I’m still in the Author Spotlight so we get to visit again today. Life is good!
Today I thought I’d interview some of the quirky characters who’ve played a part in the Honky Tonk Series. Maybe they don’t have their names up in the flashing lights or their pictures on the front covers but they tell me that without their input the story couldn’t have been told. So I’m interviewing Chigger from I Love This Bar, Jezzy from Hell Yeah, Merle from My Give A Damn’s Busted and Luther from Honky Tonk Christmas.
They are all sitting at the table with me so grab a cold beer from behind the bar and draw up a chair right here beside me. Got your note pad ready? Okay, first question: This one is for Chigger?
Why do you have such an unusual nickname or is that your real name? Merle, stop giggling, your turn is coming soon.
Chigger (who stuck her tongue out at Merle and fluffed up her dyed blonde hair): It’s my nickname and I don’t tell my real name, so don’t be askin’. Daisy found out but she’s been sworn to secrecy and since she’s one of my best friends I know she won’t tell. But yes, ma’am, I will tell you all about my nickname (she’s saying this with a wicked grin on her face). If you’re ever in Texas or Oklahoma and go out in the woods you might bring home a real chigger or two. They are these little red bugs that bury themselves down in the skin and itch like holy hell. That’s where I got the name Chigger (she takes a long drink of her Coors) because I’m like those little bugs. Some folks call me a hooker but I’m not. Hookers charge for what they do. Not me! Sex is too damn much fun to charge money for and I like it, especially after a hot, sweaty night of dancing and flirting. So I’m a big girl chigger. I can put an itch on a man that he can’t get rid of without a tumble in a big old king sized bed with me.
Well, that’s interesting! I bet you would be the life of the party wherever you go, Chigger. Now, Jezzy, tell me why on earth you moved to Mingus, Texas?
Jezzy (who’s grinning at Chigger and nodding at everything she says): My name is Jezzy Belle and I’m named after that woman in the Bible called Jezebel. My grandma owned the farm out west of town and when she died I bought out my two cousins’ part of the inheritance. Grandma was a God fearin’ woman and named her daughter and son for folks in the Bible. It stuck with her son who made a preacher of himself but my momma was a real hellion. When I was born out of wedlock she named me Jezzy Belle and told Granny that I’d been named for someone from the Bible, too. Me and Leroy, my best friend in the world, live together. No, it’s not a lovey-dovey happy-ever-after story for us. It’s platonic. He’s been married several times and every time I tell him he’s an idiot and every time he proves my point. But we live together out on Granny’s farm and we’re going to strike oil soon. I just know it!
Oh, my, Jezzy, are you really? That would be wonderful. Okay, Merle, next question is for you? You’ve played a part in all four of the books. You design beautiful western shirts. Couldn’t you do better in a big city?
Merle (with a custom made cue stick case sitting beside her leg): I don’t give a damn about making more money. I’m worth a fortune with what I’ve made right here in Mingus. I came here almost fifty years ago with my best friend, Ruby Lee. She built the Honky Tonk. I started up my shirt business. We both got richer than we ever thought possible. There’s money in booze and western shirts! I’ve been comin’ here to this Honky Tonk all these years trying to find someone who’ll give me a good game of pool. I’ve found a few that’s challenged me. Not very many. It’s my second home and I love it! But this constant changing of owners worries me. I’m afraid someday no one will want the Honky Tonk and then what will I do for a good game of pool?
Merle, I bet the Honky Tonk will be around for many years. There are too many people who love it to ever let it be sold. Speaking of which, how do you feel about Hayes Radner constantly trying to buy it?
Merle (she’s shaking her finger at me): That man better keep his sorry ass away from here or I’ll put out a hit on him myself. Hells bells, Mingus doesn’t need to be turned into a gaudy amusement park!
Okay, I understand. How about you Luther? You came to Mingus in Hell, Yeah and you’re still here. Going to stay or move?
Luther (who’d make King Kong look like a tiny stuffed toy): Hell, no, I’m not moving! I’ve flat fallen in love with Tessa who helps out Sharlene behind the bar and works down in the oil company office. I’m livin’ out on Jezzy’s old farm and I sure would like to ask Tessa to move in with me but I get all tongue tied around her. Larissa, I call her Rissa, is my best friend and I go to her for advice all the time. She says I’ve got to get over my fear and just ask Tessa. Maybe I will pretty soon but back to your question. I’m in Mingus to stay. Love my job at the oil company and my night job as bouncer right here.
Thank you all for visiting with me today. Anything else you’d like to say before we open the doors for the customers tonight?
Chigger: Have you got a quarter for the juke box? I’ve got a hankerin’ to hear some Waylon, Willie or Miss Dolly tonight.
Yes, ma’am. Could we hear Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman?”
Chigger: Hell, yeah!
About the Author
Carolyn Brown is an award-winning author who has published 36 historical and western romance novels for the library market, many of them bestsellers in that market. Born in Texas and raised in southern Oklahoma, Carolyn and her husband now make their home in the town of Davis, Oklahoma. For more information please visit http://www.carolynlbrown.com/