Hello, everybody. I'm Marie Sexton, and I'm thrilled to be here today talking about my New Adult novel, Trailer Trash.
Trailer Trash is the story of two high school seniors – Cody, the poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks, and Nate, the new kid in town. It's set in the fictional town of Warren, Wyoming in the mid-1980s.
I spent the first eleven years of my life in a small town in Wyoming. Granted, my hometown wasn't anywhere near as small or as isolated as Warren. And to tell you the truth, we didn't move all that far – from Western Wyoming to Fort Collins, Colorado. But it was far enough to encounter a couple of differences that can only be chalked up to regional traditions and idiosyncrasies.
1. "Uptown" vs. "Downtown": In my hometown, we went "uptown." Here in Colorado, we go "downtown." I asked a friend from small-town Kansas. He confirmed that they went "uptown" as well. So what determines "uptown" vs. "downtown"? I have no idea. Anybody out there know?
2. Penny candy: I suppose this probably has more to do with the year than the region, but as a kid, there was a gas station across the street that still had penny candy – an entire case full of all different kinds of candy, all of which were 1¢ each. When my cousin came over, my mom would hand us each a dollar, and we'd cross the County Road unattended (which no parent would allow their child to do in this day and age!) and spend a LONG time picking out exactly one hundred pieces of candy. The Swedish fish were my favorite. It took me years to find them again (although they're everywhere now).
3. Squeakies: The men back home always went out "shootin' squeakies" for fun. I mentioned this years later to my friends in Colorado, and they just about fell over dead laughing. "What the hell is a 'squeakie'?" Well, I had no idea. It was a rodent. I knew that much. Presumably, it squeaked, at least on occasion. Why was everybody so determined to kill them? I didn't know that either. I tried Google and got nowhere. The only entry I found was in a self-published autobiography of a man who'd spent a few years in my hometown, but he didn't seem to know what they were either. My stepfather told me squeakies were actually Thompson's ground squirrels, but while a search for the term "thompson's ground squirrel" brings up images, a bit more research leads me to think that this too is only a regional nickname for some other type of rodent. Lists like these (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spermophilus and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urocitellus) fail to mention the Thompson's ground squirrel at all. So, what exactly is a squeakie and why the heck was everybody so gung-ho to shoot them? I'm still not entirely sure.
4. Ironport: I miss Ironport so much. What is it, you ask? Well, I'll copy/paste from good ol' Wikipedia: "Ironport (sometimes spelled as two words: Iron Port) is an old-fashioned carbonated soft drink from the early part of the 20th century that was served at soda fountains and is still popular in the Intermountain West… The flavor has been described as somewhat of a cross between root beer and Caribbean spices and is very similar to the Cuban soda, Iron Beer." Those of you from certain parts of Utah or Idaho might be familiar with it. They served it in my hometown, once upon a time, but not anymore, and it's never been available here in Colorado. We went to the Idaho panhandle a couple of years ago for my BIL's wedding, and I asked everybody about Ironport, but nobody knew what I was talking about. Darn it, I'll have one again someday, I swear!
So, how about you? Any strange regional things from your hometown that you can't explain? Anything you miss and can't find? Have thoughts on "uptown" vs. "downtown"?
Please share in the comments. (And if you can send me an Ironport, I'll give you a book for free!)
About Trailer Trash:
It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.
Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.
Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.
About Marie Sexton:
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.
Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
Connect with Marie:
To celebrate, Marie is giving away a $50 gift card to either Amazon or All Romance Ebooks, winner’s choice.
Leave a comment to enter the contest.
Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 26, 2016.
Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries.
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