Less than a month away from The Tramp’s official publication, and it’s finally all coming together. And not a moment too soon…whew!
The first big milestone was receiving my printed proofs in the mail, and that was just as exciting a moment as every other author has always said it would be. My husband commented that seeing the word “PROOF” written in the back matter of my first book was like seeing the proof that the last year-and-a-half was real.
The cover itself was such an accomplishment, because in order to finish that I had to complete so many other things. The evidence is right there in plain sight—so satisfying: the finished, edited manuscript; the front cover design, after many versions and corrections; the spine, which needed a final page count, and LayerCake Productions’ existence and logo; the back cover, including the synopsis (so difficult to write), my painted portrait, the train drawing that I had spent hours on and thought I’d never use, and of course the barcode and ISBN.
A mere two days after receiving the proofs, I was in New York for my first interview, with the ReW & WhO? Show at Gerard Kouwenhoven’s Branded Saloon. I can’t explain how nervous I was going into it, but the minute I sat down and started talking, it all flowed pretty naturally—which makes sense, since I’ve been living and breathing The Tramp for so long. Also, ReW made me comfortable immediately and Gerard made me feel at home.
You just can’t ever thank your friends enough at times like these. This is my happy face…
Not only is the book finished, but Her Last Boyfriend is finishing up the soundtrack at the same time. We got to listen to a couple live acoustic versions of songs from the album, and they sounded so awesome I nearly cried!
The best part about doing a show like this is all the amazing people you meet. See the Marilyn Monroe on the keyboard back there? Her name is Fawn, find her HERE.
See the green light that Gerard (at the mic) is wearing on his chest? Another wonderful individual we met that night that provided us all with his Friendship Lights, Jack Giambanco.
And of course, there’s no way any of this would’ve even begun without my other half, Bill Wathen…
The musical soundtrack isn’t just great alternative rock, but also a concept album that traces the story from beginning to end. The lyrics and instrumentation were created specifically for certain characters and scenes from the book.
For example, click HERE to listen to a sample from “Girls & Wishes,” and then read an excerpt from The Tramp, the scene that inspired the song:
Amanda scouted the path earlier by herself, before the daylight faded, to make sure the ritual went off without a hitch after midnight. The Witching Hour. She had heard her mom and dad arguing about some shack in the mountains where kids—including Sam Castle—went to smoke pot. After hearing them mention the famous Blue Spring, she knew that shack must be close to Lindsay’s house and quickly cooked up a scheme for a nighttime adventure.
“How much farther is the spring?” Gracie whined.
“Here’s where the path goes down around the bluff and then the spring’s right over there.” Lindsay shone her flashlight down a steep path through some sparse trees. “Be careful guys, it’s steep and kind of slippery.”
Amanda peered over the edge of the bluff in the opposite direction and saw the shack, but she decided to keep that knowledge to herself.
“It’s smaller than I imagined it, from the reading Ms. Collins gave us,” Gracie said when they finally reached their watery destination. Amanda knew she was attempting to calm her nerves by making light of their errand. There was nothing small or inconsequential about the Blue Spring.
Amanda glanced beyond the tallest pines overhead, at the glowing orb dancing in and out of billowy clouds. “Good, the moon is full tonight,” she remarked with satisfaction. “That will make our spells even more powerful, ladies.”
“Can’t we call them ‘wishes,’ please? It sounds so much less evil.”
“Gracie, there is nothing evil about working with the natural forces of our universe,” said Amanda. “Come on, it’s just a lark.”
Lindsay crouched down by the water. “It’s kind of glowing, you guys.”
“No, the spring,” Gracie pointed out in a quavering voice.
“Whatever, nervous ninny.” Amanda squatted down by a boulder to pull their occult items out of her backpack, placing each one on the rock with care.
“Isn’t that cool?” Lindsay grew up near the queer body of water and had played in the surrounding woods with her two older brothers all her life, so she didn’t seem nervous in the slightest. “There’s some kind of bioluminescence that happens in the algae. Or maybe it’s the bugs that eat the algae, I can’t remember.”
“It’s haunted, that’s why it’s like that.”
“What? Gracie, don’t be silly.”
“No, I’m serious. My mom said this is where the Indians met right before they were forced to walk the Trail of Tears.”
“Your mom is full of it,” Lindsay chuckled.
“I bet a full moon makes the spring glow even brighter.” Amanda handed the others each a candle taper, a photo print-out of the new foreign exchange student Antonio, and an index card with the moon chant she had found on her Wicca website. “We read this by the light of the moon.”
Gracie tried to hand the index card back. “It’s too dark, I can’t see it.”
“Hold on a minute.” Amanda pulled a lighter out of her pocket and lit each of their candles in turn. “We need fire to bind the incantation.”
“The wish,” insisted Gracie.
“Abundant Mother, moon so bright,” Amanda began, and the other girls followed along with her, reading their cards. “Hear my plea upon this night. Your fertile power lend this spell,” she shot Gracie a warning look for substituting ‘wish’ for ‘spell’ and finished, “Make it potent, strong, and well.”
Each of the girls stated their plea for what the new school year should bring them, while lighting the picture of Antonio and letting it burn as far as they dared, before tossing the blazing paper into the spring. Each was extinguished with a loud hiss. Amanda held onto hers the longest and finally threw her wish into the spring. She watched the blue water glow brighter around the flame before the fire went out, and added, “With this wandering soul, the tramp Antonio di Brigo, let arrive also our dreams.”
–Excerpt from The Tramp, by Sarah Wathen
For more on The Tramp, click HERE.
To pre-order the eBook, click HERE.
To pre-order the paperback, click HERE.
For more on Her Last Boyfriend, click HERE.