Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tour Stop: It's a Little Haywire by Elle Strauss

The Fog Train

IT’S A LITTLE HAYWIRE is a contemporary story with a twist of magic realism. The trains don’t run through Hayward WA, aka Haywire, anymore since the Mill shut down. Nothing much is moving through Haywire anymore, it’s a dying town hit hard by the recession.

Owen True lives on the other side of the metaphorical tracks and hasn’t personally encountered the effects of financial stress until he spends a summer month with his Gramps, where he meets a homeless man for the first time and witnesses the breakdown of his friend’s family.

It’s a Little Haywire is actually a major re-write of a book I wrote years ago when I first decided I’d like to try my hand at writing. It was horribly executed but the core of the idea was still salvageable. It was inspired by an experience I had, I think in a near dream state, where I woke up to the sound of a train whistle, much like I used to as a child in the small town where my grandparents lived. Except we didn’t live near the tracks at the time.

That’s where the idea for the mysterious fog train first materialized. Why would someone hear a train whistle when there wasn’t a train?

The first time Owen True encounters the fog train, he’s pretty shaken up. He sees it several times over the month he’s in Haywire and each time it transforms, until it finally gives him a clue to how he can help the struggling citizens of Haywire.

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