Title: White Trash
Author: Alexandra Allred
It all started when someone called an African American toddler “cute little niglet.” White Trash was created in tribute to this unknown child. It has a hilarious cast and shocking storyline based on real people and true events in a small rural town in Texas. When Thia Franks returns to her home of Granby, Texas, the very place to which she’d vowed never to return, Granby’s worst and best elements force the new single mother to face both her past and her destiny. At first, it seems that nothing has changed: Chester Kennedy’s goats continue to run rampant through the town, Officer Tina Wolfe stands accused of racial profiling the growing Hispanic community, Thia’s gun-wielding neighbor believes a squirrel has it in for her, and the town’s local newspaper owner prints only what she believes the citizens should know. But when a young black man—an upstanding and popular citizen of the small, east-central Texas town—is brutally murdered, everything changes. Everyone is being watched. Everyone is being judged.
White Trash is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud book that also serves as a bitter social commentary on American hypocrisies and prejudices. As Thia Franks comes to terms with the murder, and the small police department works the biggest whodunit in Granby history, a startling underworld of domestic abuse, gunrunning, drug use, illicit sex, and child molestation is revealed. While the murder is horrendous and some of the citizens of Granby are appalling, many stand up for what is right, and the total package is endearing. You’ll want to read White Trash more than once in order to capture all of the tale’s insights as it neatly summarizes the reality of every American small town peopled with neighbors you can’t get away from, you can’t stop talking about, and you may not want to leave.
This one was so good! I could see it as a movie within a few lines. I was gasping at parts, and there were many moments that I could not stop laughing. I am not from a small town but I had wanted to raise my kids in one. I made comment to a friend of mine who grew up in a small town and she told me I was crazy for even thinking it. She said you can’t do anything without everyone in town knowing about it. So reading the same thing had me cracking up.
I know that many want to believe that we as humans have evolved and gotten better over time and there is no discrimination, I am also not from the south. I have had many friends who have told me that is not the case. There are people who are ignorant and will stay that way.
All I know is that my favorite hands down is Tina Wolfe. She had me cracking up the entire time. She is my kinda girl, it would be so much fun just to hang out with her.
I wasn’t sure exactly how this book would be funny when the death rattles the town. I thought to myself there is no way this can be funny now. BUT you do end up laughing through all the serious stuff. There is a lot touched on in this book, like the synopsis says… child molestation, blackmail, alcoholism, murder, theft, racism, domestic abuse, gun running, drug use, … and so on. So I can honestly say you don’t get bored reading this! The best part of it for me was no matter how serious the topic was. Alexandra had a way to make you laugh just when you think there is no way it can be funny now.
I looked her up on goodreads to see what else she has written and found White Tree and see that it is in the same town with the same officers Wolfe and Fox. I WILL be reading it when it becomes available! I love those two together.
As I read I found myself relating to so many things. I mean we all know “white trash” by the definition she gives:
“White trash folks, on the other hand, have no idea how trashy they are…They look down on other folks and operate under the misconception that the darker the skin, the dumber the person…or at least, the more prone to violence.”
I can honestly say that I do know a few people who are this way. It always made me sad that so many people could be so close minded but what can ya do? you can can argue with them but it is a loosing battle. You cannot change someones feelings or thoughts.
I laughed and laughed when reading about the different things that could only happen in a small town. I mean fainting goats, squirrels on a mission, who wouldn’t laugh reading that?
“S*it!” Wolfe yelled, climbing out of the car before Fox had stopped. “They’re dropping like flies! Look at ‘em. They’re dropping like flies! What the hell?”
Although some of the stuff is racial some of the stuff I couldn’t help but laugh at because well when Wolfe is saying it, you can’t help but laugh as she hates everyone equally. Here is an example of her and Fox going back and forth. They are just hilarious!
“All right, so we’ll check out their house and the Town Pump. He hangs out there a lot. If not we’ll go over to Paradise Park-you know, to your people. …”
“Your peeps. You’re their homegirl.” … “Let’s roll, homey.”
It is mixed here and there throughout the book so you will find yourself giggling often.
Now, the only thing that I would have to say is a negative is the changing of people throughout the book. There were a few parts that threw me and I had to go back and re read to remember who I was reading about. The ONLY time in the book that “I” is used is in reference to Thia. I kind of wish she would put who the parts were with at the top but then it would give some things away so I understand why she didn’t. I haven’t read a book that was written that way where you will go from one person to another but the entire time the first person writing is only about one character (the main character). it doesn’t happen right away so when it did it did surprise me I didn’t know it was going to do that, but I did find myself wanting more from others perspectives.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions…
B ~ So I have to start with the obvious, how did you come up with this story?
A ~ When I say it came to me, I mean it! I was standing in a store when an adorable family walked by. They were a beautiful black family and the toddler was precious. Just as I was smiling at the little girl, a woman next to me said, “Oh, what a cute niglet.” I was too stunned to speak. I had never heard that word before. As time went on, the word just rolled around in my head. Frankly, I was pissed at myself for not saying anything. I had just been so shocked. As I began playing with what I would have said, what I should have said, a story began to build in my head. Between that word, my love of goats, my small town, the crazy people who lived there and my friend, Gina Bates (aka – Wolfe), it was really easy to write.
B ~ You lived in a small town right? I saw that in your bio. Okay so that being said, did any of the stuff from the story actually happen in the town you lived in?
A ~ Clearly, I need to send you a plane ticket and have you come here to see for yourself. Yes! In the first week that I lived here, I walked into the local gas station and there was a sign for a missing pet. You’ve seen ‘em before. Lost Dog. There is typically a picture with the appropriate contact information. But this poster really cracked me up and I laughed out loud only to be met with somber expressions. They didn’t get why I thought it was funny … it was a poster for a lost goat, complete with a mug shot of a goat eyeballing the camera, wearing a blue collar. Sooooooo when I saw a goat ambling along the road I was to peer out my window and take a hard look. Nope. That’s not Pretzel, the collar wearing goat. Carry on, ambling goat, carry on!
B ~ I saw that you have a friend you give credit for being your Wolfe. I have to say she was one of my absolute favorite characters! Is she truly like her? If so she has to be the best person to hang out with.
A ~ I just called Gina and read this to her. She cackled and said, “Bring her!” Yes. Indeed, she cracks me up all the time. And her stories are never ending, always shocking and I find myself asking the same question again and again … “How were you ever a cop?”
B ~ The goats. Okay that was the funniest part ever I couldn’t stop laughing. Please tell me this actually happened at one time in the town you lived in.
A ~ I am a hopeless goat lover. If you would have told me I would say that 10 years ago, I would have laughed. Why would anyone in her right mind have goats. But when we moved here, I bought a horse and his best friend was a goat named Cookiedough. *sigh. Okay, so Cookiedough had to come along. Star (horse) and Cookiedough were even profiled in National Geographic for Kids in 2003. When Cookie had babies, my entire family fell in love with the little kids – Sugar and Spice. We’ve been goat lovers ever since but I must confess I discovered the fainting goats through another friend. The very success of this book hinges on my getting fainting goats of my own. My husband and I have a deal that if the book becomes a best seller, I’m getting fainting goats. Most people buy a nice car … I get a goat.
B ~ I see that you have a book called White Tree set to come out. When will it be coming out and I see that it has the girls in it, Wolfie and Foxie, are you planning on making this a series? If so I would so read it! These two fightin crime is the best!
A ~ Yes and yes! Wolfe and Fox are back with a vengeance and if you thought White Trash was funny … to me, White Tree is funnier. Once again, it tackles some pretty heavy topics like underground dog fighting, immigration and the Nation of Islam. Seriously. Can you see Wolfie with the Nation of Islam? She is hilarious! Rest assured, goats are featured prominently. I am currently working on White Flight, the third in the series, which will tackle more goats but also elderly abuse, the legalization of marijuana and a spin-off of the Treyvon Martin case. Help me! I can’t stop myself. Between Wolfie and the goats, serious world issues, the series of silliness and mayhem may never end!
B ~ You have done so much in your life so far, what would you say is your “Sweet & Suck” (not counting getting married or having your children as your sweet) 🙂
A ~ Ooooh. That’s tough. The “suck” is air quality. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m pretty goofy but I do have a very serious side when it comes to activism. When we moved to Texas and the “cement capital of Texas,” my son got very sick. I learned way more than I ever wanted to about politics, air quality and big business. When I’m not being a goofy writer, I’m fighting big industry for the health of children and frankly, it sucks! Why should I have to FIGHT to get clean air?
Okay, my friends and sports are definitely the sweets in my life. Most recently, I got to go to Sydney with my publishers (The Writer’s Coffee Shop) and that ranks up with some of the best times in my life. I love my publishers. They are very Wolfie and Fox. We laugh all the time. In fact, one of my all-time favorite pictures of me was just taken by Jenny Pedroza from the marketing team while we were in Sydney. I did a back flip off the Sydney Harbor for fun and they were right there with me, giggling and totally encouraging me to do it (never mind that there are sharks in the water – hey! Thanks, guys!)
B ~ Have you had negative reactions from this book from family or friends?
A ~ Honestly, the only criticism I have received is that the book has many, many characters. I know a lot of authors typically have three to six main characters but to truly capture a small, crazy town, I had to introduce everyone. I write how I live. Gee. Maybe I shouldn’t have just revealed that.
B ~ Now reading the blurb for the book I would have to say I was hesitant to read it because well I thought okay a book that has racism, drugs, guns, child molestation, blackmail, murder, etc.. How can this be funny at all? Well you were able to pull it off. How were you able to do that? I mean usually books that have all that in them are just drama filled, and keep you on edge, but I have never read a book that has all those topics and still can make you laugh as you read it. I mean I got to parts and thought okay there is no way, then I am laughing in the next chapter. What was your secret?
A ~ This question makes me smile. Thank you. I really appreciate that! And there is no secret. Quite honestly, I write how I live. You know, in fighting for clean air, for example, you have to have a sense of humor. When you look around and see all the fighting, the crap, the lies, the dishonesty, you have to find things to laugh about or you’ll just go nuts. I get up every morning and watch the news and there are days when I could easily go right back to bed and bury my head under the pillow. It can be overwhelming but how does hiding help? By making fun of insurance fraud, racism, drugs, guns and blackmail, maybe I can also raise awareness. Dare to dream.
B ~ When you sit down to write do you have any type of ritual?
A ~ As soon as I feel passionately about something, I just let it rip. I do tend to be all or nothing. I will go periods of time when I do not work on a manuscript at all. Then, once I get on it, everything else falls to the side and I obsessed. I usually write a 400 page manuscript in about 20 to 30 days. When my kids were younger, this meant I wrote around their sleep/naptimes. I don’t know how healthy that is but it’s the way I work.
B ~ Okay we will end it up with a quick fill in the blank of your favorites…
Movie— A Knight’s Tale, Princess Bride, most Sandra Bullock movies
Food— Chinese, Mexican, chocolate, pizza, fruit, too many things to list. I love food!
Place to live— Sydney!
Candy— Russell Stover’s Coconut Clusters. DANGEROUS!
Book— impossible to answer! But my first love was To Kill A Mockingbird. I love chic lit and murder mysteries
Ice Cream— chocolate chip
TV Show— The Mentalist, Psych, NCIS
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions. I look forward to reading more!
Alexandra Allred’s writing career began following a stint on the US women’s bobsled team. After being named “Athlete of the Year” by the United States Olympic Committee, she became an adventure writer. While writing for a variety of national publications, she test drove the Volvo Gravity Car, donned a dog attack suit, played professional women’s football, and even outran a beefalo mix (that’s a buffalo/cow mix to you city folk).
She turned to fiction writing using her rural Texas homestead as fodder for storytelling. When not writing, she lobbies for healthy children. Allred lives outside Dallas, Texas, with her husband, children, and a plethora of animals.
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