Some folks think that the reason Americans seem to get collectively stupider each year is that they read less and less. I, however, suspect it has more to do with decaffeinated coffee.
People, though, are still reading. Most kids are excited about reading until you hand them a dull textbook and kill their interest in words forever. Folks read posts on Facebook with titles like, “11 Different Uses for Used Toothpicks” or “Which Little Rascal Are You?” (I’m Spanky.) And, on a beach somewhere, there’s a lady named Bertha wearing a blue muumuu and reading a torrid romance novel.
“Why are you looking over my shoulder, you creep?”
If I’m going to make it as a writer someday, I’m going to have to find the most profitable way to do it. Unfortunately, as soon as I started my new book, “Harry Potter’s Shades of Divergent in the Twilight of the Hunger Games,” I got five cease-and-desist letters.
So I’ve decided to try something different — romance novels. Even in that genre, though, you’ve got to carve our your own little niche. Hence, my new redneck romance series: “Hot Holler Nights — Passionate Tales from Possum Holler.” I’ve already written the first 27 books in the series, and that was just today. Here are a few excerpts from the first tale (Keep a glass of ice water nearby to cool you down.):
Wanda Lou froze on the third step of the trailer and not just because her fuzzy slipper had plopped down on a rusty nail — although, yeah, that explained the scream that shook nearly every neighbor off the sofas upon which they were sleeping off a rough Friday night. Her bloodshot eyes were aimed toward the blurry stranger who came riding into Meth Meadows on his horse, meaning he obviously had his driver’s license taken away — the man, not the horse. The stranger had long locks of dark hair flowing from his back, albeit none on his head unless you count the hair from his ears. You could have braided that. As he came closer, she could identify his horse as a Saint Bernard. He was like no other man in Meth Meadows. No, he was drunker. Way drunker. It was 8 a.m.
“Howdy, ma’am,” he said. “My goodness, you’re kinda purty for a big girl.”
Wanda Lou shyly looked away as she slowly raised her foot off the nail. I’m gonna need to pour some gin on that later, she thought. Well, naw, can’t waste good gin.
“I’m gonna ask you something, ma’am. If you say ‘no,’ I’ll simply move along.”
“Go ahead, Fabio,” Wanda Lou said as she ran her hand through her hair before getting her pinky finger caught on a plastic roller.
“Actually, it’s Jimmy Earl. Anyways, is it OK if I take a whiz?”
“Yep.” Wanda Lou braced herself for Jimmy Earl to reach for his zipper, but it was too late. He’d done done it — whizzed, that is. Too late to unzip now.
“Ahhhh,” Jimmy Earl said. “Ahhhhhhhhhh.” It had been a long night at The Rack.
“PBR, huh?” she inquired.
“Only the best!”
Just then, Eugenia Slim hopped off a passing four-wheeler and grabbed Jimmy Earl by the hair. She had surprising strength for someone standing 6-foot-3 and weighing just 95 pounds. With one hand full of back hair and the other clutching a cigarette, she yelled, “Who’s this hussy?”
“I’m Wanda Lou!” boldly exclaimed, um, Wanda Lou. “And I love this man!”
“Why?” It was Jimmy Earl’s wife, Ethel Mae, from Hash Hills, two trailer parks away. “I’m married to him and I hate him. And why is Eugenia Slim wearing your shirt?”
“Oh shirt!” Jimmy Earl exclaimed as he hopped on his horse, a Saint Bernard, and rode away. “I’ll be back tonight to claim my true love!”
“That’s me!” Wanda Lou said.
“No, it’s me!” Eugenia Slim said, breathlessly, you know, from all the smoking.
“Well it sure as heck ain’t me because I’ve got a restraining order,” said Ethel Mae.
Get more from Chris Johnson at KudzuKid.com.