Book: How You Leave Texas by Alana Cashcategories: Book, Women's Fiction, Humor, Hollywood, Film Industry, Romance, Adultery, Texas, Austin, Fort Worth, Midland, Alcoholism, Literary Fiction
Alana Cashabout this book: How You Leave Texas is a book of four unique stories about young women leaving their hometowns in Texas for different reasons. Annabelle is leaving Mayville and her best friend, Micky, because her parents are divorcing. Camille, her life in shambles after losing her job, ending her marriage, and the death of her best friend in one day, leaves Austin once a month for Jakarta to develop an art paper business (and ends up in jail). Krystal leaves her alcoholic family in Midland, heading for New York seeking a glamorous life with a rich husband. After a few false starts, she gets her footing in a solid career instead. Nicky leaves Fort Worth for Hollywood and through a chance meeting, gets tangled up between two directors trying to ruin each others careers. It doesn't sound funny, but it's hilarious.
I was born in Texas into a military family and I've been leaving and returning since I was 2 years old. Texas is another country - it's not the South or Southwest - and unless you live there for a while, you'll never understand it. So, I write about Texas from a woman's point of view. And expect that other women -young and old - will enjoy my perspective.
I incorporated a lot of autobiographical events into the stories. I have lived in all the places named (except for Mayville which does not exist), and some of the most hilarious and the most tragic of the events in the stories did happen in my life. (Names have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent). The reader might enjoy trying to figure out who the two directors are in "Frying Your Burger."
A difficult aspect in writing the book was trimming the stories down. The last story in the book, "Frying Your Burger," is currently 108 pages and started at over 300 pages. Camille's net worth was 90 pages and I trimmed it to 42 pages. I believe the stories are stronger for not having too many characters or subplots or tangents. The writing is spare and quick and much more entertaining.
In creating the cover, I wanted to show the expansiveness of Texas. From central Texas to El Paso is 500 miles of flat desert, and I chose a photograph to reflect that. I also wanted a sunset on the cover as in "riding off into the sunset." The photo on the back was taken at a "fair" in England, where I lived four years as a child.
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