Thursday, June 25, 2015

Beatriz Williams welcomes us to the '60s...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Marilyn Roos
We're happy today to have Beatriz Williams back at CLC. Her latest novel, Tiny Little Thing, just came out this week. Today she's talking about writing a novel that takes place in the 1960s. Stay tuned for a review, as well. Thanks to Putnam, we have FIVE copies for some lucky US readers!

A Stanford University honors graduate with an MBA in finance from Columbia, Beatriz Williams lives in Connecticut with her husband and children. She is the author of the international bestsellers Overseas, A Hundred Summers, and The Secret Life of Violet Grant.

Visit Beatriz at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Making "History"

If you had told me five years ago that I’d be writing a book set in the 1960s—let alone three of them—I’d have called you a sweet little dear and bought you another drink. I’m more of a historical fiction kind of girl, and by that I mean history history, the turn of the century and the First World War, the tumultuous Twenties and the threadbare Thirties, not a decade so close I just missed living in it. (Yep, you know you’re getting old when the year of your birth starts to hover dangerously above the category of “history.”)

But here I am. And here’s my latest novel, Tiny Little Thing, darting back and forth between 1964 and 1966, during a pair of sultry summers in Boston and Cape Cod, and you know what? I loved writing it. I loved exploring the world of a glamorous, ambitious couple at the dawn of celebrity politics, and the secrets that lay beneath those television-perfect facades. I loved the Sixties! I loved how social change rubbed up against tradition, creating all kinds of narrative friction…just like, say, the 1920s. Or the turn of the century.

Or 2015. We’re heading into another presidential election cycle, and it’s the same old script, at least as far as the candidates’ wives are concerned. Perfect hair, perfect knee-length dress, perfect mask of makeup, perfectly-groomed children performing perfect Miss America waves to the crowd. And that all started in the 1960s, when television invaded every home, and a young, glamorous couple stepped into the White House and onto the world stage. Whether you adored the Kennedys or loathed them, whether you agreed with their politics or not—or whether you even knew what those were—you had to acknowledge that their good-looking public image was a fundamental part of their message. The politician and his wife have become celebrities, and the camera stands always at the ready, and what the women wear seems to matter much more than what they think.

Of course, that’s where the fun lies, because when you have a perfect public image you must inevitably be hiding a few things from the world, right? Admit it: aren’t we all just waiting for the secrets to come tumbling out of the closet? Aren’t we all just waiting for the scandals to strike, for the facades to crack? In Tiny Little Thing, everybody’s got a secret, everybody’s got a hidden self kept safe from the eyes of the world, and as the summer of 1966 gets underway in Cape Cod, and Tiny’s husband begins his campaign for Congress, the secrets start bubbling to the surface.

So this is my Sixties novel, the novel I never imagined I would write. Which is fitting, really, because Tiny’s journey is all about breaking free of the life she planned, and finding the courage to explore roads she never dreamed of traveling.

Thanks to Beatriz for visiting with us and Putnam for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



US only. Giveaway ends June 30th at midnight EST.

33 comments:

Janine said...

Some people might think it's strange, but I loved the fashion. I love the revival of the boho styles of the last few years.

Jennifer C said...

Definitely I Dream of Jeannie and old 007 movies!

Rhonda Gothier said...

I was born!

Bonnie Franks said...

I was a teenager in the 60's and from that viewpoint I can say it was a feeling of freedom. We were so against our parents' way of thinking and so rebellious.....I know all teenagers are, but it was an overall thing. It was different. If you think about the things that happened in the 60's, you can see why. Oh, and I loved the music.

cpr040304 said...

Does Downtown Abbey count? I love, love that show!

Suburban prep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suburban prep said...

both myself and my husband were born in the 60's as were 4 of my siblings.

Suzanne said...

My parents were married in 64! If they didn't get married...well the rest is history!! :)

Greer said...

Looking at my parents' yearbooks. They both graduated from high school in the 60s.

Books and Java said...

My favorite thing from the 60s is my husband, born in 1966. But other than that, it has to be I Dream of Jeannie. Best show ever!

deana dick said...

I loved the Beatles. They changed rock n roll forever. For young men from Liverpool has girls screaming and fainting. I also loved the fashion. Flower power and peace signs everywhere. It definitely was a time when teenagers used their voice and were rebellious against their parents, rules and anything else they thought they could rebel against. It was the start of the hippie movement where everything was give peace a chance and teenagers seemed to all have a common goal, irritate their parents and make sit ins a groovy thing to participate in.

Jennifer H said...

Besides all the great music of the 60's.......I love the fashion. I love to watch shows like Mad Men and now The Astronaut's Wives Club to see the costumes!

Debbie Haupt said...

Great post and Beatriz I can't wait to read your 60s novel. I can so see you writing in this era, also tumultuous, also a huge social change era. Thanks for the giveaway too!

Letty B said...

The Beatles!! They've always been my favorite band. I fell in love with Paul McCartney in 1964 at the age of 4!!

Laurice McClung said...

I loved to watch Get Smart re-runs when I was a kid!

Anonymous said...

Vera Wilson said,

I was in high school in the 60's. Graduated in 1969.

snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

Mariana Cotromanes said...

The music!!

traveler said...

I graduated from high school in 1964. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Rita said...

I was a huge fan of the Monkees, TV show Shindig and the Rolling Stones. They were good times.

susieqlaw said...

The Monkees!

jpetroroy said...

The fashion!

Cher B said...

So many classics from 60's pop culture: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, my favorite Beach Boys tunes, can't pick just one!
Thanks for the chance to win! Tiny Little Thing got a 5-star GR rating from one of my favorite bloggers, so it is definitely on my to-read list.

Bonnie K. said...

The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra --these are just a few among many.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I'm laughing, because yes, I would agree that my hubby is one of my favorite things from the sixties! There were some good old tv shows and movies from the sixties--still a bit of a golden age. Ones like Sound of Music and Psycho.

Birdhouse Books said...

My favorite thing from the 1960's is the music - especially the Beatles and Motown! I could listen to '60's music all day (and sometimes do!).

Anonymous said...

I was born in the late '60s. To this day, I still love Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie!

Suzy

bn100 said...

Dream of Jeannie

Allison Smith said...

I love the fashion of the period - and Mad Men. My parents met while vacationing on the Cape in the 1960's! I can't wait to read this!

Grandma Cootie said...

Since I graduated from high school in 1969 I was right in the middle of the 60's. I think the "British Invasion" had the most impact - fashion, music, just couldn't get enough.

rubynreba said...

I also graduated in the 60's. The Beatles and Elvis were a very big impact.

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

Definitely The Beatles!

Judy Weaver said...

My high school graduation.

Shanna Burton said...

Jackie Kennedy style.