Interview with K.T. Blakemore, Author of The Good Time Girls
05 Apr 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Good Time Girls?
I wanted to write a book about strong women in the West who are survivors. Women who take no prisoners and succeed through sheer grit, determination, and a parcel of luck. So many tropes are written about the West: the stoic pioneer woman, the painted lady with a heart of gold, the sheriff’s come to save the day, the Butch Cassidy type gangs…why not add in two smart-mouthed ex-dancehall girls who live on the outskirts of society and barely within the law?
I also wanted to write a book with a sense of humor. My mother told me there isn’t enough humor in the world, and it might be good to give some back to it. I had been writing a series of historical thrillers (as Kim Taylor Blakemore), and I thought I, too, needed a good strong dose of humor.
When I’m on to an idea – in this case I started with a title that came from the blue, “The Meteoric Rise & Fall of Emily Duluth as Told by Her Rival, Pip Quinn” – I become a voracious reader and researcher. I had no idea who these characters were, but I knew they had to be dancehall girls or actresses of some kind. Here’s a few of the books I read about women of the west: Desperate Women, Wicked Women, The Bedside Book of Bad Girls, A Dynasty of Western Outlaws, Daughters of the West. I met with historians at historical societies in Arizona and took in the wild landscape. The early writing took place during the height of Covid – Google Maps and internet research too precedence. I was hooked.
The very first official scene was written in a workshop. We had to write for seven minutes and use three words: tease, spider, and corner. Pip Quinn strutted into Ruby Calhoun’s cigar shop, and the story was off and running.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Good Time Girls, what would they be?
Ruby would love The Maple Leaf Rag, and Pip would love Wayfaring Stranger.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I love historical fiction, particularly stories based in America. Sometimes I go on kicks, like cozy mysteries or psychological thrillers or non-fiction (SALT: A World History by Mark Kurlansky is one of my favorites).
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Jane Fury by James Robert Daniels, The Art of the Con by R. Paul Wilson, and Devil Up by TR Pearson.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I particularly love an early train scene that features Endicott Lee and his sister Erline, who are travelling to their Aunt and Uncle’s farm. They both help and hinder Ruby at the beginning of her quest, and make me laugh.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I am sure I do, but they’re just habits to me. I meticulously write the daily word count I should achieve for the week and meticulously erase it at the end of the week and write in the real, and not nearly as ambitious, word count.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I am fond of the Cowboy Blessing: Talk Less, Say More. Live Each Day with Honesty and Courage. Keep Promises. Be Tough But Fair. Stand Up for What is Right.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
I’d like them to remember that, like Pip and Ruby, the key to success is picking yourself up from a fall, brushing yourself off, and hitting the road again.
K.T. Blakemore is the author of the new book The Good Time Girls
Connect with K.T. BlakemoreAuthor Site
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