Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Met Billie Letts!

I love Billie Letts!

What Billie doesn't know is that I have been living somewhat parallel to her for years. That's probably why I like her so dang much. I am an English Professor, she is too. She calls herself an instructor because she didn't get the PhD, but she has a Masters in English like I do, and we both taught composition in colleges in Oklahoma. She taught a few more years than I did - I have to give her that. We're both writers, and we both love Tulsa. If someone asks me where I'm from I usually say Edmond, although I was born in Oklahoma City, raised in Bethany, and lived in Tulsa just as long as I lived in Edmond. Tulsa just has a better grip on the cosmopolitan lifestyle I think - Oklahoma City seems more like a laid back cousin to the girl uptown.

I was so excited to find out that Billie's new book "Made in the U.S.A" was on a book signing tour, and both times I meant to bring the book with me to be signed and forgot. I'll have to make a trip to Tulsa when I know she'll be home. Besides, we didn't get our chance to have coffee today and I want to do that too! I'll take the trip up the turnpike soon enough when she returns and we'll just sit and talk. I love this woman.

Now, for those of you who don't readily recognize Billie or her name, shame on you, but nevertheless, she's an author of more than just a few books. She is the best-seller author of "Where the Heart is", and though she is often referred to as the Wal-Mart author, because the store plays a prominent role in at least in two of her best selling books; you may remember her as the mother of the man who wrote "August: Osage County". Tracy Letts is the playwright and author of that and other great stories. "August: Osage County" won so many awards this year it would be impossible to mention them all. It was played both in Chicago at Steppenwolf, and then in NYC by the Chicago company! Billie joked that the "woman who played me in the play deserved a special award for all her gymnastics". I'll have to track him down as well and do my best to get a good picture of myself with him - I love Okies who have come out on top!

I'm not all that happy with my mug on this one. I think I was talking when Caity took it - probably, I do that. I love Billie's smile though. She's just adorable, and she's always funny and fun to be with. Last night when she was giving us a little read from her new book at the Barnes & Noble a lady's cell phone went off in the middle of her speech. Normally, when that happens to me I kind of pause, regroup from the distraction (sometimes giving the person a little smile and nod as if to say "Yes, you should have turned it off") she said out loud "If that calls for me I can't take it right now, I'm a little busy". Perfect answer! I love it, and yes, I'm going to steal it Billie.

Well, I won't go on - Google Ms. Billie Letts. Find out all about her and her beautiful actor husband Dennis (d. 2008) and find out about their love, their travels, their family - and most of all, their devotion to each other. Billie's other books include: Honk & Holler Opening Soon, Shoot the Moon, and now a new novel titled "Made in the U.S.A." is just out, and promises a great deal of success. Look for Billie at book signings, and hug her for me.

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