Friday, April 27, 2012

Blue Straggler: When Oddballs Form Their Own Sense of Family by Kathy Lynn Harris

Thank you, Michelle, for inviting me to guest post on your fabulosa blog               this week. I’m so appreciative of the chance to connect with your readers and spread a little bit of Blue Straggler gospel.                                               

In case you haven’t figured that out already, Blue Straggler is my debut novel out right now from 30 Day Books. One of the major themes in the book is that our born-into family doesn’t always have to define us, and that if you’re paying enough attention out in the world, you can actually invite people into your life who can give you the sense of belonging you may not always find back “home.”

The main character in Blue Straggler is Bailey, who is a misfit in her rural South Texas farming family. They simply don’t get her, who she is or who she has the potential to become. And frankly, she doesn’t get them, either. She’s disconnected in about a million different ways (except for maybe her penchant for drinking a bit too much on a bit too many occasions).

But luckily for Bailey, she has “collected” a set of friends who have become her main source of support. In fact, readers may wonder how Bailey would have even survived emotionally without her friends to prop her up the past few years.

The first character is Rudy, who is a complete misfit himself. Rudy and Bailey went to college together and have been best friends ever since. What’s pretty special about their relationship is that they both understand what it’s like to be on the outside looking in, they both see how completely weird each other is, and they both love each other precisely for who they are. They relish in the quirkiness of each other.

Rounding out the three-part friendship is Idamarie, who is a good 40 years older than Rudy and Bailey, and whether she likes it or not, has become their mother figure, offering stability and a tell-it-like-it-is attitude that keeps them both in check. Idamarie is alone in life, except for Rudy, Bailey and her regular customers at the diner she owns. So even though she teasingly complains about Rudy and Bailey taking up needed space in her café or not paying for their coffee, she needs them, too.

Together, these three oddballs have found a way to make it through life as a family unit. And it works for the time being. Of course, it’s when that friendship faces the threat of one of the members moving on that things get a little dicey.

So, what do you, readers of Michelle’s blog, believe? Have you collected your own set of people who give you what a typical family unit might? What binds you together? Do you ever wonder if your strong connections might actually hold you back from growing and changing?

Thanks for reading, and if you check out Blue Straggler, I hope you like the craziness that is wholly formed and refined by Bailey, Rudy and Idamarie.

Author's Bio:

Kathy grew up in rural South Texas — and comes from people who work hard, love the land and know how to have a good time on a Saturday night. As a writer, Kathy was lucky to have been surrounded by exceptional characters throughout her life, many of whom have lived their lives exactly the way they wanted. The rest of the world could take `em or leave `em! Inspiring, to say the least.

In 2001, Kathy made the move from Texas to the Colorado Rockies to focus on her writing and soak up All Things Mountain. She lives in an authentic log cabin near the southernmost glacier in North America, at 10,500 feet above sea level, with her husband and son, plus two fairly untrainable golden retriever mixes. It is there that she writes.

Read more from Kathy on her blog,You can take the girl out of Texas

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