Click on the link above for a look at my next book, Tuesday’s Gone
Slated for release this spring, my second book Tuesday’s Gone is about a young tattooed circus performer who runs away from her handlers in search of a normal life. This book will offer some insight into the working conditions of child performers and the animals who are kept in cages and forced to do tricks for the amusement of crowds. It has been a relatively open secret for some time that animals and performers are mistreated and exploited and despite damage control done by organizations like Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey the conditions are rarely improved upon.
Set in the Prohibition-Era American South, Tuesday’s Gone follows a young girl called Tuesday and her lion Judah as they start out looking for a normal life. The cast of characters is what you might expect from a period piece from 1924, and the language and general tone is what you might expect in North Carolina and Florida in this era. I am particularly proud of this piece, the lion’s share of it written over the course of a single month as a sort of late NaNoWriMo in December of last year.
This was largely inspired by accident. I had seen a drawing on my cover artist’s Facebook page and asked if he had drawn it. It was an image of a young circus girl embracing a lion and I had initially thought that she had drawn it as she and her family’s animal symbol is a lion. She told me that it was not drawn by her, but I still pitched her the idea I had about a circus performer and the lion and she fell in love with the idea.
Tuesday doesn’t actually look like this girl in the picture, rather she has long jet black hair and tattoos that go from her neck to the soles of her feet. The lion, Judah, is old with scars all over his body from a lifetime being struck with a whip. His mane is gray and falling out from lack of nourishment. An opportunity presents itself and Tuesday and Judah run off, the circus and local authorities giving quick chase after them.
There is of course a greater underlying message in this book that goes beyond commentary on performer and animal working conditions or the obvious racism that you would expect in 1920s America. There is a great deal of symbolism that I am still working into the text, some to make more obvious and some of it less. I am a big fan of symbolism and while I don’t specifically identify any particular fraternal or public organizations, they seem to do battle behind the scenes and through the text over control of Tuesday and Judah.
It’s a very good story and my beta-readers seem to have very much enjoyed it. My cover artist fell in love with Tuesday and Judah after only 6,300 words so it’s my hope that you will as well. Click the link at the top to read the first chapter.
This book is going to be dedicated to a very special woman who was a child performer and star during the silent film era. Baby Peggy, known today at Diana Serra Cary, was incredibly exploited for her talent and charm. By the time she was eight years old she was out of the Hollywood scene, the money that she had made squandered through poor management. Having experienced the life of a child star, Diana later advocated for improvement in their working conditions and wrote several books detailing her own experiences and those of the children she played opposite of.
Currently Diana is one of the last remaining silent film stars, but she has never been honored with a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Turner Classic Movies has expressed an interest in seeing this oversight righted, but little else has been done to further the cause. Please help A Star for Baby Peggy and myself see this wonderful women receive this honor. I am asking my readers to please send Turner Classic Movies (TCM) a polite message encouraging them to increase their advocacy for this worthy cause.
They can be reached by email by clicking HERE (Click the link on the page that says “Contact us”)
They can also be reached by traditional mail at:
TCM Viewer Relations
1050 Techwood Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30318