Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Courtney Lux for stopping by today.
Title: Small Wonders
Author: Courtney Lux
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover and Interior Illustrations by Elizabeth Vest
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult
A pickpocket who finds value in things others do not want, Trip Morgan meets and becomes involved with Nate Mackey, a down-and-out former Wall Street professional who looks eerily like a child in a photograph Trip found years before.
It’s part of a collection of stolen trinkets he’s collected since he arrived in New York. He keeps it all close and works out a life he could have if he could ever let someone keep him long enough for him to build up a treasure trove of small wonders all his own.
In confronting their own demons and finding value in each other, Trip and Nate may find that their relationship is a wonder of its own.
10 Songs to Write Small Wonders to:
Music is a huge part of both my writing process and it plays a major role in Small Wonders. Music is present through much of the novel and is especially important to Trip because it’s both something he finds comfort in and it’s how he makes his money. Creating playlists to listen to while I wrote my manuscript was a huge part of how I thought through the energy of the book. Some songs were just for me, but most of the music I listened to either inspired or was chosen based on what was going on in the story and the characters.
Wild World –Cat Stevens
This song makes a lot of my writing playlists, but it felt especially relevant to Small Wonders and the coming of age journey everybody is grappling with throughout the novel.
I’m On Fire –Bruce Springsteen
Trip plays a decent amount of Springsteen, and I especially liked this one because it’s a much softer, calmer track. I imagined this being one of his colder, rainy day songs he might do in the park when the crowds have thinned out.
Revolution –The Beatles
This is another one off the Trip Morgan busking playlist. It’s fun, it’s loud and it has that rebellious quality to it that is just very Trip.
At Last –Etta James
This one came up a lot during scenes in Nate’s apartment. Nate has a record player and shelves filled with records. He has a lot of classics on the shelf, and I feel like this is one he’d put on from time to time when he’s cooking or when he and Trip are just spending a little down time together.
Renegades –X Ambassadors
Really it’s just a great writing song. It’s good for an upbeat spot, a sad spot, an action-packed shot. I just really enjoy it.
Take Me to Church –Hozier
Trip has such an interesting relationship with both religion and sex that this song was really just very apropos to his character and his internal conflicts.
Come On Up to the House –Tom Waits
It’s such a great vindication/accepting-it-for-what-it-is type song. It felt very appropriate toward the end of the novel.
You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care) –Buddy Holly
Trip plays this song during one of his early encounters with Nate and it’s so fitting for their relationship.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright –Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is so Washington Square Park to me that he almost had to be on a playlist for this novel since so much of the story takes place with the park as a backdrop. Even if New York and Washington Square hadn’t been so important to the novel, something Bob Dylan would have made this list just because I adore Bob Dylan and he’s on almost every playlist I have.
Lead Me Home –Jamie N. Commons
I had an entire playlist of songs for when I wrote or planned out the portions of Small Wonders that are in Trip’s POV. I listened to a lot of folksy, Southern gothic-style songs during those pieces to really feel some of the grit associated with Trip’s youth.
Today, he has encountered no southerners and only a few tourists from elsewhere, and he’d be okay with that if it weren’t for the rain. It comes fast. One minute it’s sunny and lovely and easy pickings, and the next the sky’s gone black and people are running from the park with street-vendor umbrellas popping open over their heads or shopping bags held up as makeshift shields. Trip switches to catchy pop numbers and more recent music, but it’s no use.
Some days this works. People take pity on a not-quite-twenty-something singing in the rain. Older women especially seem to take in the auburn hair stuck to his forehead and his relatively petite stature and read hungry young desperation in him. They offer him sympathetic smiles and a few soggy dollars.
Other times, playing in the rain has the opposite of his intended effect—strange boy with strange eyes playing his guitar as if he doesn’t know the rain is there. Those people see the darkness in him: a boy with a chip on his shoulder that makes them nervous. Those people give him wary looks and a wide berth. Trip’s not sure he blames them.
He’s a little put out and a lot cold, so he sells his umbrella for a few dollars before shouldering his guitar and closing the lid on his coffee can to set to work at his other favorite occupation.
He’d been a decent pickpocket in his younger years, but now, after a lot of practice, he’s a better thief and a good runner when he needs to be. Not that he steals anything of particular worth. He finds value in treasures scrounged from the bottoms of pockets.
Loose change, hair binders, halves of Vicodin, broken cigarettes, crumpled matchbooks. All of it has a purpose, a certain sense of importance. He envies women and their big purses. They’ve got whole bags of riches waiting to be exhumed. Though, more likely than not, those little trinkets will remain forgotten and neglected in the bottoms of Marc Jacobs clutches and Target sale hobo bags.
Other people don’t see it—the value in these things. Maybe that’s why he steals from them. Nothing they’d miss: a worn dollar here, a business card there. He keeps it all close and works out a life he could have if he could ever let someone keep him long enough for him to build up a treasure trove of small wonders all his own.
For now, he will live with worn shopping lists, broken crayons and ticket stubs he lifts off of others. He keeps them in a beaten-up bag that is more duct tape than canvas and lets them build up stardust. Then, in those lonely hours of the night, he scatters them across the floor and works them into constellations to which he assigns stories. Some he writes down; others, he forgets before the next day. It’s not a financially savvy task, but it’s his favorite, and it passes the time as well as anything else.
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About the Author
Courtney Lux is a Minnesotan-turned-New Yorker whose love for the city is rivaled only by her love for wide, open spaces. She is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison and a soon-to-be graduate of New York University. When not playing writer, Courtney is an avid reader, constant dreamer, and lover of dogs, wine and being barefoot. Small Wonders is her first novel, and is the recipient of a Publishers Weekly starred review.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/CourtneyLLux
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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