Check out the platinum-haired vision, page right, outshining my husband Kerry and me. That's Libby Lou Lumpkins, up to visit from Himmarshee, Fla. She's the shampoo gal at Hair Today, Dyed Tomorrow beauty salon, and a fine emissary for the Chamber of Commerce. Libby is also a close pal of Rosalee Deveraux, "Mama'' in my books, and not shy at all about revealing the real story behind Rosalee's little brush with the law in Mama Does Time.
I am blessed with truly creative friends. In Orlando recently to sell a few books, when our incredible hosts, Dan Beckmann and Sue Stauffer, graciously threw a dinner party. "A Night with The Author,'' they billed it ("There'll be food, too, right?'' I'm sure their friends asked them).
Anyway, the party proceeded beyond my greatest expectations: Mama-themed, Southern comfort food (which also happens to be the food Mama's creator loves, too. Imagine that!), good wine (even though Mama drinks the sweet pink stuff, Sue and Dan wisely followed their own palates on this one), and great, great company. And then, along with the peach cobbler, the coup de theatre: Libby Lou rang the doorbell.
She was truly amazing: word games based on the book, clever asides, character knowledge that nearly stumped the author (who had consumed a couple of glasses of wine by this point, but still). What a thrill to hear my words come out of Libby Lou's mouth, and to hear them get belly laughs from the dinner guests. Of course, credit for that goes largely to the incredible Libby Lou, who would not break character to reveal her real name.
All I know is she goes to Sue's church in Orlando, and she has a talent as big as her hair. Libby Lou, honey, this one's for you!