Hello Eliza! Thank you for inviting me here today to talk about my debut book, HOME. It’s a thrill to be here after working so long to publish. When I met you I was a hopeful taking your month-long editing class with a group of awesome writers. Thanks to you we are still friends and keep in touch daily. Thanks to your class (I HIGHLY recommend Edit Your Book in a Month with Eliza Knight!!!) several of us have become published authors in the last sixteen months! So when I sold it felt natural to visit the blog of the one who helped make this day possible. You. You are Queen Eliza to the Divas. Lol
HOME is set in 1967 during the ending years of the Vietnam war. I didn’t plan that. It’s just how the story and characters presented to me. I knew so little about that time, I was a tiny tot of 5 years at the time. So it took some research and concentration to stay in that era while I wrote. My heroine is a gypsy but I wanted her to be a modern woman (of her time) and still have that gypsy style in her clothes. I’m not sure I completely pulled that off, but I hope I did.
I wanted Poppy Tippen to wear a Poodle skirt in at least one scene. Was that possible, feasibly? Off to the internet I went. Research showed that these were popular in the late 50’s and early 60’s. BUT- I was happy to discover that YES! they still wore Poodle skirts in the mid/late 60’s though they retired soon after. So when reading HOME, and I hope you will read it, you can see if you notice the scene when Poppy wore a Poodle skirt. Hint: I didn’t call it that in the book.
So what else could my heroine wear that revealed the times? Stirrup stretch pants were big then. Tight pants and tighter sweaters and high heels. In one scene I took one of Sandy’s famous outfits from Grease and altered it to fit my book. You might recognize that one as well. Poppy liked to dress modern so she wore the tight pants and high heeled pumps. She also wore a sexy off-the-shoulder top. Could she get away with that back then? Most girls might have been considered ‘loose’ if they revealed that much skin, but don’t forget- Poppy is also a gypsy. They wore off the shoulder peasant blouses, so I incorporated her heritage with a bit of flamboyant era style. Did it make her a bad girl? G.y.p.s.y. She already wears that stigma so what she wears won’t change of fix that about her. But I also needed to know other facts of the year/era. Did I mention HOME was set in August? So what else happened during that year besides in August ’67 Bonnie and Clyde released in theaters 1967? Here’s some fun facts you may not realize.
The first heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town, South Africa. ~ http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/christiaan-neethling-barnard
Mar 6th - Jimmy Hoffa enters Lewisburg Federal Prison
Apr 19th - Beatles sign a contract to stay together for 10 years (they don't)
May 1st - Priscilla Beaulieu & Elvis Presley wed in Las Vegas
May 11th - 100,000,000th US phone connected
Jun 12th - Supreme Court unanimously ends laws against interracial marriages
Jun 27th - The world's first ATM is installed in Enfield, London.
Jul 17th – The Monkees perform at Forest Hills, NY. Jimi Hendrix is opening act
Jul 22nd - Jimi Hendrix quits as opening act of the Monkees' tour
Aug 3rd - 45,000 more US soldiers sent to Vietnam
It was also in 1967, Oct 21st- that seventy thousand gathered at the Washington DC Moratorium for the infamous Vietnam war protest demonstration. I didn’t check, but that may have been the largest group to gather for one cause, in one location in the USA in history. Though there were other demonstrations during the war, that one is most remembered and protestors traveled from all over to attend.
What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?
Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?
Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?
Small-town country girl Calisa Rhose lives in a semi-remote area of Oklahoma with her husband, five dogs, one cat and one horse. All of her three daughters and their families live within throwing distance. She’s a member of RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. She intends to nurture and continue to grow as an author with the help of her family and supporters.
Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.wordpress.com
On twitter @Calisa_Rhose and Facebook @Calisa Rhose
She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org