Well here are 500 posts on and what a lot of ground we’ve covered! We’ve had interviews with writers, Fiction Clinics, How to Writes and How not to Writes, news on publishing, how presses work, competitions — in fact I think anything connected to writing we’ve had right here. As well as just me rambling on!
And lots more to come I hope. So I just need to thank everyone who follows and who has commented. Makes me happy to know I’ve not just been talking to myself.
I did think about doing something special for Blog Post 500 but then I decided — why not say it’s the 500th post and post you 500 words from the novel as we are now so close to its official release date! Two weeks today but of course I will have the book before then with next Friday’s launch event.
I though I would post an extract in Lydia’s voice (and I realised with horror yesterday that there was no other way for me to read it than with a Dallas African-American accent (I can hear Lydia now saying “Good luck with that one White girl!) Heck I’m gonna need it!
Anyhows (now I am stuck in the voice again) this comes when Lydia rides the bus after meeting with our reporter and she knows the little girl she is supposed to find has some connection to the day Kennedy was shot. But she doesn’t know what — yet and there’s been a shooting in Grapevine that week too …
The first ever extract and you read it right here …
We stop in the middle of the street and now folks are lookin’ out o’ the windows. They lean to the other side and I start to think this big ol’ bus gonna topple right over, so’s I best stay this side, weigh it down. Now the bus is pretty busy and folks start chit-chattin’, some commotion about a car cuttin’ right in front of us, but soon enough we on the move again – drama over. That’s when I turn to look back at the old man.
“Now that name gets stuck to your lips – MARK HARRIS. Everyone knows it, yesterday no one did,” he says. I follow his gaze to his feet where he got the shiniest set of Cowboy boots I ever seen. He sees me lookin’ but he don’t say nothin’.
“That’s what happens,” I say turnin’ to watch the other folks standin’ in the aisle of the bus, clingin’ on as we turn at the cross-street, the bus creakin’.
I hear the man’s voice again. He says, “Got himself a gun, shot his teacher.”
“Far too easy to get a gun these days,” I say.
“LEE HARVEY OSWALD,” he says real loud and now he looks right at me with his eyes all wide.
“Lee Harvey Oswald. Shot the President. Everyone knows the name.”
So now I twist some more on that seat and I lookin’ at him. I can feel the other folks on the bus, they lookin’ for somethin’ else to watch, so they watchin’ us and I’m thinkin’ this is turnin’ out to be one of them days, when the man stares right ahead down the bus and says, “Cowboys are playing tonight.” His eyes wander past me to a flyer stuck to the wall of the bus: Catch NFL on Cable.
“You follow the game?” he says.
Of course I still wonderin’ how he came to be talkin’ ’bout JFK, so I lean against him. “Lee Harvey Oswald,” I say. “Now there’s a name from the past.” As I speak I see a black woman, ’bout my age, she lookin’ at me from the seat opposite clutchin’ onto her grocery bags and jiggin’ with the sway of the bus. But now the old man speaks again: “What you say?” He looks at me blankly.
“I said that’s a name folks remember: Lee Harvey Oswald.”
His soft blue eyes – they seem to trail into the distance. Then without lookin’ at me I hear Papa’s voice but it’s the old man’s lips that move, yes Sir. “There’s more to that story.” And just like Papa he opens his eyes so the whites are shinin’ like beacons and he says, “Conspiracy. Folks like a good conspiracy.”
I see somethin’ change in the old man’s face, as if he’s comin’ out of a trance and now I lose Papa’s face but I feel somethin’, like the temperature’s dropped and my arms look like a plucked goose. “So how about them Cowboys then?” I say.
© Debz Hobbs-Wyatt Parthian Books 2013 Extract from While No One Was Watching
Have a great weekend everyone!