Happy Monday, everyone! At least, I hope you’re having a happy Monday. This week’s blog topic: Our Lady of Righteous Rage. I’m going to share some info about the seven books which currently make up the series. The books can be divided into two categories: the Primary Books, which follow a shared story line, and the Companion books, which have separate stories.
The Primary Books
This category includes Our Lady of Righteous Rage, Our Lady of Righteous Rage: Extended and Uncensored, Your Fame Will Destroy You, and Rowdy. The first two books are technically one in the same, with the major difference being the use of coarse language in Extended and Uncensored (don’t worry; I didn’t go overboard). The primary books follow Amy Edwards and friends as they grow up together, start a punk rock band, and a business. Along the way, they face the challenges of adulthood, including divorce, relationships issues, abandonment, etc.
The first book introduces each of the characters while they are still in high school. Amy is a bit of a tomboy, and all of her friends are male, until she meets Dee, and her cousin Nyda. She late becomes friends with Vanessa and Carmen. The group creates a plan to start a business together by creating and selling their art, music, and writing in Union Square Park. Their goal, is to turn this business into a retail store in the future. At the same time, Amy begins learning to play the guitar while exploring her inner punk. She and some of her male counterparts later form a punk band. The second book, Your Fame Will Destroy You, finds the band, named Our Lady of Righteous Rage, dealing with their newfound fame. They later discover a “friend” from their past is out to destroy them (I won’t spoil it by telling you who). In Rowdy, Amy and her friends, armed with the knowledge of who has been working against them, try to continue to write new music and play a few gigs. Nick begins to suffer from writer’s block, and Aidan has trouble coping with a troubling discovery of his identity (no spoiler; you’ll have to read the book). The book ends with the band making a major decision to go on their first national tour.
Which brings us to Righteous, the book I’m currently writing. Our Lady is on tour, Vanessa is holding down the fort at home, and things are about to get interesting. This isn’t going to be your average, run-of-the-mill road trip: the band is going to meet some interesting characters and have a lot of new experiences while playing their gigs. And that “friend” from the past who was trying to screw them over? Well, he ain’t finished yet….
The Companion Books
The books in this category can be read separate and apart from the primary books, and not necessarily in the order they appear. There is one exception: Novocaine and its sequel, Another Shot of Novocaine, which will make more sense if you read them in order. Novocaine concerns Erin’s life before she met the band, and how she came to work for them. Another Shot, deals with one of Erin’s least favorite subjects: her father.
Punk and Whiskers, is a collection of short stories. They are unrelated to the rest of the series, even though the cast of Our Lady appear in them. You can easily read this book without reading the others (but I’m not encouraging this!).
I’ve been asked if any of these books are autobiographical. Our Lady is, to a degree. I hate classifying it as fiction; it’s more like creative non-fiction. Some of the events in the story are real (when Amy runs into Tre Cool from Green Day, I borrowed that from the day I met Tre Cool). The bands guitars are my guitars. Benjamin Cardozo was my mother’s high school, however, I also used details from my old high school, Bethel in Virginia. Yes, I’ve been to The Bitter End on West 4th. Yes, I own a ton of punk rock CD’s.
Even though I’ve said Righteous is going to be the final book in this series, it doesn’t have to be. I have ideas for more books, and chances are, I will write them. So, after Righteous, you may not have heard the last of Our Lady.
Next week: Secrets of the WE books: little details you may not be aware of. See you then.