Genre: Humorous Literary Fiction
Publisher: Boldface Books
Date of Publication: June 7, 2016
Number of Pages: 270
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You’re never too old to learn—or too young
Good-looking, good-hearted Charley Bristow’s the most sought-after hair stylist in five West Texas counties. He’s an expert on the dance floor and sharp at the pool tables, too—but when it comes to picking cars, dogs, and women, luck hasn’t quite gone his way lately. And there’s the ever-present worry over his mother, whose own trailer-park plight he’d just as soon steer clear of.
Just when he’s sworn off temptation of the female sort, an evening at the local honky-tonk drives two prime targets right into his path. Weighing the sudden wealth of options in his love life, while also searching for the right choice of wheels to suit his needs, Charley stumbles upon a long-hidden secret and an unforeseen road to redemption.
The colorful denizens of the Wild Hare Salon, Jarod’s Automotive, and Hopper’s nightclub, along with those of the Briargrove First Methodist Church and the Sulfur Gap Centennial Celebration, will two-step their way right into your heart, to music as familiar as Willie Nelson and Charley Pride. And you just might start to fall in love with an old Johnny Mercer tune, too, as Charley Bristow faces his past and embraces the challenge of his future.
Praise for The Lark
"Good-time Charley" Bristow is a popular twenty-something West Texas hairstylist who's already dodged two bullets with two failed marriages (the second time, literally). . . . The Lark invites us to join Charley's friends, the rural cosmopolitans of Sulfur Gap, and ride shotgun alongside this rogue with an honest heart . . . on a journey into his past. Dana Glossbrenner has crafted a totally engaging quest for happiness, set it in a totally genuine contemporary Texas, and delivered up great characters for a great read.
-- Cliff Hudder, author of Splinterville and Pretty Enough for You
Charley Bristow takes some things seriously--work, dancing, pool-playing, and women, but maybe not in that order. He finds the true importance of friends and family.
-- Rick Smith, San Angelo Standard Times
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
Since I’m retired, I could be a full-time writer, and I find myself becoming more and more consistent about writing a bit every day, but I could never force myself to sit down and write ten pages a day or something like that. I could write them, maybe, but they would be bad. So I’ll say I’m part-time. I’m not like James Patterson who writes at least eight hours a day, seven days a week. I give myself lots of days off. It seems to be what I need to re-charge. I hope I keep writing, but I don’t want to be driven. It reminds me of Mozart writing his last requiem mass. I want to stay light-hearted about it, so thinking of it as part-time makes me happy. I don’t want to ever feel desperate about having to write. I can pull an all-nighter whenever I want to.
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
Teaching high school and university English impacted me. Most of the teaching years, I taught the advanced classes in the level of English that served up American lit. So I got to share Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, Turn of the Screw, Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird, and many, many more great works with motivated students. One assignment I gave was to have the students sketch out a brief sequel to Of Mice and Men. Their ideas were so inspiring, they kindled my own creative hopes.
What book do you wish you could have written?
Gone with the Wind
Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie version of your book?
For Charley, Ian Somerhalder. For Wayne, Damian Lewis. April could be played by Melissa McCarthy. Lou--Julia Roberts. Darla—Miley Cyrus. (This would be expensive!)
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names are very important. The sound of a name conveys something about the character. I don’t have any sources—I just listen for interesting names. One of my favorite names is Sheriff Larry Bob Sparks. Everyone calls him Larry Bob.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
I would never write anything that depicts the details of children being hurt. Or animals. I abhor brutality.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
I want my tombstone to show all my married names so that future genealogists can sort it out. Then maybe, “She kept trying.”
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
I want to get back to Hawaii, see the west coast especially Washington and Oregon, go to Alaska, visit Ireland, and go back to Italy. I want to write something dealing with my father’s letters from the Hump (Burma-China-India Theater of Operations, flying the Himalayas) during WWII.
Dana Glossbrenner's debut novel, The Lark, features Charley Bristow, a successful young hair stylist in a small West Texas town. His misadventures provide humor, intrigue, and catharsis, as he discovers a lost family history. Women Behind Stained Glass: West Texas Pioneers, a historical work, recounts the lives of women who helped settle the area around San Angelo, Texas. Glossbrenner taught high school and university English classes and worked as a guidance counselor. She grew up in Snyder, Texas, earned degrees from Texas Tech, Angelo State University, and Texas State University. She now lives in San Angelo, Texas.
She cites Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, and Elmer Kelton as major inspirations for writing about Texas.
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