Good morning! Thank you for inviting me to make my first stop on my Hell, Yeah blog tour at your site. It’s a delight to be here. Let me hear a big hell, yeah from everyone who likes cowboys, sweet tea and hot biscuits. That’s not nearly loud enough, darlin’. I’ll put the microphone out there a little further. Now that’s more like it! I do love an enthusiastic bunch of readers. Now grab a glass of sweet tea, one of those hot biscuits and some fresh plum jelly and let’s talk about Hell, Yeah.
Momma had me convinced that if I did not learn to make sweet tea, hot biscuits and fried okra that I could not get a marriage license and she wasn’t totally sure I could get into heaven. And that was not just passable tea, biscuits and fried okra either. It had to be as good as Momma’s. And in those days, it didn’t matter if you are going to apply for that marriage license above the Mason Dixon line or below it. The first question they ask after your name is where you were born. If you say Texas or anywhere in the south they tell you to go home and bring back sweet tea, biscuits and fried okra and then they’ll decide if you can have the license.
Writing Hell, Yeah was a lot like making fried okra. First rule is that you have to plant the seed and do some waiting for the plants to grow. I Love This Bar planted Cathy’s seed. She was already in the ground and ready to sprout when I started writing Hell, Yeah. She was going to produce a southern heroine with a kick ass attitude just as surely as an okra seed is going to produce okra and not tomatoes or peaches. And I knew that Travis was on his way to Mingus so he was sprouting like an okra plant in the hot sunshine in the story even before everyone else knew it. And he was going to produce a sexy cowboy hero with a big heart and a respect for southern women.
I’ll take another hell, yeah or two while I have a few sips of tea! Very good! Now you are really getting into it!
Then boom, Travis walked right across the Honky Tonk floor and kissed Cathy at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve and neither of them had ever seen the other before that moment. Dear hearts, that is symbolic of tossing okra that’s been rolled in cornmeal into sizzling grease. More than the Mason jars at the Tonk got steamed up in the fire set off by that kiss right there on the first pages of Hell, Yeah. In spite of the bitter cold north Texas wind, things heated up to the boiling point between the sexy cowboy and the sassy bartender.
Now the next thing when you are frying okra is that you can’t turn it too fast or often because it will get soggy, but if you don’t get it turned when the bottom layer is golden brown it will burn. Not even the possums and coons that come up in the back yard at night will eat burned okra and the folks at the marriage license place always ask, “did you ever burn the okra, let the tea boil over or horror of horrors, burn a biscuit?” If the answer is yes to any of the above then you’re sent back to your momma.
It’s the same with Cathy and Travis in Hell, Yeah! Turn it too quick and they would lose all interest in each other and the story would fizzle right there and they were so right for each other. Let the okra set in one spot too long and it would burn, which almost happened a few times when Cathy’s hot temper got the best of her better judgment. Or when everything heated up to the scorch stage and she wondered if they were just a flash in the pan with no substance to hold them in the tough times or if maybe, just maybe, she’d found the right man after all.
Patience is the crucial ingredient in frying okra. Don’t get in a hurry. Give it plenty of time. Cathy had to have some time to sort out her trust issues and decide if her roots in the Honky Tonk were more important than Travis. He wasn’t ready to trade his wings in for roots so he had to have some time for that. Will the okra be perfect? Will there be a happy ever after? Hell, Yeah holds the answers and I can’t wait for y’all to read it.
Tell me, would you learn to make good sweet tea, hot biscuits and fried okra for a chance at a cowboy like Travis?