"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Author of Releasing Gillian's Wolves Tara Woolpy (Giveaway too!)

Earlier this summer I was thrilled to receive, read and review Releasing Gillian's Wolves because it is set in my state of Wisconsin and Tara is a Wisconsin author too.  I loved the book so much I invited Tara to Dollycas's Thoughts to Guest Post.  She is here today!!!

Welcome Tara!!

Thank you for inviting me Lori.  I am happy you enjoyed my book.

My novel, Releasing Gillian’s Wolves, tells the story of a woman married to an unfaithful politician. He’s cheated on her many times over the years, she’s caught him, their kids have caught him, and yet she stays. What I wanted to explore in the book was the question of why a woman like that would stay and what might drive her to leave.

Politicians live under constant public scrutiny, which makes it all the more baffling when they act as if their private lives were invisible.  I’ve read all sorts of explanations of why they do it from narcissism to thrill-seeking. Or maybe they simply forget anyone’s watching. Whatever the reason, it happens a lot.

And almost all of these men have wives whose every reaction is watched, discussed and judged. Maria Schriver has written several books, earned a Peabody and an Emmy but the thing we’re most interested in lately is, when did she know and shouldn’t she have left him earlier? And sometimes, the scandal is so embarrassing you wonder how the family will make it through the next Thanksgiving dinner.

Take the example of Indiana State Representative Phil Hinkle (and I have  a wonderful friend to thank for bringing this one to my attention). Here’s a family values kind of Republican who cosponsored a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. But he also exchanged a number of emails with an 18 year old who had listed his services in the m4m section of Craigslist. They settled on a price and agreed to meet. At the hotel, the kid freaked when he discovered he was about to have sex with a politician. When he was refused, Hinkle groped him then exposed himself. Ugh. Finally the young man’s sister came to the rescue. Hinkle tried to buy their silence with an iPad, his Blackberry and $100 (for all the sordid details check out the Indianapolis Star’s coverage). In what must have been a horrendous evening, the Hinkle family and the young man’s sister exchanged a series of phone calls and emails culminating in Barbara Conti Hinkle offering the sister $10,000 to stay silent.

When I Google Barbara Conti Hinkle the first two hits I get are the Wikipedia article on her husband (already updated with the scandal which broke two weeks ago) and the archived 1976 newspaper article about the birth of her first child. Two very different moments in her life.

I know that a lot of people are going to be appalled that Barbara appears to be sticking with Phil and even offered money to try and make it all disappear. But I get it, and I think Gillian would too. Whatever the reality of the Hinkle marriage, the fact is that from now on she and her children will be defined by her husband’s bad behavior.  Leaving his personal hypocrisy aside, the salacious details of an old man forcing himself on a barely legal boy are not the legacy she had hoped for her children. Let’s hope, like Gillian, she has good friends to help her through. And maybe she could use some double chocolate survive anything brownies. 


About Tara from Goodreads:
Tara Woolpy’s writing career has followed a somewhat unusual trajectory. Throughout her twenties and early thirties she worked hard to learn her craft. Her formal studies included a B.A. in English Literature from Whitworth College and a post graduate year at the Women Writers Center in Cazenovia, New York. In the 1980’s she published poems and short stories in small feminist journals, freelanced for an independent Seattle newspaper and wrote the novel destined for the bottom drawer. 

Eventually returning to school, she earned a couple graduate degrees in aquatic science and has spent the last several years in that field, most recently as a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. As such she published peer-reviewed technical papers and book chapters and edited reams of student writing. While science writing bears little resemblance to fiction, Tara’s academic career taught her to suffer criticism comfortably and relax in front of a crowd. Now that she teaches online, she has returned to fiction. 

Tara, Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to spend a little time with us.

This is a must read!!! I highly recommend it and after you read it you are going to want to read more stories by Tara Woolpy.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Tara is offering one copy of 
Releasing Gillian's Wolves for giveaway!
Followers will receive 2 Bonus Entries
Leave a comment for Tara for 5 more Bonus Entries
Winners will be chosen by Random.org
Contest Ends September 11 at 11:59 p.m. CST


Anonymous said...

Tara, I want to thank you for the chance to win this book, and also am scratching my head over the title of this story. I guess it would be giving away part of the plot to tell us what it means, so I will just have to read it and find out :) Rae

Barbara said...

Tara thank you for being a guest on the blog. Your book sounds interesting. Now I want to know what type of woman would stay.

JoanneR said...

It is absolutely fascinating how politicians think that they can get away with things that regular people would not even consider doing. I think maybe they think their private lives are more private because of their status? Your book sounds so good! Will definitely read it, whether I win the copy or not!
There are so many women in the life who tolerated messy situations: Jackie Kennedy, Maria Shriver, etc.

Tara said...

I'm so glad to hear you're finding the book intriguing. The story behind the title comes at the very end of the book - so you really will have to read it to find out.

Tara said...

JoanneR, you're really right about women being put in tough situations. It looks like another one came to light yesterday - Puerto Rican Senator Roberto Arango (another anti-gay activist) resigned when a bunch of naked pictures he took of himself surfaced on a gay mobile phone hook-up application. I haven't found a name for his wife (good for her for keeping it out of the news) but I presume he has one since he resigned for the good of his family.
Aside from the whole sex scandal thing, what is it with these men who lobby against gays in congress during the day and try to hook up at night?

Judy said...

Your book does look very interesting. You see more and more of this behavior from our own politicians. You never really know what you would do unless you are in that situation. I too wondered about the title. I will definitely put this on my TBR list.


Amy said...

I think your book sounds fascinating, Tara. The psychology behind why politicians cheat is easier to figure out (power, pressure, stress, invincibility) than figuring out and understanding why some women stay. If there are children in the marriage, I'd think that makes the argument for the women leaving him even stronger. I'm very interested to see what happens in your story and how the different players cope with it.

Thank you, Tara and Lori, for this fantastic giveaway!

Krystal said...

Looks like a really cool book, I would love to win. The interview was so nice, too. The author sounds like someone who'd write a good book :)

Tara said...

Ah, Amy - you're right, in a normal marriage that would be true. But imagine that you're Maria Shriver, a pulitzer prize and Emmy winner, whose mainly now known as the woman Arnold cheated on.

Tore said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. Sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

ann said...

Enjoyed the review. This sounds like a great book that I would enjoy reading

amhengst at verizon dot net

Tara said...

Those of you who didn't hear the interview Krystal was talking about it's at http://alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/btr-show-with-tara-woolpy-author-of-releasing-gillians-wolves/

And of course I mentioned the awesome Lori.

Linda Kish said...

This book sounds very interesting. I guess I will have to read the book to find the meaning behind the title.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Margie said...

This sounds like a fascinating book. Thanks so much for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

dollycas aka Lori said...

You will not be disappointed at all when you understand the title. This book is fabulous!!!

Thank you Tara for being here today!!!

I can't wait for you to tell us about your next book!!! I hope you will come back again!!!

Tara said...

I'd love to come back, Lori. Your blog readers are great!

Leanna said...

This sounds like a great book, I always wonder about those politicians who say that gay marriage would ruin hetrosexual marriages and they cheat, divorce their wives when they get cancer etc.


Tara said...

Right. IThere has to be so much denial going on in their minds! It's all very confusing.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

While most of us would say we would NOT stay in that situation, how can you know how you would react? Definitely interested in reading this.


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Sherry said...

I really enjoyed the interview and think this will be a very good book to read.

Laura H. said...

Thanks for the giveaway! What an intriguing concept for a book. Although I can't imagine there is any reason to stay with a habitual cheater, I would love to read this book to find out why, Tara, you "get it".


Cozy in Texas said...

Tara, this looks like a compelling read. It's easy to tell someone to leave a bad relationship, but it's not that simple. I'm interested to see how you handle it.