I met Amy Wallen through Susan Henderson's LitPark blog, and was immediately impressed with her charming wit. She's the kind of person you want to friends with from the get go.
And then I read her debut novel, MoonPies & Movie Stars, and was even more impressed. This is a rare kind of book, with hilarious and very human characters, dialogue that sings and delights, and a touching story about family that keeps you going and guessing. What a treat! I love this book, and hope you'll trust me on this recommendation.
But if not, check out what these fine folks had to say about it:
“With a pitch perfect ear for comic dialogue and fine sense of the absurd, Amy Wallen writes herself a place on the porch swing of great Southern writing, as she follows the misadventures of three determined Texas ladies sworn to find a runaway daughter...”
–Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander
“[S]pirited and honest… Wallen capably illustrates that it is not only possible but also compelling to be funny, captivating, and compassionate, all in the same book.”
-Los Angeles Times
“A delightful and exhilarating journey, kind of like being on a tour bus
guided by Eudora Welty on speed.” –Mary Gordon, author of Pearl
“Wallen launches a funny, touching, and bittersweet ride in search of family, but what her characters find is bigger than Texas and better than MoonPies.” –Booklist
Not suprisingly, Amy was a good enough sport to play along with my GCC-Does-Hollywood blog idea, and here's how she'd pitch the book to our fictional producer:
Ruby Kincaid is the owner of a six-lane bowling alley in Devine, Texas. When she spots her runaway daughter on a ButterMaid commercial she takes off for Hollywood to find her and make her own up to her responsibilities.
Though Amy sees this story as more of a Broadway musical than a movie, she gave me her thoughts on creating a Hollywood dream cast:
This is a super hard question for me because, although I live in Southern California, I know nothing about who anyone is. Someone said last weekend that they saw Kathy Bates as Ruby Kincaid. She was in Misery, right? (Lol. Yes, Amy! And Kathy Bates would be perfect.)
And I see Olympia Dukakis as the mother-in-law, Imogene Davidson.
I would love to see Sissy Spacek play a leading role.
And if Jessica Lange can be Loralva Jefferson who wears fringed mini-skirts and rattlesnake rattler earrings, then I’d be happier than all get out.
MoonPies & Movie Stars just came out in paperback, and I hope you'll rush out and get it. It's at bookstores everywhere. If you prefer to shop online, you can visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any cyber bookseller. For more information, stop by Amy's website, amywallen.com.
Also, if you happen to be in NYC on Saturday, July 12, would like to meet Amy and me, come to the KGB Bar at 85 East 4th Street in Manhattan at 7 pm. It's the East Coast installment of Amy's Dimestories readings, and there will be lots of talented writers (including the brilliant and lovely Susan Henderson) reading their shortest stories.