Monday, November 06, 2006

Idaho Novelist Stephen Bly

Hello, it's Bailey today. Have you heard about the Idaho novelist Stephen Bly? He lives in Winchester, Idaho and has written 100 books. Now he's doing something really fun. He's so gotten into his newest character that he's caught up in looking for her in real life. Her name's Juanita, the girl of rodeo cowboy Hap Bowman's dreams. (Another of Bly's characters.) They are both in Bly's novel One Step Over the Border.

Bly has listed Juanita's description on the home page of raven dark hair, dark eyes, has a petite birthmark the shape of a horse's head under her right ear. She lived in sight of the Rio Grande and spent time with 12-year-old Hap Bowman in Central Wyoming during the summer of 1988 and is 31 years old now.

Bly's hoping to see "Have you seen my Juanita?" signs pop up everywhere--on websites and message boards, in waiting rooms and bulletin boards, on car bumpers and T-shirts, at rest stops and stuck to magnetic surfaces. "Maybe we really will find her," Bly says. "If so, she'll be featured on our website for sure." There's even a free “Have You Seen My Juanita?" Search Kit ready to send to those who e-mail cowboy Hap at with their snail mail address.

Apparently Bly is no stranger to getting heavily involved into his characters. In his novel Paperback Writer a distracted detective rides along with his author, serving as alter ego and companion in troubles on the road. "Life imitates art, they say," Bly muses. "I care so much for my characters I find it hard to let them go. But also my desire is for the reader to find their own real life discoveries, to be encouraged in their own struggles, by the vicarious 'entering into' the quests of my fictional characters."

I told S-Man he ought to try some similar marketing campaign when Starfire is published. Although it may be a bit stranger, looking for a dinosaur-like creature.

The story of Hap's search to find his Juanita in One Step Over the Border releases June 2007, by Center Street/Hachette Book Group, USA. I hear that pre-orders are already available through and soon will be at and other online bookstores. We'll all be reading the book at Java Joint. It's great to support another Idaho novelist!

-- Bailey

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Juanita? She fell into the soup Wilbur was cookin'. Acid burned her right up.
Posted by Anonymous jake tremaine : 9:58 AM
Last time I saw Juanita, she was running off with Goshren, one of S-Man's Saurian guys. The one with the artificial leg.
Posted by Anonymous carla : 10:01 AM
Nope, you're both wrong. I saw a gal looked just like this sitting at Bev's and Angie's table in Java Joint just two days ago. Angie was trying to persuade Juanita to go after her son, Frank. "You look just like the sort of gal he needs!" I think Mama Angie scared the girl off good. She took off running up Main. Haven't seen her since.
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 10:03 AM
Jaunita? Saw her buying some of that salsa from Sarah over at Simple Pleasures. She came out with three bags full of the stuff. Looked like she was preparing to feed chicken to an army. Maybe she was headed to some camp? A soup kitchen?
Posted by Anonymous dorothy m. : 10:05 AM
I picked up a gal hitchhiking who looked a lot like this description. Except I didn't exactly look behind her ear. Said she was headed to San Francisco. Said living there sounded wilder than living in Wyoming or the like. I said I had to agree with her... But that would be another story.
Posted by Anonymous e.j. : 10:08 AM
Juanita? You'll never find her until you read S-Man's novel. He wrote her into "Starfire." She's serving in the Saurian army.
Posted by Anonymous leslie brymes : 10:10 AM
Oh, man, I hope I didn't kill this girl off in some book...
Posted by Blogger ~ Brandilyn Collins : 10:36 AM
Mr. Bly, we hope you'll visit Kanner Lake and do a reading of this novel at Java Joint. Promise to pack the place for you. And all the free coffee drinks you want.

(We'll do our best to make Wilbur behave.:)
Posted by Blogger ~ Bailey Truitt : 10:39 AM
It's not me who doesn't behave, it's the rest of the world.

I second Bailey's invitation. Come see us, Stephen Bly. And bring that Juanita girl with you. She sounds like a looker.
Posted by Anonymous wilbur hucks : 12:20 PM
My goodness. What will you authors think of next?
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 1:26 PM
Sadly Juanita and Goshren just couldn't work things out (they were both too young for each other, and Juanita just couldn't get past the height difference, constantly feeling dwarfed by the 18' tall Goshren, not to mention a few close calls with that foot of his).

Her stint in the army was short lived too, once those in command discovered she was actually a human female (there apparently was quite a long & drawn out debate on this subject).

Her last definitive location was in the port city of Sobogan Drtn, though unconfirmed sightings may place her along the Herian border.

I just hope that I can think up something half as cool as Stephen Bly has done here when my turn comes up.
Posted by Blogger S-man : 2:40 PM
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