And I Thought My Novels Were Quirky

A good writer and editor friend, Ann Tatlock, recently emailed me about a book she’d been editing. Because she’s familiar with my quirky novels, she thought an endorsement from me would be beneficial to the author. Would I mind…?

If Ann thought it was good, I expected it to be very good. So I gladly asked her to send me a copy. With the assurance the endorsement won’t actually be needed for a while, she also warned me that this version would still have  mistakes and to please ignore them. Since it’s hard for writers to read for pleasure without noting mistakes, I really appreciated Ann’s warning.

No wonder she thought I might want to endorse this book! I thought I wrote quirky novels, but if Truck Stop Jesus is typical of Buck Storm’s writing, he wins my vote for Quirk King. I was far too compelled to keep reading to be distracted by mistakes.

What an amazing cast of quirky characters. The female lead, Paradise, was named after a town her father, whom she barely knew, had grown up in. Paradise is an actress with an excellent chance of being selected to play Scarlett in a major motion picture remake of Gone with the Wind. She believes stardom will give her everything she wants in life. Especially love.

Not quirky? Okay, did I leave out the part about her loving everything from a long past era and dressing daily exactly the way one of a variety of actresses dressed in various old movies? Or the fact that she pushed her evil stepfather’s $100,000 Porsche over a cliff after escaping from his attempt at raping her?

Although they are not the primary villains in this tale, Crystal and Hollister, two of the meanest husband and wife teams I’ve ever read about, are also two of the quirkiest characters I’ve ever run into in fiction. As bounty hunters, they know their stuff. As caring human beings, they lack a lot. Especially Crystal, who refers to her husband as Moron and uses her smelly body-building to the extreme in making herself a most unappealing female. I can’t imagine any reader who would ever describe her as a lady.

Some amazing changes take place in Hollister and Crystal, however. And in the most unlikely of ways. I won’t spoil your future enjoyment of Truck Stop Jesus by saying more than that.

The quirkiest character, although only in one sense, is a plastic dashboard Jesus, complete with bobbling head. Paradise bought it at a truck stop. Hence the book title. Paradise, who is a non-Christian, holds numerous conversations with the plastic Jesus. Actually, the truck stop Jesus holds numerous conversations with Paradise. But we know that a plastic figure can’t really talk, don’t we?

There’s so much more I could say about Truck Stop Jesus, but that should give you a pretty fair idea why it appeals to me. I might add that the whole story revolves around Paradise’s running from the law and searching for treasure. Not to mention finding herself and falling in love with Doc.

I didn’t mention Doc earlier because he’s far less quirky than the characters I introduced you to. But he’s a good guy and a well-defined character. Very likeable. Very heroic. Very human.

What do you think? Does this sound like a book you would enjoy reading? How about leaving a comment.

By the way, I’ll try to remember to let you know the release date for Buck’s book is as soon as I learn it.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

One of My Little Quirks

CarEconomy    economyDriving 

It’s no wonder I write quirky fiction. I’m a quirky person. Not dangerously so, I hope. Not yet, anyhow.

Since my wife, Kathleen, loves to tease me about this particular quirk–she dares to call me obsessive about it–I decided to share it here. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Long before gas got so terribly expensive, I was a real Scrooge about wasting it. I haven’t changed.

When I go to Sonic for my daily diet cherry limeade, I use the drive through. I didn’t used to, but I’ve moderated my habits a tad over the years. But that doesn’t mean I’m less economical.

If there’s a car in front of me, I turn off the engine. Same if they don’t take my order the instant I stop at the intercom. And I turn it off again when I reach the pick up window.

Each time the cars in front of me move, I start the car and move, too. Then I turn it off again. I don’t know if this is a fact, but I remember hearing back during those horrible days of gas shortages that if a car has to idle longer than a minute, it’s more economical to stop and restart it.

Even if someone were to prove to me that my belief is inaccurate, I doubt that I’d change my habit. It’s too deeply ingrained.

Let me assure you of one thing, however. I do NOT follow that rule at stop signs or traffic lights. Safety comes first.

One thing I love about my Honda Civic is the equipment that shows me how economically I’m driving. One gauge shows blue if I’m being totally wasteful, teal if I’m only somewhere between wasteful and economical, and a nice bright green if I’m doing really well.

In the first picture above, I’m not doing very well. Of course, maybe that’s because I had to stop in order to take the picture. The gauges don’t function unless the car is running. Kathleen took the second picture while I was doing seventy on the Interstate. Green and getting more than thirty-five mpg.

Accelerating is tough. No matter what. A jack rabbit start–I’ll do one only for safety–is sure to be blue. But so is any and acceleration that’s not uber-gradual. I pay attention to whether I appear to be holding up whoever is behind me and may accelerate faster than I want to.

There’s also a gauge that shows how many miles per gallon I’m getting at that particular moment. It’s such fun to coast downhill and see my car getting seventy mpg! (The gauge only goes to seventy.) And I’m always clicking the “I” button on the steering wheel to see what my overall average is for that tank of gas.

People sometimes ask if I write about myself in my novels, and in many instances the answer is a resounding YES! In my yet-to-be-published novel, Impractically Yours, the female protagonist teases the male protagonist about having the exact same gas-economy practices I have.

Did I mention that I rarely let Kathleen drive my car? That’s because she refuses to pay attention to what the gauges are telling her about how she’s driving. Doesn’t that explain why she likes to tease me so much?

I told you I was quirky, didn’t I? Is there some characteristic of yours that others describe as quirky? Or do you have something to say about driving or being economical? How about sharing it with us in a comment?

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
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Best regards,
Roger