Wild Women and the Blues – A Novel: Inspiration Begins with a Song

Alberta Hunter, Blues Singer, Songwriter, Inspiration (Photo Snagged from the Internet)

Hi Everybody!

Glad you could take a few minutes to stop by and check us out. First off, I am thrilled to be a part of The Debutante Ball Class of 2021! What a pleasure to join Ehsaneh, Lyn, Greta, and Elizabeth as we finally, finally, finally (most of those I will claim for me), release our books to the world. 

Oh my! (Nervous bubble in stomach explodes!)

But what is doubly fun is that the five of us had met previously, virtually through another fabulous group of debut authors—aptly called the @2021debuts!

In a year that has been challenging (can I say–understatement), we are striving to remain upbeat, diligent, and focused. There’s a lot to love about the publishing journey. There is also quite a bit to adjust to. In 2020, the “quite a bit” turned from a few dozen snowballs into an avalanche. 

I promise to avoid preaching, so let me get to it–this post’s topic is that magic word: Inspiration.

What a word. What a concept. Some of us are inspired by inner creativity and ambition. Others have muses which can take the form of people, places, or things. There are still others who might argue that the only inspiration they require is a few hours of peace and quiet with their fingers on the keyboard.

For me, inspiration has taken many forms. I’ve had several careers to date—professional ballet and then modern dancer (at different stages), choreographer, public relations diva, fanfiction writer, event management queen, and novelist—each of these stages require very different kinds of inspiration. But, today, I’m chatting about the inspiration for my debut novel, WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES.

My historical fiction novel has benefitted from a laundry list of people that inspired me. At the top is my maternal grandmother Ella Elizabeth. She arrived in this country (New York City) in 1923 from Montego Bay, Jamaica. Her life, personality, and humor play a crucial role in WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES, but she will have a role in all the books I write.

A few years ago, I watched a video on social media of Alice Barker, a 102-year-old woman who was shown a film of herself as a young dancer some 70 years earlier—that gave me my ‘what if’ launching pad. Finally, there was the blues singer Alberta Hunter. When she was in her mid-80s, she performed at a nightclub in Greenwich Village. I was a professional dancer by day and a waitress at night (typical NYC survival lifestyle), where my job was to bring Miss Alberta her tea. We bonded over our mutual love of Chicago.

Somewhat jokingly but also very much seriously, I mentioned my stint as a fanfiction writer (not a paid job, just a passion). So, one of my ‘muses,’ when I wrote fanfic, was a television show that is more than twenty years old (where has the time gone?). Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now, I am desperately in love with historical fiction and also hold a special place in my heart for romance – but let me say, vampires were my jam in the early 2000s. In future blog posts, I’ll share some of my stories about fan conventions and hanging out with David Boreanaz and James Marsters (Angel and Spike for those who don’t know what I’m talking about!).

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by–it’s been a blast.

Today I’d like to celebrate Fellow 2021 Debutante Ball Classmate’s Book Birthday: Congratulations, Ehsaneh Sadr!

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Denny S. Bryce

Denny S. Bryce is an award-winning author and three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, including twice for WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES, her debut historical fiction novel coming on March 30, 2021. She also writes book reviews for NPR Books, entertainment articles for FROLIC Media, and debut author video interviews for A Mighty Blaze.

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