AVAILABLE NOW!!! The Cary Grant Sanatorium and Playhouse - A disgraced Hollywood starlet, Donna Darling, and two-time German Army deserter, Séamus von Funck, meet in 1942 at an idyllic Ohio home for unwed mothers—or a Nazi abortion slaughterhouse, depending on whom you talk to. Their love endures despite the efforts of a power-hungry congressman, an overzealous religious tabloid, and Donna's Hollywood past. (Psst, it includes Cary Grant.) They prevail despite Séamus being a suspected Nazi spy and America's first prisoner of the second World War—and also the first to escape.

Available now!!

Available now!!
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About Me

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Will Tinkham has published six novels: THE CARY GRANT SANATORIUM AND PLAYHOUSE, THE GREAT AMERICAN SCRAPBOOK, THE ADVENTURES OF HANK FENN, BONUS MAN, NO HAPPIER STATE, and ALICE AND HER GRAND BELL. He lives and writes in Minneapolis, MN. His short fiction has been published on three continents and he long ago attended Bread Loaf on a scholarship. An actor of little renown, his credits do include the Guthrie Theater and Theatre in the Round. @WillTinkhamfictionist on Facebook

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

On Meeting Sherwin Linton

I had an ulterior motive for wanting to see Sherwin Linton last night at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. Sure he's a country legend throughout the Midwest but he's also a character in my novel-in-progress, The Great American Scrapbook. Another character, Peaches, runs away from her Mount Rushmore home at 15. And 16. And 17. I really had nowhere for her to go until I saw this photo—lifted from sherwinlinton.com. I googled the guitar player, found that he had a radio show out of Watertown, SD back in the 50s, traveled all over the state playing his rockabilly and, just like that, Peaches was running away to see Sherwin Linton shows.

I made it over to Lake Harriet with the hope of talking to Sherwin and getting his okay to use him in the book. I was early and noticed Sherwin walking up the aisle, shaking hands and chatting with everyone in attendance. Perfect. I slipped onto a bench about four rows up from where he was. Row by row he laughed and shook hands and I practiced my quick pitch: Would you mind be a character in a novel? Have you ever met Bob Dylan? [In my book he encounters Dylan before Bob became famous.]

Sherwin made it to the row ahead of mine, reached out to shake a man's hand, then turned—standing right smack in front of me—and said: “Sorry I can't meet ya all but I got a show to do.” And he headed to the stage.

The show itself was a good old time. Sherwin's gruff voice, loving banter between he and his wife/vocalist Pam, plenty of pedal-steel guitar—even a 13 year old sweetheart of a guest singer.

I bought a couple of Sherwin Linton for President bumper stickers and hung around for a second shot at speaking with the man. Finally he turned to me. I shook his hand and said, “This might sound strange but I'm using you as a character in a novel and I'm hoping you don't mind.” He smiled broadly and asked about the book and if I'd written others. I explained Peaches running away to see his shows and them meeting again later in life. He handed me his card—as I handed him mine—and said he was “flattered” and “tickled pink” at the idea.

You can even use my real name, if you'd like,” he said a couple of times—possibly under the misconception that my books are widely read.

Thank you, Sherwin! I hope I can do you justice in the book.