Welcome Vastine Bondurant:
Rural East Texas, 1931. Preacher’s son Emory Joe Logan and a fiddler from Shreveport, Glory Lands, meet and form a tender bond. When they are caught and arrested for homosexual acts by Sheriff Elihu Bishop, the lawman’s sanctimonious bigotry threatens to rip the young men from their families.
Emory Joe’s father, Pastor Charles Logan, is brought to his knees in terror, confusion, and anger. He still regrets not standing up against Bishop when the lawman murdered a youth in cold blood nine years ago.
Now there’s no longer a choice for the preacher to stand up to the lawman. Cold-blooded justice, bigotry-disguised-as-religion, and hatred take on a whole new meaning when they’re standing on his doorstep, ready to take the son he loves.
What we thought of Glory Lands:
I was very interested to read this book when I read the summary, you do not see many M/M stories set in the 1930's, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. This story will sweep you off your feet in the prologue, and not set you back on them until the last sentence! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end. The main characters were so endearing you will laugh, cry, rejoice, and hurt unbearably right along with them. Pick up this book if you want a tender, soulful, sometimes heartbreaking read. This is a story that shows you that you can be broken and come out the other side of it with a heart full of a love that conquers all. Thank you Vastine, for a wonderful soul searing read.
Interview with Vastine: Let's learn more about this lovely lady who brought us this wonderful read:
Bec- Today we have the very talented author of the beautiful book Glory Lands, Vastine Bondurant. I am so glad you are here today Vastine, let's get to the questions shall we?
Bec- I totally agree, there just seems to be something magical about that time. You captured it beautifully!
2. I am a huge history buff, so I tend to be critical of books set in this time if they don't have the right feel, but yours did! I was transported back to the 1930s, how do you get into the mind frame of the past? Like I say, I often wonder if it wasn't from some past life of mine, as I feel so at-home in that era. LOL. With the mind-frame for this story, it was more of a setting mind frame than a place. My mother and her family are rooted in the East Texas Piney Woods. I know it well. I've grown up hearing stories of the past---this era, particularly---from my grandparents who experienced this era. So it just sort of comes naturally. But, for external inspiration, I love to write to the music of the era. Bluegrass, fiddle, banjo.
Bec- It is funny you should say that, I love the music of the 30's, 40's and 50's. It makes me think of my grandparents, and their lives from that era. In your story I could almost hear the music it was described so well!
3. Emory Joe and Glory had an instant connection when they first met, how did you get in the mind set to write that with such depth? That is a story I've never really told anyone. The 'how' of getting into the character attraction. But...here's the truth. The character, Emory Joe, is based---both physically and characteristically---on a young man I met once. A neighbor. This slow twangy accent he had. Tall, slender, sort of delicate, blond. Beautiful young man. His mannerisms, so gentle and shy. I just crushed madly on him, his personality begged to BE a character, as though he belonged in some other time and place. And he became Emory Joe. So the attraction was so easy to conjure in my mind and heart. I knew exactly how one would be drawn to him and how they would interact with him.
Bec- We are honored you told us this! He really does come to life on the page, as do all of your characters, I love that about this book! Some books invoke a soundtrack of sorts, and this one made me think of the music my Granddad loved. He had this one song he sang all the time, "Somebody Touched Me," by the Stanley Brothers, this was my soundtrack of sorts for this book.
4. As a believer in love at first sight, it was very refreshing to witness this in the book, do you just do what the characters make you feel, or did you want them to have that dynamic from the start? You believe in love at first sight? Me, too! And usually I DO just follow the characters' leads and let them fall in love at their own pace. For Glory and Emory Joe, though...boy, did they speak to me! I even felt their chemistry quickly like they did. But, one huge factor that made their insta-love (as it's so popularly called...lol) feasible for me was the timing in history. The location, a small community in a rural area. The chances of crossing paths with another man who feels as you do would have been one in a million and I truly felt that---if two such men DID connect---some very strong unspoken bond would naturally draw them together. A sort of desperation for a soul like your own.
Bec- A very good analogy, and it really worked. and of course i believe in love at first site, kind of a real life version of a fairy tale!
5. You say in the start of the book that the prolouge with Sheriff Bishop really happened, did you find it hard to base a whole character on someone that deplorable?You did an amazing job of bringing that character to life, I REALLY hated him! He truly existed, and the beginning scene really did happen. What prompted the incident, I do not know, nor did the witness who told it to me (it actually happened much later in history than the 30's). There apparently had been some bad blood between the sheriff and the victim, and I've always wondered WHAT it was. And, yes, it was hard to flesh this man out. All I had to go on WAS that incident and bits and pieces of information about him from the man who told me about him.
Bec- Well again, you did a great job if the objective was to make him a human you would rather spit on that save! Hehe, can you tell I REALLY didn't like him!
6. There is so many great characters in this book, and they are all so well defined. Did you have any idea Pastor Logan would figure so much in the story, or did his character evolve as you went? I DID know he would be a massive part in the story. I based him on my mother's personality. One of those folks who was raised in this era, who was a woman of faith and who was not and still is not prejudiced. I longed for a character in the m/m genre who was of a strong religious faith who DID have tolerance. For that reason, he was crucial to the telling of the story. As for evolving, he was the spark that started the story and the only character whose every move had already been envisioned in my mind. In most books I'd read, ministers had been depicted as all evil, all haters. Almost to a caricature-ish level. I could not have this, not for this man. This boy, Emory Joe, was who he was because of the love of his father.
Bec- Lovely answer, and so true, Emory Joe is a beautiful soul, and you can tell, when reading the book, that the time he grew up in was hard, and bad things happened, but home was a refuge. That is a big factor in the beautiful, soulful person he is in this story.
7. Are there any plans for a sequel? We would surely love one! As a matter of fact, there is a sequel in the works. Elihu Bishop will come to terms with his violence. And, oddly, I'm planning to use the very same justice that happened to the real man in real life. It was one of those things that is even stranger than fiction.
Bec- Well now I just can't wait! I am so glad we have this to look forward too!
8. What is one thing about this book that you would want someone who hasn't read it to know about it? OMG, I love this question, as it is one of the most misunderstood books of the universe! LOL. I think part of it is the cover. I personally approved it, and feel it's one of the most beautiful covers ever created. But it gives an impression---or so I feel after the fact---of it being a religious story. It is not. And, although it does begin in a stark, brutal image, the story itself is not a hopeless one, but a beautiful, sensual, love-conquers-evil tale.
Bec- I will tell you the truth, when I first saw the cover, I didn't think religious, I thought this is going to be a beautiful and touching story, just from the cover. I knew it was my thing. I want this book to be noticed because I think it will appeal and matter to many people that love a good, powerful story about love and redemption!
Thank you so much Vastine, for talking to us today! It has been a absolute joy! Now what's say we find a square dance somewhere and go to town!
A Look at the Characters:
Have you ever read a book and had an image of the characters in your head? All the time I'm sure, well I love it when an author provides their version of the characters they created: We have a treat for all of you, here is how Vastine sees her boys:
Glory and Emory Joe:
Here are the links for this author, and the links to get this wonderful book!
Vastine Bondurant blog
Vastine Bondurant facebook
Vastine Bondurant Twitter
Glory Lands Amazon Buy Link
Thanks so much for joining us to step back into the past and celebrate this great author and her wonderful book, we hope you had a wonderful look into the world of Vastine Bondurant!