His long awaited sequel to Trailer Trash with a Girl’s Name (TTWGN) has finally arrived. We at HO are so proud of this funny, poignant writer and his new book Trailer Trash with a Girl’s Name: Father Figures. We are helping him get the word out on his new installment about his “adventurous” childhood.
Book description: We all blame our parents to some extent for the misfortunes of our childhood. Stacey Roberts can’t ever quite forgive his mother for giving him a girl’s name. And that was just the beginning.
Roberts detailed the family’s five-year adventure in their unpredictable Winnebago in his previous novel. Now, his free-spirited mother, entitled older brother, criminal stepfather, and trusty old Winnebago are all back for the next chapter in his story.
Machetes at the breakfast table, shooting grapefruit for sport, and a dogged police detective get the story rolling, along with trailer park bullies and his mother’s daily menu from hell.
Through his work, Roberts explores the relationships between parent and child and shows how he broke away to pursue a new life with the new family he created. It was not easy, and Roberts faced unbearable loss through the years. Nevertheless, this candid, charming adventure shows how he cherished the journey.
Give us an idea of what Stacey Roberts has been doing since the successful launch of your first book?
A lot’s happened. My kids graduated and went to college and moved away, I met a girl and got married, and we got a dog!
Did you know you would always write this sequel or did something prompt you to take on this task?
I always knew I would write this sequel. I had a lot of material left over from the first book, and I wanted this one to be more serious. There were definitely stories I had left to tell.
This book has so much of the same Laugh-out-loud moments as your first book, but also some touching and serious moments. Was it difficult to reveal some of the less funny moments?
It was hard to write, because I wanted to make sure I told them well, and properly served the people they are about. I discovered the hard way that we are the sum of the good times and bad, and that humor and tragedy often mix. Especially when it comes to remembering those who have passed. Storytelling is a great way to remember people and make sure they are always by our side. “Remember that time the car broke down?” or “You know what he would say if he was here.”
These are true stories from your life. Did you worry about how family and friends would take these stories?
At times. I looked at how other writers handled it – David Sedaris, Dave Barry and others. The bottom line is that no one (except my mom) said I was wildly off-base in my stories.
Although this book is humor is there a message or a lesson you want people to learn? As a father, was there something you wanted your own children to take from this book?
Family is important, and it’s not always the one you’re born into. My father left home when I was five, and an undercurrent of my life has been a quest to find father figures. I was lucky to find more than one, and have made my life better. Most importantly, they made me a better father. Being a parent, being a good friend, being a good spouse are the holiest of callings. It’s important to do it properly. It may be the only thing anyone remembers about you when you’re gone.
Do you have long-term plans as a writer? If so, what do you see yourself working on in the future?
My next book, Rain Songs, is half done. It is a mainstream suspense/thriller novel. It’s my take on what could have happened when President Kennedy was assassinated, and my plan is to make it the first book in a series. I also have another series planned around a young, retired US Vice President who starts solving crimes with his alcoholic Secret Service agent. Although these books will be more action-packed, the humor will never be far away.