Name of Character: Helena Montgomery
Book Title: The Lapone Sisters
Profession: Full-time bank teller, part-time blues singer
City and State: Nashville, Tennessee
We’re thrilled to have here today Helena Montgomery from Barry Wilker’s new coming-of-age and thought-provoking novel, The Lapone Sisters. In her late twenties, Helena is an acquaintance of the sisters working full-time as a bank teller and moonlighting at a local club two nights a week singing the blues. Like the sisters, she has lived in Nashville, Tennessee her entire life.
It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so much for this interview, Helena. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
Barry did a spectacular job envisioning my image and personality and all my interactions with the different characters. From my debut appearance to my final curtain, he described perfectly my life and metamorphosis over the six months of the novel. Let’s just say when you first meet me, I am a hot mess. Without giving anything away, by the end of his story, you will know the real me. Once you see me in action you’ll understand completely.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
Listen, if he gave me any more color I’d be one of those giant billboards on Sunset Boulevard. Portrayed any differently I definitely wouldn’t be the Helena you’ll want to meet and befriend.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
The ability to learn the strength and empowerment I now own.
For sure it’s the Helena you first meet. Nobody was a hotter mess than that girl.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
That’s hard. I would have loved it to be a young Raquel Welch. Somebody current? With the right make-up, Ana de Armas, for sure.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Positively! YES! Johnny. I love that man more than I can say. He’s handsome, kind, way smart, thoughtful . . . stop, right? I’ll make somebody gag.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
There’s a cataclysmic situation that jettisons the storyline and all of our lives. It turns into possibly the worst and the best of times for me. Oh, I wish I could tell you the details without spoiling the entire story! But I can’t. You’ll have to see for yourself.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
I think it would have to be Tanya Simplestone. She’s too perfect. Okay, without giving too much away, she bested me at a certain point. There’s not one thing I’ve liked about her since then. It’s her fault I . . . oh, let’s not get into that. Next question?
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
I love the ending. I honestly wish it could continue into a sequel. I want to find out more about my life and what happens in the lives of all my friends.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?
Keep me the way I am. I love my life just the way he made it this time.
Thank you for this interview, Helena. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I sincerely hope we will meet again. Thank you for this opportunity!
About the Author:
Barry Wilker spent forty-three years working as an interior designer for a myriad of clients across the United States. Retirement has provided him time to assemble all the fragments of wild imagination into this, his first novel. He lived for a number of years in the Los Angeles area and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
About the book:
Celebrated Interior designer and Nashville native Barry Wilker enters the ranks of published novelists with the release of his debut novel, The Lapone Sisters. Published by Simon and Schuster publishing partner Archway Publishing, The Lapone Sisters is now available nationwide.
A smart, seamless coming-of-age novel centered on the lives of three sisters. The Lapone Sisters is a thoughtful and thought-provoking tale that unfolds against a backdrop of a simpler time and place. In The Lapone Sisters, Wilker introduces the dazzling-and decidedly different-Lapone Sisters. Schmellda, Sorina and Esmerelda. Wildly disparate, wholly entertaining, and mesmerizingly comical, these three sisters are swept up in a whirlwind of adventure when each begins to chart a course towards discovering purpose, meaning, and direction.
About The Lapone Sisters: In the summer of 1976, three exceedingly different sisters launch a journey like no other when each begins the task of uncovering her individual course in the world. Schmellda, the eldest daughter, is a frumpy, self-appointed mother hen cautiously setting out on her own for the first time in her life. Middle sister Sorina, is a stunning – and – stuttering – beauty tentatively venturing out in search of her dreams. Bold youngest sister Esmerelda is an outspoken, sharp-tongued, unfiltered fireball ready to catapult for the nest.
Born to loving parents who provided a safe and nurturing environment, Schmellda, Sorina, and Esmerelda could not be more different – but when the sisters are swept up in an unimaginable spiral of events that will change their lives forever, they’ll discover more about themselves, and each other, than they ever dreamed possible.
The girls compete and commiserate. They take road trips and take chances. They get makeovers and they make waves. They grow and bloom and blossom. They change and yet they stay the same. They follow their hearts. They even fall in love. Over the months of the fateful, yet blissful summer, the sisters cross paths, cross wits, and come across an unbelievable menagerie of misfits, loners, losers and dreamers, making for an adventure like no other. For these three sisters, life will never be the same.
A smart, sweeping, and sensational story, The Lapone Sisters invites readers to come along on an unforgettable journey. Novelist Barry Wilker delivers a confident and captivating debut novel that delivers a powerful – and powerfully hopeful – message about following one’s heart without fear. Much more that a tale of three sisters, The Lapone Sisters is a beautifully rendered tale that celebrates taking chances, embracing individuality, innocence, redemption, and the unmistakable power of love. Resplendent with charm, peppered with wry humor, and replete with a richly drawn cast of characters destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned, The Lapone Sisters is delightful.
The Lapone Sisters is available for purchase at Amazon.com and all other online retailers.