Stopping by the Concession Stands

Image credit: Tom Hart
Image credit: Tom Hart

If you wander through the carnival you’ll end up with some pretty tasty treats, and today we continue Sideshow’s virtual book tour with some delicious stops:

My Fiction Nook: In which I discuss an old LiveJournal group and what makes a good story.

BFD Book Blog: In which we delve into how being an archivist impacts my writing.

 

Funnel Cake & Fried Oreos

And finish off with a carnival food recipe!

How to make a funnel cake!

  1. Gather the following ingredients: 4 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 2 1/4 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, oil (for frying -I use coconut, but pick your poison), frying pan, squeeze bottle, paper towels, powdered sugar
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients (except oil) in another. Combine slowly and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  3. Fill a clean squeeze bottle with batter and heat oil in a deep frying pan.
  4. When the oil is hot, squeeze batter into the pan. I’m a control freak, so I make an overlapping cross-hatch pattern, but really, go wild!
  5. Allow to fry for a few minutes, until golden brown (this will vary based on oil temperature, kind of oil, kind of stove, etc). Then carefully flip over. Treat this side the same, then remove with a slotted spoon or spatula.
  6. Place on a paper towel covered plate.
  7.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on top before allowing it to cool, just a little.
  8. Eat as soon as you can. Funnel cakes taste best hot.
  9. If you have batter left over, cover candy bars, Oreo cookies, mushrooms, broccoli, cheese, whatever else you have on hand, in it and fry that up in the oil as well for a true carnival experience.

Funnel Cakes

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The Show Goes On

carnival town

 

Sideshow continues to wind it’s way through the internet making marvelous stops along the way! Check out the lovely blogs that have hosted our little show:

8/29

Dawn’s Reading Nook

Love Bytes In which I discuss what a writer/archivist thinks of the whole ebooks vs. print books debate and a very special fellow author.

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words 

 

8/30

Butterfly-O-Meter In which I discuss my dream co-writing team of Jane Austen, Kate Atkinson, and me.

Kirsty Loves Books In which we talk about my influences and the sources I used while researching the world of Sideshow.

MM Good Book Reviews In which I reveal the story of my first book, “The Super Six” a sextet of super-powered cats that palled around with my sister.

Another Great Day on the Circuit

More Rides

The Virtual Book Tour continues today! Check out the lovely blogs that are hosting stops:

Book Lovers 4Ever In which I discuss my reading habits and some of my quirkier anxieties

Book Reviews and More by Kathy

A. M. Leibowitz In which I discuss my inspiration and the skills you need as a writer. (Also, a review!)

Oh My Shelves In which we delve into what makes Abby tick.

Sideshow Hits the Road!

Untitled
Today’s the day!

My little novel sideshow is hitting the road and going out into the world. I can’t imagine a prouder day for an author than the day their book grows its wings and takes flight into the wild. </mixed metaphors.>

I have been quite the mix of nervous anticipation and utter exhilarated joy for quite awhile and now the whole cavalcade of emotions is rushing around. It’s actually a pretty great feeling.

I won’t hold you up too long. Mainly because, right now, all I can do is gush about how excited I am for you all to read my book.  So without further adieu, today’s Virtual Book Tour stops! We will be hosting new stops until September 7th, so be sure to check out all of these wonderful blogs.

Today’s virtual book tour stops:

SideshowCoverThe Novel Approach  In which I talk about my love of stuffed artichokes and explain how to make them

Unquietly Me In which I discuss Suprema’s first carnival act and the influence of Newsies on my writing.

Velvet Panic In which I discuss the 10 moments that stayed with me from literature I have read.

Bayou Book Junkie  In which I discuss how hard it is to come up with a title.

 

 

And if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, there are plenty of ways to do so: Interlude Press  || Amazon  || Barnes and Noble|| Smashwords || All Romance eBooks || Indiebound

Step Right Up and Meet McClure’s Amusements

Hunt Bros. Circus side show about 1955
Photo Credit: CharmaineZoe’s Marvelous Melange

As Della says, “an carnival doesn’t run with extra parts.”

McClure’s Amusements is no exception. In order for the show to travel from place to place and give the locals a unique and fun experience, it requires a large cast of characters. I knew this from day one of writing, so I began an Evernote file entitled “Carnival Cast” to make sure I had the right idea for the rest of the ensemble. We will probably hear more from these characters in the coming weeks, but for now, here’s a sneak peek at just a few of the interesting people who keep the operation running direct from my early draft notes:

Sofia & Michael McClure: In the mid-1930s, the McClures sank their last dime into buying out the bankrupt traveling carnival they worked for, now they are in charge of day-to-day operations. A former performer, Sofia is more of a public face. Michael is more concerned with the business side and is rarely seen outside of his trailer.

Boleslaw Wolski: Suprema’s uncle. Though his brother went into farming, Boleslaw and his wife, Ida, joined the carnival circuit eventually settling with the McClures. Boleslaw is both one of the lot managers and a human blockhead.

Alejo Lambrinos: The Fire-eater. Alejo grew up as part of a traveling show in Europe, honing his craft. Then his family immigrated when he was a teenager. Though his wife passed away many years ago, he is not lonely. He is accompanied in his travels by his daughter Constance, her beloved Ruth and their ward, Phebe.

Constance Lambrinos:  A year since our first meeting in “Fire-Eater’s Daughter,” Constance is very happy with her life with Ruth. She performs more regularly now.

Ruth Pasternak: A year has passed and Ruth is more confident than ever that she made the right decision. She still misses her mother, of course, but her life with Constance and the carnival is a very happy one. She will be helpful getting Abby acclimated.

Phebe Lambrinos: About 8, she was abandoned by her parents when the carnival was stopped in Morgantown and taken in by the Lambrinos family. Ruth and Constance consider her their daughter.

 

At the Vermont state fair, Rutland, "backstage" at the "girlie" show (LOC)
Photo Credit: Library of Congress (Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Collection)

 

Della Adamson: The mercurial daughter of a former trapeze artist, Della grew up in small town West Virginia and is now the star of the “Girl Show.” Desperate to achieve her mother’s lost glory at any price.

The Other Girl Show Girls: Celia Mendez (dancer, knife thrower), Trixie Rose (comedian), Vivian Hawthorne (poet, writes erotica)

Vincenzo “Vinnie” Corelli: A clown. Though Vinnie has suffered a great deal of loss in his storied life (immigrated from Italy as a young man, lost the love of his life to WWI, spent time as a tramp, etc), he is genuinely friendly and wants to see others (especially Suprema) happy.

Jimmy Manderly: Ride Jockey. Operates a dark ride, the Haunted Train. A charmer.

Gregor Dali: Strongman and snake charmer; is actually a family man deep down, but you wouldn’t know it to meet him.

A few other “Carnival Cast” characters were added over the course of writing the novel, but with this large of an ensemble, you can see why I needed to keep notes.

Barker at the grounds of the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)
Photo Credit: Library of Congress (Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Collection)

Sideshow is available now for pre-order from Interlude Press. Be sure to reserve your copy today.

Meet Suprema Wolski: The Strongwoman

We’ve talked a bit about the setting of Sideshow. Let’s take a look at the characters.

Suprema - Headshot Sketch

When Abby and her brother attend the Athletic Show at McClure’s Amusements, the “astonishingly pretty” referee happens to catch her eye. She has no idea the role that this reserved and troubled young woman would play in her future, but she does know that her presence is hard to ignore.

Vulcana(1875-1946) - An early performer Suprema would have admired and one of my inspirations for Suprema's character.
Vulcana (1875-1946) – An early performer Suprema would have admired and one of my inspirations for Suprema’s character.

Beverly Agnes Wolski did not have a great relationship with her parents growing up. Luckily, she had her Uncle Boleslaw and Aunt Ida, who took her from the struggling farm she called home and taught her to get along as part of the carnival world. She started off fortune telling with her aunt, but quickly moved on to a sideshow act as a strongwoman, taking the name Suprema. She took to the act easily, using the performance (and training for it – there is no gaff to Suprema’s routine) as a means of reclaiming the strength and assertiveness she wasn’t allowed in her childhood.

Despite her weaknesses for soda and comics (especially romance comics, but don’t tell) and her commanding stage presence, Suprema is often cold and reserved in person. She has suffered loss in her life and is afraid to get close to others, so she is far more likely to lash out than be vulnerable. When Abby is able to be vulnerable around her, she unexpectedly finds herself softening and allowing this new and intriguing person into her world.

Sideshow is available now for pre-order from Interlude Press. Be sure to reserve your copy today.