If the names Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Brad Paisley mean anything to you, you’ll know that tonight (November 1) is country music’s biggest night, the occasion of the 46th annual CMA Awards, which are Nashville’s equivalent of the Oscars. It’s also the night Julia Douglas has chosen to launch her new ebook, Nashville Cinderella, so I thought I’d pull on my line dancing boots, say howdy and ask her a few questions.
So, Julia, what’s Nashville Cinderella all about?
“Well, it’s a Cinderella story set in Nashville! Cindy is a singing waitress working in a retro-themed diner in the heart of Music City while dreaming of finding love and fame as a country star. The short order cook is her Buttons figure and Prince Charming is her vintage suit-wearing, 1957 Chevrolet-driving manager Hank. But can he get her to the ball, or in this case the CMA Awards?”
Why did you choose Nashville as a setting?
“I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that absolutely everyone in Nashville is trying to be a singer or songwriter while holding down jobs as secretaries and waitresses. As one of the characters says in the book, if you want to meet a great singer in Nashville, just shout, ‘Waiter!’ They all know and support each other, so I wanted to write about a group of friends in that situation, their efforts to make the big time - and all their romantic ups and downs, of course!”
Have you met many country stars in real life?
“The most memorable would have to be Dolly Parton, who was exactly as you’d expect her to be. I’ve heard from other singers that she never stops being Dolly. Even at rehearsals and recording sessions she’s always in full wig and rhinestones. As a bit of fun for country fans, I actually wrote a walk-on part for Dolly in Nashville Cinderella, and there are a few other real life country stars in there that the fans should have fun spotting.”
Where can readers buy Nashville Cinderella?
“It’s available to download from all the major digital platforms such as Amazon and iBookstore, so if you’re annoyed that the BBC don’t broadcast the CMA awards in the UK, you can console yourself by downloading a little bit of Nashville life instead!”