Book Review | Twang
Author: John Schlimm
About the Book:
Former Country Music publicist John Schlimm debuts his e-book, Twang: a novel on June 1, providing the ultimate, jaw-dropping insider’s look behind the stage curtains, Stetsons, and rhinestones of the billion dollar Country Music industry. Twang takes readers backstage of the sold-out concerts, inside the homes and bedrooms of Nashville’s sexy and rollicking Country Music aristocracy, and to a seamier side of show business that has yet to be revealed.
In the tradition of Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wear Prada, Erica Kennedy’s Bling, Plum Sykes’ Bergdorf Blondes, and Jackie Collins’ Rock Star, Twang will leave readers guessing who’s who in this southern, down-home and not so subtle tell-all.
Twang follows several over-the-top fictional Country Music superstars and insiders through one unforgettable year in their lives. Headlining the story is super PR savvy, flame-haired diva Salome Field, an eccentric, tiara wearing and wand waving legend who is known to her adoring fans as the self-proclaimed “Fairy Field Queen.” Along with rebellious younger sister, Willa Field, the two Country Music icons have fought their way to the top of the music charts as The Field Sisters. Yet these women share a devastating secret buried deep beneath their honed images and infamous catfights.
Across town, the bankable but sensual girl-next-door with Country’s most beloved angelic voice Hope Tanner is about to make a shocking announcement that will send the entertainment world into a tailspin. Meanwhile, her Country heartthrob husband, Thad Evans, becomes annoyed by his wife’s actions as he guards his own red-hot skeletons in the closet.
On the flip side of the celebrity machine is Nat Oldham, the former southern beauty queen turned publicist, whose company, Headline Publicity, represents Salome Field. However, Nat has loftier ambitions and her ultimate goal is to promote an unknown act to superstar status and become Publicist of the Year. Enter The Border Babes, a sexy and untamed quartet of Country Music chicks who are about to turn Nashville upside down.
And if Salome doesn’t have enough problems, her ego-driven son, Ashley Field, strives to establish himself as a serious actor in “Hollywacked”, and on Broadway contrary to a type-cast, A-List status that depends more on his last name than on his acting abilities and an insatiable desire to screw practically anything that moves.
But what all these Country Music luminaries really have to worry about is their “friend” Billie Blotter, the famous columnist for Country Crooners Magazine, who has earned the trust of every superstar in town. Working under the public premise that he’s compiling the ultimate “tribute” book in the industry, Billie is secretly writing the ultimate tell-all that will shatter the squeaky-clean image of Music City USA.
Are you a pop culture Hollywood junkie? Or maybe just a Nashville junkie? If you do, John Schlimm’s new e-book, Twang, is right up your alley. Twang is the story of several fictional country stars, the people who work with them, and their secrets and pasts. The main stars are the Field Sisters, who were a huge hit until they split up, got sick, etc and are known for trying to kill each other, and Hope & Thad, the all-American country couple. There are several other major characters but they are all related to these two sets of stars. The thing EVERYONE has in common is Billie Blotter. Billie writes a column in a country music magazine and has spent 10 years playing and gaining the trust of the stars in Nashville. He has since turned his attentions to collecting dirt on everyone under the guise of the ultimate “Tribute” book.
John Schlimm is a former Nashville publicist who I’m sure knows his share of dirt on the real stars, making me wonder how much of this book really happened. Twang is really aimed at country music fans, though you can’t have Nashville and not mention Hollywood. There is a lot of name dropping of real people interspersed with fictional characters when referring to the “greats” of country music. He did a good job of making the characters larger than life and giving each of them a distinct personality, but they seemed very one-dimensional.
I can’t see many men reading it…seeing that Billie deals in dirt, well, most men just don’t care about gossip. Yet, it didn’t quite seem to be aimed at women, either. The writing style was almost film noir or journalistic in style. It was very ‘A to B to C’ and not a lot of emotional description going on. If you aren’t a fan of big emotional dramatic scenes, you’ll probably really like this book. I would recommend this book to people who are fans of country music like a simple, straightforward writing style.
*I did not receive any financial compensation for this review, though I did receive a free copy for evaluation purposes. This giveaway is not related to Facebook in any way. The opinions are based only on my experiences with the book.*