BLOG: 6's & 7'S
Tornadoes are never funny. In fact, they are just the opposite—horrible acts of God that cause destruction and change lives in ways most of us can’t even imagine. Not funny. I grew up in Kansas and saw my share of them but was never personally affected by one. However, I have several friends that have been, especially after the devastating Joplin tornado in 2011 and the Baxter Springs, Kansas tornado in 2014.
So why would I choose to have a tornado make a grand appearance in my new book, CALL ME CASS, when those of you who read my books know that they tend to be on the humorous side? Simple. Bad things happen to good people all the time. While the novel certainly has some sad parts for those that have followed this series, the way my characters come together, in their quirky, off-beat sort of way, is really a celebration of the heroes of a storm, and that was my point.
As I said, I have several friends that have told me stories about the two tornadoes above and I’m going to shout-out to two in particular, Terry Leeper and Preston Ryser, who are characters themselves, and told me several stories. I can’t lie, some of the things they told me were used in my book, of course names and places and sometimes outcome changed, but one thing in particular that I used relates to them personally and something Terry told me about the day of the Joplin tornado…
My books are told in alternating POV’s, and during editing, one of the POV’s, that of Daze Harper, was taken out (for good reason). Daze is an interesting guy, sometimes lovable, sometimes offensive, who has a wife that likes to protest the sinful ways of the local strip club, a teenage daughter that is a little out of control, a half-blind, three-legged dog that he loves, and a brother, Pet, who is kind of his sidekick. So his take on the storm, or at least the events leading up to it, were important to me. And since it was removed from the final book, I took those scenes and made a companion short story, DAZE BEFORE THE STORM, which is free to download. And well worth the few minutes to read if you are a fan of my books.
What does that have to do with my two friends? In the short story, I had to consider what a guy like Daze Harper would do knowing his wife was out in the storm at the exact point that the funnel sets down, knowing it was heading straight for him and his daughter, and of course his dog. He would do his best to protect those he loved. But when he and Pet find themselves in a situation where they can’t protect themselves, what would they do? They would do exactly what Terry and Preston did. They would…
That I can’t tell you, you’ll have to read DAZE BEFORE THE STORM to find out. Did I mention it’s free to download?
And remember, it’s a companion piece to CALL ME CASS, so to find out what happens to everyone else during and after the storm, pick up a copy of CALL ME CASS!
I 'liked' this group on Facebook called F*ck You, I'm from Kansas. If you are from Kansas, or any of the surrounding states, you probably should like them, too. It's totally Kansas.
Although I haven't been home in a while, I'm going this weekend, and I am so excited. Of course, I want to see all of my friends and family (and eat at Chicken Annies), but also, we have something very important to do this weekend.
If you frequent the FYIFK page, you'll see that people from different cities and towns send them pictures: beautiful sunsets, amber waves of grain--or whatever that is growing on the plain, and a lot of times funny things seen in Kansas. However, I have yet to see my hometown, Baxter Springs, on the page. But that is going to change. We're going for funny---in a big way.
My fellow Baxterites, as most of you know, we are having a little party on Friday night. Well, actually a bonfire complete with Blob sized Peeps and other bonfire-ish things. Basically, we're going to party like it's 1979--without the eight tracks. And when a large group of SE Kansans get together, well, the funny just happens.
We we're getting our kicks on Route 66 before it was fashionable. So, prepare yourself. The first cowtown is going live this weekend.
We're loud and we're proud. And we're from Kansas.
Many follow up posts to follow! Stay tuned! And if you are new to my blog, check out the Deacon series above. My first novel, They Call Me Crazy, takes place in a small Kansas town and is currently being shopped to publishers by my agent.
Follow me on Twitter @KellySGamble
Like me on Facebook at K Stone Gamble
Visit my writing blog