing Cubs’ owner and is a reluctant socialite. After a showdown with her no-good husband in the owner’s box, she crashes into Fran in the midst of a breakdown. Fran dislikes Evie for her choice of husband, Harvey Shaw, who singlehandedly finished off the women’s league earlier that year.

“The wall Evie leaned against outside the owner’s box was like a good man—holding her up, keeping her from falling. But, how’d she know what a good man felt like? That wall was the closest she was ever going to get.”

Thank you all for meeting my sassy dames. Next week you’ll get to meet the fellows.

Nola Fran Evie will be out next month…July 22!

33 thoughts on “Meet the Dames

  1. L.S. Engler says:

    This was such a great little introduction to these charming lasses! I’m pretty stoked about the book now; I’m really intrigued to see how these different personalities interact together and how you bring them to life.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wonderful to meet your characters! They sound terrific. Good luck with the rest of your book’s wrap-up. I’m so impressed with your diligence. I know it will be great!

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      Thanks, love! It was terrifying/exciting to introduce them to you all, but now I can breathe a little easier with the end in sight. Your support, as always, is amazing…thank you!

  3. Mary Jo Malo says:

    With your new book title, super description, and these character introductions, I more deeply appreciate the agony and ecstasy of novel writing and promotion. Kudos for your dedication to the process and thanks for crafting and sharing your gift. These characters are admirable (such an old fashioned word) and memorable because of the care you take with them, as evidenced by your diligent research. Can’t wait to see the cover!

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      Agony and ecstasy…you nailed it, Mama MJ! I was going to text you about the title curveball (pun intended…haha!), but I’ve been crazy busy. I will pass your admirable compliments along to Nola, Fran, and Evie. I can’t wait to see the cover too…eek!

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      LOL! I’ve really warmed up to Marilyn with all of the film research I’ve done over the past year. I was reluctant to like her, thinking she was overrated, but she was truly fantastic.

      You’ll have to wait like everybody else, Mr. McCarthy. The cover’s still in the shop! : )

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      That’s so neat! I only played a little but know enough from watching games over the years to get a feel for things. My best friend’s little sister was an awesome ball player in high school. I remember her and all of her teammates were badasses.

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      Yay! That’s phenomenal to hear, Julie! I don’t know of any fiction books out there about the All-American Girls Baseball League, which is kinda crazy. If I did, I would have jumped all over them by now.

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      Excited for you to cozy up with these gals, doll! I had a lot of fun coming up with their nicknames. Of course, that took all of three seconds since they popped right up during the 1943 tryouts scenes. : )

  4. Zen A. says:

    I love how each dame is so different from the next, and yet they all share the same love for baseball! Also, you are excellent at character introductions! Seriously. I envy you for that!

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