18 June, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Red Dirt Rocker by Jody French

Red Dirt Rocker is a contemporary and inspirational American dream-come-true story geared toward a Young Adult audience. Based, in part, on the true and incredible adventures of teen MTV musician Forrest French, this hip and vibrant page-turner filled with pop culture references will draw the young reader in as they see the story unfold through the eyes of this straight-edge teenager from a tiny, hick, country town, whose life is about to change forever.

His strict dad raised him to be a football jock—his free spirited mama raised him on classic rock. Small town athlete and teen musician Forrest French finds himself torn, having to decide between public high school, sports and his simple, country life in Coweta, (aka Cow-Town) Oklahoma; his deep Southern roots and strong family ties, or the jet-setting life of an MTV rock star. While dealing with the team bully and facing the fickleness of teen dating relationships, Forrest depends on his faith to keep a cool head. In this story filled with teen angst and teen hopes, Forrest holds fast to his beliefs as he hangs on for the ride of his life in the upside-down, backward and thrilling world of rock-n-roll.


About the Author
Hailing from the small farming and ranching community of Coweta, Oklahoma, author and substitute teacher Jody French began her life traveling the United States with her mother, who was in the race horse training industry. As an adult, Jody had the privilege to continue her travels in the U.S. and Canada as she chaperoned and tutored her son, teen musician and MTV artist Forrest French. Jody’s love for working with and relating to teens as well as her passion for her son’s music inspired her to write her first novel for young adults.

In addition to writing and traveling, Jody loves to spend time with her husband, three children, and three grandchildren. Rumor has it that some of her writing has even been accomplished with a grandbaby on her lap. Her most cherished destination is a cozy cabin with majestic views in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys hiking, white water rafting, and natural hot springs hot tub hopping with her adventure seeking family.



An Interview with the Author

DDS: Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
My name is Jody French.  I’m a mother of three amazing children and grandmother (Ga-Ga—the first grandchild couldn’t say grandma so Ga-Ga it is) of four of the most adorable grandchildren.  I am a substitute teacher, and teach swimming lessons in the summer months.  I’ve recently written my first Y/A novel, Red Dirt Rocker.

DDS: What got you into writing?
Creative writing was my favorite subject in school.  I was very shy and backward when I was a teenager.  Writing was a way of expressing myself without having to verbalize my emotions and inner feelings.  My mother is also a writer.  I used to love reading her freelance stories in the newspaper.  She inspired me for sure.

DDS: Tell us about Red Dirt Rocker.

Red Dirt Rocker is a story based on and inspired by my youngest child, Forrest French. He is the former lead guitarist and singer for teen sensation rock band, Crooked X. He has since left the band, but the adventures that he got to experience were so incredible and the love of our family so dear to me, I just had to write a book built around those things. It's an exciting and entertaining read, but has a great big heart that everyone young or old will hopefully enjoy.

DDS: What is the USP of this book? 

Red Dirt Rocker is one of those “little mouse in the big city” type stories.  It really takes the reader on a shotgun ride right alongside Forrest as he makes his way from his tiny, country town in Oklahoma as a high school student and athlete, to the rocket ride of becoming an MTV Artist by the age of fourteen years old.  It’s one of those stories that has something for everyone….student, athlete, band geek, or aspiring rock star, young or old, Red Dirt Rocker is a feel good, excellent adventure with a great big heart at the center of it all.

DDS: What was the hardest part about writing the book? 
Finding the time to write it! As I type my answers to this interview, I have a grandbaby that just had his tonsils removed snoring beside me.  I have a very hectic life schedule as most moms have, and just to find the time to put all the ideas bumping around in my head onto paper (or computer screen) is difficult.  I’m so proud of my novel… I call it my “Book Baby!”

DDS: What are your writing pet peeves?
I love to help Forrest write lyrics to songs, and my pet peeve is when I just write parts of songs or even chapters to books and then get distracted, and just file them away in a notebook or word document.  I’ve learned never to throw anything away or delete any file.  There are lots of jewels in those random bits of writing that I’ve came back to later and completed.

DDS: Who is your favourite Character? (one of your own creation – published/unpublished)
Of course, Forrest in Red Dirt Rocker is my favorite character that I’ve written about, because he’s based on my amazing son.  But I’ll have to say, Sophie is very dear to my heart as well.  She’s the fictional love interest in the story that Forrest is drawn to.  She’s a cool band geek/rocker chic, who would never want to be in the spotlight, but ends up there.  I think every young girl can relate to Sophie in some way.

DDS: Now time for some fun facts. If Red Dirt Rocker was to be turned into a movie – which Actor/Actress would you like to see playing the characters?

Oh this is a good question! Hmmm, Michelle Pfeiffer would be Mama... I LOVE her. Tom Hanks, Dad (what better male actor is there?) and the gorgeous Mila Kunis would play Forrest's sister Megan. That was fun!

DDS: Who is your favourite author & which is your favourite book?

I know it is beyond difficult, but you can name only one in each category!!  Yes very difficult, but Pat Conroy is an incredible author who wrote one of my favorite books of all time, The Prince of Tides.  He writes with such touchable imagery.  His book is filled with passion and incredible family dynamics.  Amazing book-- it’s been on my list of top books for many, many years.

DDS: One thing readers would be surprised to know about you…
I was the only girl on a tour bus for 28 days straight when Forrest was touring with his band on the Disturbed Tour.  I had to tutor him and sleep in the galley with the rest of the dudes.  This mama wasn’t about to let my kiddo go without an education.  It was smelly, but oh so memorable---an experience of a lifetime.

DDS: If you were to be stranded on the famous ‘Deserted Island’, what three things would you want with you?
A Bible (never a dull read), bacon, and Diet Coke.  There would be some vegetation to nibble on, on the island… right?

DDS: What’s the one thing that you want your readers to take away from this book?
That you can live your dreams and be true to yourself.  Never, ever give up on your dreams.

DDS: Anything else you would like to say to your readers/fans?
It is an honor for me to have anyone read my book and enjoy it.  If I can bring one smile, one giggle, one tear to a reader, then the two years that it took me to write Red Dirt Rocker will certainly be well worth it then.  Turn on some good music, read a good book and make stuff happen!  Thank you!!

Find the Author

Buy the Book



Giveaway
Ms.Jody French has kindly agreed to Giveaway 1 Signed Paperback copy of 'Red Dirt Rocker'. A secong winner will be selected for Signed 8x10 of Forrest French & Bookmark. This is open Internationally. Isn't that awesome? So, check out Forrest & Enter yourself below in the Rafflecopter and spread the word!


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

47 comments:

  1. This is a great book. I fully enjoyed it. Its a good read for any age group. Rock on Jody and Forrest!

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    1. Thank you Ricky!!!! You keep rockin' as well. Hope you're having a great summer with lots of good travel!!

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  2. Sorry it has taken so long for me to get to this Jody...the day I received the book in the mail, I couldn't put it down...it drew me in...I wanted to know what happened on the next page and the next page...and, growing up in a small town and raising kids you most likely experience some of the teenage themes throughout the book...but the absolute, without a doubt, "thing" I love best, is that day after day, time after time, Forrest draws on his faith, his inner strength and the strong "village" of those that love him...family, friends and Coach Bryan, to stay true to his convictions...and that in itself is inspiring to young and "old" souls like myself...incredible, awesome job, Mrs. French....<3

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    1. Lynnette, thank you so much! So glad it was a page turner for you. That's a great compliment. So glad his message of faith inspired you!! Thank you, thank you!!!! :) Be blessed, Jody

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  3. This sounds like an interesting read! I'm a pretty eclectic person. I love music. Right now, I'm more into rock, but there's a lot of pop/techno music that's been playing on the radio a lot recently. I can't pick just one favorite song! I listen to most music with a catchy beat.

    Thanks for giving us a chance to win :)

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  4. I am also an eclectic listener of music as well as reader of different genres. The only type of music I dont listen to is country, and the only type of book I do not read is romance, of the Harlequin type.

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  5. I so hope you get a chance to read my book Felicia!! thanks for the note. Music is one of life's greatest pleasures for sure. I am so blessed to have a son that is so into music of all genres. I could never play anything except for the "radio!" I started him in guitar lessons at four years old and he just took off. He's met sooo many amazing people along the way. Excited to see what his future holds. I'm stoked for others to experience the story that is based on and inspired by Forrest! Have a great day Felicia!!
    Jody

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  6. Hey Jenzen!! You made me laugh with your "no country music" comment! Coming from the heartland of Oklahoma it's very prominent here!! That's what makes Forrest's story so different. He comes from a very small, country town (actually nick-named Cow-Town!) and becomes totally engrossed in the crazy, rocket ride world of MTV and rock-n-roll!! Touring with Ted Nugent, opening for Alice Cooper, hanging out with members of Skid Row, touring with Disturbed and opening for the KISS all by the age of 15! It was all quite a contrast coming from the conservative mid-west! I hope you get a change to read Red Dirt Rocker. And don't worry...no romance of the "Harlequin type" here. So funny. Have a great summer! Best, Jody

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  7. Love rock music as long as it's not too heavy, also into 'indie'. Also quite partial to a bit of 80s music.
    Thanks for the giveaway x

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  8. Hey Becky! You're talking to a graduate from 1982...yeah 80's music!! Just had my 30th year reunion, so got my 1980's music fix with the tapes that were played there!! I hope you get to read Red Dirt Rocker. If you're a rock music, or southern rock music fan, I believe you'll enjoy the bands and music mentioned. I think you'll love the new stuff that Forrest is working on as well. He's going to record with David Teegarden (the grammy award winning drummer for the Bob Seger Band) this summer! He's got some stuff on youtube--search forrestfrenchmusic--that you might like. Thank you for your interest and have a great summer Becky!! Be blessed, Jody French

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  9. My favorite music genre is soft rock and Bryan Adams is my all time favorite.

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  10. Oh, Bryan Adams..."When You Love Someone." Great song! I always think of the movie, Robinhood when I think of Bryan Adams! :) Good stuff!

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  11. Thank you for signing up Sonali!!!! I hope you win! Jody :)

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  12. Rap is awesome---I go way back to the Run DMC days. Now Ludicrus, Kanya... I was always a huge Tu-pac fan. Sad ending to his story (the holgrams they are coming up with are just insane of him though!) Lots of amazing female rap artists too---lil Kim, Lauryn Hill!!!! Go girls! Love it! Hope you get a chance to read my book liza---Best, Jody

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  13. I really like acoustic but I'm a bit eclectic. My playlist has almost all the music genre except for classical music.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  14. Hard rock and heavy metal is my favorite. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  15. Right now I am loving Adam Levine & Adele ... but it depends on my mood and the people I'm with. Last night, I heard Joe Cocker and really enjoyed the energy he puts into his songs.

    Love that your story has a very personal connection! Lauren Clark

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    1. Lauren, forrest and i are big Adele fans---she has such a bluesy quality in her voice. so thankful she came through her throat surgery. And girl....Joe Cocker! I grew up in the 70's..he's an icon! Have you heard, "With a Little help From My friends?' and..."You Can Leave Your Hat On!!' wow..good taste in artists girl! That brought me back to the day!!! (when I had a skate board and rode it everywhere!) Thank you for your note! I so enjoyed writing the book! Joe Cocker....wow...that blew my mind...lol! Best, Jody :)

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  16. Thanks for this, You are the best!

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  17. My favorite music Genre is probably Pop, but probably because that truly all I listen on the Radio. But I am open to other genres. I do not have a favorite artist since they change all the time, but for right now its Adele. My favorite song right now is probably Wide Awake by Katy Perry. If you haven't heard it go check it out.

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  18. I love rock, indie and some pop :P

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    1. Hey April----Indie is huge these days. My daughters are the best at seeking out 'under ground' bands---Minus The Bear is a fav of mine! Indie is the way to go for so many bands out there. How about one of my favorites....The Foo Fighters?? Their music is in the first chapter of my book. Forrest got to meet DavE Grohl and play ROCK BAND with them. He actually beat Taylor Hawkins on the drums!! lol They were at the Video Game Awards in L****.A. Forrest actually has songs on the video game..(Nightmare, Rock-n-Roll Dream, and Gone---he was very young at the time they were recorded...) I hope you get a chance to read Red Dirt Rocker--if you are a rock fan, you'll love it! Blessings Jody

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  19. Hi Aden! Thank you for coming over and signing up! ok...pop music---one of my all time favorite musicians has to be Michael Jackson, of course! Have you seen "This Is It?" One of mine and forrest's favorite music docs ---we watch it together when we want to be inspired and just get lost in a film!! It is a beautiful tribute to him!!
    And, I actually sat next to Katy Perry's friend and mentor on a flight when we were touring with Forrest. She was a very close family member and was always there for Katy in times of need. She told me sweet stories about Katy's faith and how she started out singing Christian music. I love Katy--- love her song and the video for Firework! She is a talented woman. What a voice on that beautiful song bird! And Adele! you have great taste! Even as a teen guy/musician that loves his rock guitar, Forrest loves her song "Into the deep." She has some pipes too. So glad she came through her throat surgery well. I shall check out "Wide Awake" Thank you for the suggestion! Happy reading and 'listening' Aden! jody

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  20. Erleen----ahhh,,,acoustic. There you go girl. My favorite times are when forrest breaks out his boulder creek solatire and plays for us on the back porch swing! His version of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" brings tears to my eyes! Hope you get to read the book!

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  21. Ok, I'll admit it: I'm a country girl at heart! Gimme some Dixie Chicks and I'm happy :)

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    1. Cowboy Take Me Away! My all time favorite song to karioke to! hey honey...we are fron oklahoma! We see Garth Brooks at Lowes Hardware store! lol You will love the Miranda Lambert and Toby Keith references in the book....Forrest is working on and getting ready to record some amazing Southern Rock stuff!! Kind of Zac Brown Band/Eli Young Band-ish! I so hope you get a copy of Red Dirt Rocker! It will be right up your ally! blessings, JOdy

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  22. Hey Natasha! You have got read Red Dirt Rocker if your a metal fan! Big Metallica influence in the book---first song Forrest learned to play and sing all the way through---"Enter Sandman." He toured with Disturbed, and Killswitch Engage" Forrest has a youtube of him singing part of "For whome The Bell Tolls" I think it's under Crooked X--you would love it...he was such a baby then! I think 14 years old! Rock on girl! Jody

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  23. My favorite genre is probably good old rock n' roll, but my favorite artist is Bob Marley & favorite song is Stir It Up.

    Paul R. Hewlett

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    1. I love Bob Marley---good mood music! I'm going to go check out the song "Stir it Up" :)

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  24. Hey Paul! Cannot beat good old rock n roll! Forrest was raised on the classics...our local radio station is Forres's favorite. They play Led Zeppelin, Lynard Skynard, Bob Segar, etc....as a matter of fact, Forrest is getting ready to record at Grammy Award winning artist, David Teegarden's studio this summer. David was the drummer for Bob Seger! I'm sure there will be lots to learn from David's experiences in the rock world! Can't wait for them to get together! What an honor it will be for Forrest. Hope you get to read my book, Red Dirt Rocker! Be blessed! Jody

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  25. Sounds awesome, can't wait to read it x

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  26. Thank you Angee!!! You'll have to let me know what you think!! Thanks for checking in and for the support :) Have a great weekend! Jody

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  27. I love rock, metal, and alternative rock!

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  28. Hey! Thanks for checking in! How about those Foo Fighters, and Audio Slave or Sound Garden (I'm a huge Chris Cornell fan! Love his voice. One of my favorite metal bands would be Black Label Society. Zakk Wyle's song "In This River" is a tear jerker...written about Dime Bag Darrel ---You can't beat Pantera either~~ Forrest went through a stint of very heavy metal after he left Crooked X...he played guitar with his buds in a local band, Reign In The Unknown. Very heavy stuff---kept his guitar skills honed for sure! Keep it metal!!

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  29. Happy Sunday all!!! It's a beautiful day in Oklahoma,,,hot, hot!! Just a note to say thank you so much for all of those that have left comments, and signed up for the giveaway! I appreciate you so much. I've loved talking music with you guys!!! So fun to see such a musically diverse group. In my family we love ALL kinds of music as you can see. I think we drive the neighbors nuts around us...we always have the radio on in the back yard out by our pool! (hard not to crank it up!) I'm listening to and watching CMT right now...gotta love country music videos---I really do love the cross over stuff--Eli Young Band, Zac Brown Band! Enjoy your day and thanks again guys!!! Jody French~~

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  30. I like to listen to country, rock, r&b, and a little rap. My favorite is country and my favorite artists are Evanescence, Carrie Underwood, Cobie Callait, AC/DC, and Christina Perri.

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  31. Hey Marissa! I'm listening to and watching CMT country videos right now. It's how I start my morning. (From country to AC/DC.) That's diverse and I love it! I know a lot of bull riders get pumped up to AC/DC. I like country music, but it would be hard to get your blood pumping to get on a 1500 pound raging bull to a Brad Paisley song! (Brad is an incredible guitar player and performer though.) lol Carrie Underwood is amazing. Musicially, professionally, and personally. What a great example she is to so many young girls. An Oklahoma girl..we're from a small town less than an hour away from Checotah, where she was from! BTW---Forrest has a video on youtube that's played on MTV about bull riding, and extreme sports...It's called "Adrenaline" It's been played on Nitro Circus as well many times! You can find the video for it on youtube! It's when he had his long hair. He was only 15 at the time I believe when he did that video. (He's 18 now! :) Take care Marissa, and thanks for checking in on this fine Friday!!! Be blessed,,,Jody

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  32. Replies
    1. "Zombie" !!! I love that song! Her voice is so distinctive!

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  33. I have eclectic music taste, with no particular favorite!

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    1. I hear you! I have a list of about 10 "favorities." If I had to pick a group and song---tie between "Hey Jude", and "Black Bird", The Beatles----"Hey Jude" was on an old 45 (that's a tiny record, for you youngsters out there :) and it had a picture of a big green apple on it...I loved playing it over and over on the record player. "Black Bird" reminds me of my special needs grand son, Eddie Jett...He has a little broken wing, but has learned to "fly!" :)

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  34. My favourite music genre is Soul

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    1. Hey Alice---How about Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding?? Could listen to them all day! "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay..." I'm going to have to click that one on for old times sake right now :)

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  35. I like a lot of genres but indie rock is amazing! Just listen to Arctic Monkeys :)

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    1. Artic Monkeys!!! I like them as well...Their song, "My Propeller" sounds like it should be on a James Bond soundtrack~~~ very shaken---not stirred-ish! Cool group for sure! Thanks for checking in!!! Hope you get to read Red Dirt Rocker!

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  36. Diva!! "Zombie" is my favorite Cranberries song! I love her vocal styling in that eccletic song!!!

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