Today’s guest is women’s fiction author Alana Cash. She’s sharing a bit about her newest novel, Tom’s Wife, as well as some tidbits about herself.
During her virtual book tour, Alana will be awarding the winner's choice of a Screenprinted Camisole - "What Happens in the Bedroom Stays in the Bedroom" or a Brass Nuts T-Shirt - screenprinted "Brass" with 2 brass hex-nuts sewn to collar, to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US ONLY).
To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.
Alana Cash is the product of a military family and the descendant of Irish tinkers. She has lived in four states and three countries and continues to seek adventure. She is an award-winning author and filmmaker and was profiled as a writing teacher on PBS.
Welcome, Alana. Please tell us about your current release, Tom’s Wife.
It’s the Great Depression and 19-year-old Annie Huckaby is almost resigned to marriage with Tom. He works at a coal mine during the week, leaving Annie to take care of the house and their infant son. Tom’s Native American friend Jim takes care of the farm. Her best friend, Twila, visits every day and helps Annie make a little money selling eggs to the café on the highway. And there’s church on Sunday. Annie’s not always alone, but most times she feels like it…until one afternoon a peddler named Jake Stern steps onto the porch, tips his hat, and starts a world of trouble.
What inspired you to write this book?
I used to spend summertime on my grandparents’ farm in Arkansas until I was a teenager. My grandparents would be considered very, very poor by certain standards – although I envy the simplicity and naturalness of their life now. At that time, they didn’t have electricity or running water or a motorized vehicle. My grandmother milked a cow every morning and, if she needed butter, skimmed off the cream and shook it up in a jar until is solidified. We collected eggs, fed the chickens, and put them into the smokehouse at night to protect them from the coyotes. There was a mule and a workhorse on the farm. The workhorse had two grown foals that ran wild and were never ridden. I think I was about nine years old when a man on a horse showed up to ask if my grandpa wanted those horses broken. He wore spurs and a cowboy hat and rode an appaloosa. It was like seeing a knight. I was that impressed. My grandpa turned down the services, and the man went away, but I never forgot him. As an adult, I wondered if the women in the county found him as romantic as I did. I started to write a short story to answer that question and it turned into a novel.
Excerpt from Tom’s Wife:
She drank out of her tin measuring cup, liking the feel of it in her hand better than crockery because the heat from the coffee came through it. Listening to bobwhites calling and the rooster crowing, she put a hand on her belly and thought about having fine things like linoleum and curtains and silver-handled hairbrushes and about what it must be like to live somewhere fast like St. Louis or New Orleans or New York City.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a story about a girl who has what seem to be clairvoyant dreams, but it has a sort of twist at the end.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I sort of morphed into feeling like a writer, but the second time I won an award for a writing contest I felt pretty validated.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I can only write for certain stretches of time. At most a few hours in a day, but usually only an hour.
I’m lucky to have another diversion. Because I have a strong appreciation for published, hardcopy books, I buy and sell first edition books.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to hand write and prefer to write on newsprint. Depending on the day, I choose to write with a pencil, gel pen or felt-tip pen with variations on color. It’s a chore to type it all into the computer, but I’m more creatively stimulated that way.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A cowboy or I guess cowgirl would be more exact. I’m still hoping for that.
Thanks, Alana! Readers, if you'd like a chance at the giveaways, remember to leave a comment!