A couple of years ago when my mother-in-law had just finished reading/editing my first book, Beneath the Satin Gloves, she brought up an interesting thought…I wonder if your work is something men would read.
Truth be told, I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t thought about genders at all, I just wrote the thing.
While my books feature strong female characters, told from their point of view, I have greatly enjoyed writing male characters as well. A few men have read my work and said they were entertained.
My parents divorced when I was pretty young. I lived with my dad until my early college years, so I mostly had a male’s perspective growing up.
I remember my dad trying to do my impossible hair for school and dressing me in Dallas Cowboys T-shirts. I was the kid that looked pretty kooky in that Southern California school—and, you guessed it—I got made fun of.
Later in life my mom received her Bachelor’s degree at 38-years-old and ran her first marathon at 40. She worked her way up to the very top of her career, one dominated by men.
In other words, I’m not a girly girl.
I love fashion, I’m a romantic, and yes, I wore a tutu for a number of years as a ballet dancer, but I’m also a go-getter, beer-loving, potty-mouth who tells it like it is.
I wanted to take a moment today to highlight some of the fellows in my upcoming book, Nola Fran Evie, because I think they’re pretty darn awesome.
If you missed “Meet the Dames” last week, click here.
“She smiled at Lauren’s profile, framed perfectly by the open window of his mustard yellow, beat-up Ford. Dusk’s long finale cast a soft glow on the zooming fields behind him. He looked otherworldly, as if the gods had dropped a perfect specimen for all men to strive to be and for all women to strive to be in bed with.”
Lauren grew up in Waterford, Wisconsin and when he wasn’t working on the farm or playing baseball, he sat on an old fence with Nola talking about nothing and everything. During WWII, they lost contact with one another when he became involved in clandestine work in Europe.
In 1954 he’s a school teacher at a rough city school in Chicago who plays jazz music. Nola reenters his life at the Blue Note Club while he’s making an important speech.
(A big thanks to Mr. H for coming up with Lauren’s sweet name.)
“His tall, athletic build was enough to leave any woman weak in the knees. That dark exterior and lovely confidence were unmatched in the realm of men. But man, oh man, his voice. His voice was warm cookie comfort.”
Roland grew up very poor in Louisiana with his parents and three older sisters. The army was his one chance to see the world, so he enlisted and fought in the war from start to finish. He became a janitor at Horlick Field, the home field of the Racine Belles, and he met Fran.
In 1954 he’s a star baseball player for the Cubs. He and Fran live together, unmarried, dealing with more issues than the average couple.
“She looked him over and decided he was quite good-looking. He was of medium height, not much taller than she was in heels, with dark hair, skin, and eyes that oozed Italian guy. Unsettling though it was, he looked at her in a special way.”
Fran’s brother, Sal grew up on the South Side of Chicago, in a studio above their family’s Italian restaurant. He volunteered for service first and his two brothers followed him. He came home from the war early when he lost his leg.
In 1954 he’s a top reporter for the Sun Times. While he’s covering Fran’s important event at the Blue Note, he sees Evie for the first time.
So, those were the good guys. Here’s the bad one…
“Like enemies on opposite sides of a muddy trench, equally suspicious of stray bullets and gangrene, Evie and Harvey glared at one another from the top of their opposing staircases. His face was a blur from her vantage point, yet she knew his body language well. It was stiff and emotionless, much like his heart.”
Harvey grew up in North Shore, Chicago, born to a privileged family of old money dating back to the city’s industrial beginnings. Harvey’s money and power got him out of the war, and he remained unscathed during America’s fateful years.
In 1954 he’s one of the owners of the Cubs. Harvey ran the women’s league into the ground and cheats on Evie every chance he gets.
Thanks for taking the time to meet my fellows. Nola Fran Evie is coming out in 3 weeks…July 22!