In today's Oakland Tribune, reviewer Kathleen Geib says:
Mailman serves up vivid description, sparkling prose and a Gold Rush prostitute as scrappy as Scarlett O'Hara.
I like the reference to Scarlett. I love GWTW and I believe the melodrama of the movie has somewhat cheapened what is an incredible historical novel. I have always loved how unashamed Scarlett was--if she needed to steal her sister's fiance to put food in everyone's mouth, so be it. If she had to trick Rhett Butler into thinking she's rich so he'll marry her, so be it. I was definitely inspired by this headstrong heroine.
And there's more... throughout my novel Nora uses unconventional expletives. I had a great time making these up (and I have a list somewhere of the ones I had to cut...an agent who once represented the book thought it was overkill, rightly so)... my favorite is "Donkey's funeral!" I could just picture the sad circle of donkeys in the middle of the dusty street, looking down at their fallen comrade.
I think I was inspired by an expletive Scarlett uses: "God's nightgown!" The idea of the old-style big-bearded majestic God feminized by wearing a frilly 1800s nightgown; it just cracked me up. I still don't know if that was a typical irreverent exclamation or if Margaret Mitchell made it up; whichever, I was charmed.
I also remember my nana saying "Well, good night!" as her own interjection of surprise or disbelief.
Colorful language is so pleasurable... I once worked for a boss who would coin things on the fly while talking on the phone. I recall him calling someone a "son of a sea biscuit."
Next reading: Tonight! Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007. Reading at Books Inc. in Alameda, 7:30 p.m., 1344 Park Street, Alameda. 510-522-2226