04 December 2017

*Guest Post & Giveaway!* UP NEAR DALLAS by Gina Hooten Popp

Winds of Change
Book III

  Genre:  Texas Historical Fiction / Romance
Date of Publication: November 12, 2017
Number of Pages: 307

Scroll down for the giveaway!

The year is 1934. Economic turbulence rocks the country. And record drought dries up crops, along with the spirits of every farmer south of the Mason-Dixon. Yet for sixteen-year-old Mick McLaren, life is good as he takes to the open road to chase his dream of being a musician. Riding boxcars, hitchhiking, walking and driving his way across Depression Era Texas, he finds not only himself, but the love of a girl from Dallas named Margaret. Along the way, they befriend Cowboy Larson, a Delta Blues guitarist. Together the three teens, from three very different worlds, come-of-age as their life-changing journey carries them through killer dust storms, extreme poverty, and the unprecedented gangster activity of the Dirty Thirties. 
Amazon ▪ Barnes & Noble ▪ iBooks ▪ Kobo

On Finding Inspiration
Guest Post
By Author Gina Hooten Popp

People always ask me, how did you think of that? Where did you get this story from? They’ve especially asked me this about my latest book Up Near Dallas. For starters, let me say I believe concepts for stories come to you; you don’t think them up yourself. Therefore, I always try to stay open to what the Universe is directing my way.

Up Near Dallas originally came to me a few years back while I was attending West Texas Writers’ Academy at Texas A&M/Canyon. Teacher and mentor Jodi Thomas had a handful of us writers go to a nearby museum to give us inspiration. Since I was well into writing a book already, I didn’t expect to be inspired, but I was and in a profound way.

Sitting in an exhibit for Woody Guthrie, I began to look around at his handwritten music displayed on the walls along with his guitars. At some point I began to read some of his diary entries and lists he made of things he wanted to accomplish. For some reason these really made an impression on me as it gave me a glimpse into his everyday life. For the first time, I realized how important his music had been in not only bringing a message to the country of the common man’s everyday plight in the thirties, but bringing a little happiness to the people themselves. And suddenly, I thought one day I would write a story about the transformative power of music and what kind of courage it takes to follow the road less traveled (no pun intended for Woody’s boxcar lifestyle) to become an accomplished musician. So that was the spark of an idea, but it did not become fully fleshed out for another couple of years. In the interim, I would write two other books.

Then, one day I was down in San Antonio attending a book signing at the San Antonio Book Festival. I stayed at the Gunter Hotel because it was close, and I could roll my boxes of books on a cart to the festival. Little did I know that the Gunter had a musical history all its own. As I sat in the lobby one evening, I looked up at the bar area to see an interesting graphic of a man named Robert Johnson—an incredible blues guitarist whose unique style changed the course of music history. As I read more about his background online, I began to realize the influence he had on so many modern-day musicians. But he wasn’t the only one changing the course of music. A few months later, out of the blue, one of my friends posted a video of Sister Rosetta Tharpe (a pioneer of mid-20th-century music and, some say forgotten, Mother of Rock and Roll) swinging and swaying to her electric guitar. I was mesmerized. Once again, the realization hit me of just how revolutionary this time period was for music and the nation.

A lightbulb went off in my head and the story began to come together. Only this time it wouldn’t retreat into the background. It demanded to be written.
And so, my tale of a young musician named Mick McLaren began to come to life in my head as it flowed out fairly quickly on the typewritten page. I knew, like Woody Guthrie, and so many others during this time period, Mick would ride the rails across Texas, eventually finding himself up near Dallas where the music scene was at its hottest in Deep

Ellum. But what I didn’t know as I started the journey with Mick is that he’d find the love of a girl named Margaret and, as one might expect of any self-respecting blues guitarist, more than just a little bit of trouble along the way.

A native Texan, Gina Hooten Popp was born in Greenville and now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. Along with writing novels, Gina has enjoyed a long career as a professional writer in advertising. Her debut novel THE STORM AFTER was a finalist in the 2014 RONE Awards, and her just-released book CHICO BOY: A NOVEL was a 2016 Medalist Winner in the New Apple Annual Book Awards. Recently, her novel LUCKY'S WAY, about a young fighter pilot from Houston, was endorsed by the United States World War One Centennial Commission. 

December 5-December 13, 2017
(U.S. Only)

Guest Post
Notable Quotable
Author Interview

blog tour services provided by

No comments:

Post a Comment