Lynda Rutledge’s forthcoming debut novel Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale will be released in early 2012. She is also author of the Young Adult novel Brave New Wanda. With characters quirky and charming, Lynda Rutledge (Stephenson—as those of us in Chicago know her from her time teaching with us at Columbia College) spins tales that are funny, moving, and magical. But don’t just take my word for it…you can find out for yourself when you pick up a copy of one of her books. And to whet your appetite, a little from the author herself:
Lynda: I live outside Austin on the side of a hill in what’s aptly call the Texas hill country. My office is a little room with French doors two convenient steps from the kitchen. Its big double windows said: “Write Here.”
The view from my keyboard out those windows is the front porch with an honest-to-Gawd porch swing, the 1/2 acre downhill wild area I call a front yard, and the illusion it all creates that I’m all alone in the world with whatever muse that might show up to play with the deer, lizards, tarantulas, and hummingbirds under the sun, sun, sun. Which sounds pretty good until it hits 100 outside, when the two steps to the kitchen and its margarita-making blender comes in mighty handy. The little dancing figure? It’s a tiny mannequin I contort to mirror how my writing is going. This must have been a good day.
Something you can’t (quite) see: I’m an antsy writer so I have a desktop/laptop set up. I sit; I stand; I do back-flips; I move with the nervous energy. So I have an oversized Mac screen (bottom left) and a wireless keyboard that I hook up to the laptop perched on a pedestal table you see. I can unhook and go when I need to move-move-move.
Something I wrote here? Well, thank you for asking. See the screen? Just in: That’s the first glimpse of the designed title page of my novel coming out April 2012 with Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam. It’s about antiques, death, bargains, and God. Of course, it’s the Great American Novel…yeah, okay, maybe not. But you never know what you might find at a garage sale, right? And it begins like this (excerpted):
FAITH BASS DARLING’S LAST GARAGE SALE
On the last day of the millennium, after a midnight revelation from God, Faith Bass Darling had a garage sale. Considering she hadn’t spoken to the Almighty in twenty years, and considering she was the richest old lady in town, this was more than a bit surprising. At straight up midnight, though, she’d bolted upright in her four-poster bed, certain she’d heard her name called like soft lightning….
[S]he landed in her bare feet on her hardwood floor with the sound of the gentle thunderbolt still in her ears, and found herself moving through her dark and silent turn-of-the-century mansion, the biggest and oldest in Bass, Texas, gazing at all the antiques in all the rooms of the place where she had lived her entire life….
She continued this until dawn the next morning, whereupon she surprised all her neighbors on Old Waco Road, the tiny old town’s lone strip of mansions built when cotton was king and oil was still gushing, by appearing from behind her big carved doors and hanging a handmade garage sale sign around the neck of her peeling lawn-jockey hitching post. And then—after a last long, strong drag off her first Lucky Strike filter of the day and a flourished stubbing-out of the butt on the lawn jockey’s head—she began dragging the contents of a century of conspicuous consumption onto her long, sloping lawn.
Because she knew what this was about. This was about dying. This was about dying and killing Claude. It was the beginning of times; it was the end of times. And for seventy-year-old Faith Bass Darling, it was about time.
→Thanks, Lynda, for inviting us into your space. Looking forward to reading more come April 2012. Meantime, anyone who wants to visit with Lynda a while longer can stroll by her website: www.lyndarutledge.com. And don’t forget, you, too can contribute to View From the Keyboard. Guidelines at right. -PMc←