Thursday, 15 August 2013

Road Kill - A Guest Post by Alexandra Allred

Roadkill by Alexandra Allred

Published by The Writer's Coffee Shop

Follow @alexandraallred, @twcs_pubhouse and@cafeartspace


When dead prostitutes begin to appear along the rural roads of Ohio, Allie Lindell cannot stay away despite the odds—the odds being her badge-toting sister; her partner, who only wants Allie to stay home and out of harm’s way; and two little girls in full potty-training and tantrum-throwing modes. But when an old friend from The Columbus Dispatch calls with an intriguing job opportunity, Allie can’t turn her away, Allie breaks all kinds of promises to track the killer, heat up a cold case, and discover what happened to a fallen police officer. As she navigates the backstreets of Columbus, following pimps, prostitutes, sullen teenagers, and seedy gamblers, the only thing more complicated is remembering all her aliases.

Enlisting the help of her neighbor, and with the annoying voice of Snow White drumming through her head, Allie and her newfound sidekick will have you falling in love with this wonderful cast of modern heroines with day-to-day problems. Gay, straight, sleek and sexy, or rumpled and ragged—no matter how much they bicker, they’re a mighty force when they all come together. Heigh Ho!

Roadkill is the first in a series in which a former journalist and at-home mom discovers she has a knack for investigating murders. While she longs for the crazy deadlines and adult conversations, she also wants to stay home and care for her babies.

With Disney tunes, tantrums, and potty-training woes on her mind, Allie Lindell must learn to juggle the highs and lows of her family and a career she never knew she always wanted. This is the funny, sometimes aggravating, ultimately heartwarming story of a woman trying to give everything to her kids, keep the love of her partner, and not lose herself in the process.

Author Bio:

Alexandra Allred is a former national athlete and adventure writer turned humorist and fictional writer. She’s often been called the next Erma Bombeck with a grudge. Her annual Christmas letters, which have frequently made the news, could make the Grinch weep with joy.

Allred is an avid runner (though not a very good one), frequently testifies in Washington D.C. on environmental issues, is an advocate for Clean Air, and loathes people who illegally park in handicap places.

She currently lives in Texas with her husband, three children, and array of happy animals.

Guest Post

The moon and the stars and the planets really lined up for this one!  The truth is, I wrote Roadkill about 15 or 16 years ago.  Maybe longer than that.  My oldest daughter, Kerri, was a toddler, and Katie was just a baby. I was an at-home mom and, on some days, fearful that I was losing my mind.  How many trips could one person take to Kroger’s grocery store in one day? I was so used to the hectic go-go-go! lifestyle that suddenly being saddled by two babies, now matter how much I worshipped and adored them, was k-i-l-l-i-n-g me.

I come from a family of writers so writing comes easily.  My father wrote obituaries for the Dallas Morning News and then published military history.  A far cry from fiction – or so I thought.  Without realizing it, I had grown to love reading obits and pondering those lives once lived, however full or brief. Before I knew it, my character was born.  She was an at-home mother, restless after leaving her post as an obituary writer. The rest, as they say, is history.

I wrote four more books in the series and then promptly shelved them as I moved on to other things, including bobsledding, raising my children, and relocating to Texas.  After a stint in sports writing, I returned to fiction and was published with The Writer’s Coffee Shop (TWCS).

This is where the moon and stars and planets all aligned. I had plenty on my plate.  Professionally speaking, I was very pleased where I was. Truth be told, I think TWCS would have preferred for me to slow down a bit.  But one day, while feeling happily restless, I recalled the Allie Lindell series.  I have a dear friend who also happens to be gay.  She was having a particularly hard time with insurance involving her family. She is legally married to her partner but still cannot get insurance for her wife and children.  As I listened to her I realized that I had never – not once – thought about how I could get insurance or a job or acceptance or a loan or anything because of my love for my husband. Scratch that.  I never HAD to think about these things.  They just are.  With that, I began to rethink Allie and her circumstances.  I gathered up my nerve and called one of the women at TWCS to ask her what she thought of the series.  It also happens that she is gay.  I know her and love her so I was not surprised by her enthusiastic support for the idea.  That’s just how she is. What I did not expect was her own personal story.  While my first friend struggled with insurance, this friend could not get the state where she lived to legally recognize her partner as mother to their two children.  They had to search just to find a judge who would allow her partner to legally adopt the children.

As easily as that, Allie transformed into a lesbian who was in a committed, loving, devoted relationship in which both women had two little girls but those very things I always took for granted would be an on-going battle for Allie and her partner, Rae Ann.

A lot of changes had to be made.
A lot!!!  At one point, one of my editors called me and asked what year I wrote the book.  Ha.  I had pay phones and a “car cellular.”  Akk!  Allie would have to read maps because who ever heard of a GPS system in 1997?  Allie had to step up to the times and boy, did she ever!

Waiting for this book to launch has been harder than any other book I have ever waited for. I am super, super excited about it and the conversations I hope it brings.  It was a month or so ago when I was driving along and heard Mackelmores’s song, “Same Love,” and just thought, “Wow. This is so great.”  I love my friends who have been going through these issues, but I’m embarrassed to say, I’d been rather clueless as to how hard the simplest things could be.  Through Allie, I feel like I am in tuned with socially relevant and important things.  You do not have to be gay to understand how important it is that we, as a people, recognized all love, same love.  Show me a time or place in which oppression ever worked!

It doesn’t.  Maybe Allie can help us all realize that.

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