Thursday, June 13, 2013

"The Wonder Bread Summer"

Jessica Anya Blau's books include the nationally bestselling novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and the critically acclaimed Drinking Closer to Home.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Wonder Bread Summer, and reported the following:
Page 69 takes place at the end of the blind date Allie has with a quadriplegic porn producer. I realize this sounds far-fetched, but this part of the story is based on my life. When I was twenty, I had two very different encounters with middle-aged men in wheelchairs. The first was a quadriplegic who liked to sit next to me in the cafĂ© where I studied for classes. He communicated via a head pointer that he banged onto words on a Ouji-like board that spanned the arms of his wheelchair. One day his wife approached me and asked if I were interested in being in one of his movies—erotic movies, I’d have sex with him and his wife. I declined. They were not making porn, like my character, they were making what they considered art. He even got an NEA grant for his erotic films. The second thing that happened that year is that I was set up on a blind date and when I showed up, I found a rotund, middle-aged, shiny-faced, bald man in a wheelchair. He was drunk when I arrived and trashed by the time we left. I think I was a little drunk, too—this was before I stopped drinking. Here’s a paragraph from page 69:
Allie tried to push the wheelchair through the restaurant. There was greasy-looking carpet on the floor, which made it hard for the wheels to move. Allie started and stopped several times. Then, just as she got some momentum, she missed the door being held open by Bud, and she pushed Roger into the doorframe. Roger squeal-laughed.

“Smooth move,” Bud laughed.

Allie pulled back and aimed for the doorway again. It felt as thought she was trying to thread a needle.
The incident with Allie rolling Roger into the wall is from real life, too. When my best friend in college got into a car accident, she spent about a month in a wheelchair. One night we went out drinking and I missed the doorway as we were trying to leave and rolled her into a doorframe. She’s forgiven me for that.)
Learn more about the book and author at Jessica Anya Blau's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Jessica Anya Blau and Pippa.

--Marshal Zeringue