Mar 23, 2012

{Wide Open Book Tour: Guest Post} with author Deborah Coates

Please welcome author Deborah Coates who is hear to talk about her upcoming novel Wide Open and how her novel as a bit of the movie The Electric Horseman added to it.
Deborah Coates Links: Site | Twitter | Goodreads

The Electric Horsewoman
Does anyone remember the movie, The Electric Horseman?  It stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda and came out in 1979.  It's about people losing themselves and finding themselves, about understanding what's important and about getting to know people as individuals rather than the stereotypes attached to them.  It also has horses and Robert Redford and Willie Nelson and epic chase scenes.  The two main characters don't end up together, exactly (I'm sorry if that's a spoiler, but it came out in 1979), but they're better people for knowing each other and one of my favorite things about the movie is that they recognize that neither could live in the other's world and they're not stupid enough to try.

Wide Open is nothing like The Electric Horseman.

Hallie Michaels does get her name from Jane Fonda's character in The Electric Horseman, which was Hallie Martin.  Not that Hallie Michaels's parents named her after the character in the movie, but I did. 

In many ways, particularly surface ways, Hallie Martin of The Electric Horseman and Hallie Michaels of Wide Open are very different.  In The Electric Horseman, Hallie Martin is in her late thirties, early forties.  She has an established career as a reporter.  She's lives in the city and she's happy about it.  She dresses to look good, even when she thinks she's dressing for practicality, she's not.

Hallie Michaels of Wide Open is twenty-three.  She's a soldier and she likes that.  She's been to cities, to New York and Denver and Paris once.  She likes the excitement of those places, but if she thought about it, which she doesn't, she wouldn't want to live there.

Both Hallies, though, are forthright, determined and strong. In Wide Open, Hallie Michaels sees something that needs to be done and she does it.  If there are consequences, she accepts them.  If she's wrong, she tries again.  And again.  And again.  She's back in a place she thought she left forever and it feels both foreign and familiar.

It's been almost four years since Hallie's been home, but now, because her sister has died, she's back. There's a moment, early in Wide Open when she sees her childhood home once more:

They turned onto the long drive to the ranch, and Hallie was caught by how much things had and hadn’t changed. Big round bales were stacked two high just north of the drive. Farther on, near one of the stock tanks, a small herd of cattle grazed, prepping in their own way for winter, heavier coats, eating the last of the green grass.

Boyd pulled around the last open bend, and Hallie gritted her teeth because they were here. The house, painted in three shades of brown, the big metal tractor barn with the rolling doors wide open, and the horse barn down the lane—all of it just the same as it had been when she’d left. Like nothing ever changed, even though everything had.

Wide OpenIn Wide Open, Hallie Michaels and Boyd Davies are lucky because they don't live in different worlds the way that Hallie Martin and Sonny Steele do in The Electric Horseman.  On the other hand, they're really different people.  And Hallie's not exactly sure what to make of this new guy who keeps turning up where he's not particularly expected and definitely not wanted.

From Wide Open:

She shrugged his hand away, said, “Okay, I’ll see you later,” to Brett, pulled her duffel from the trunk, and walked to the sheriff’s car, where she had to wait for Deputy Davies to join her because he had, inexplicably, locked his car.

“Seriously?” she said when he unlocked the passenger door. “You could see your car from where you were standing.”

He took her duffel and slid it into the backseat. “I have guns,” he said.

“You and everybody else.”

If you never have, I recommend watching The Electric Horseman.  Some of the events aren't realistic, but it's a fun time and it has a good heart. 

I hope you'll take a look at Wide Open, too.  I hope you'll find that like, The Electric Horseman, it has a good heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment