Becky Crabtree describes her debut novel as a mix of romance and mystery while life in a small farming town serves as a backdrop for the theme of good versus evil. Drunk on Peace and Quiet takes place in West Virginia, but the author says it’s relatable to anyone with knowledge of life in the Appalachian Mountains.
“Their truck tags may be different colors, but the church bazaars, the yard sales, the church politics and the power of mountain women are pretty much identical,” she says. The book’s setting makes it a great fit for her appearance at the agricultural-minded Mother Earth News Fair on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10.
Crabtree says the idea for the story came to her one Sunday while sitting in church. “A group of traveling gospel singers seemed so phony that I started thinking about their personal lives and wondering if they were plastering on smiles and singing Christian music but were really horrible people at home,” she says. “My imagination got the best of me and one of my main characters, the evil Timmy Lee, was born.” Lee is the antagonist and brother of Stella, the story’s main character, who sustained a new, secret life until her abusive brother reappears. Crabtree says the unwelcome reunion leads to “trials and tribulations of middle-aged, single women living on small town farms.”
Drunk on Peace and Quiet is Crabtree’s first novel, but not her first writing endeavor. She is also author of a collection of essays titled Alaska Hoops: Tales from the Girls Locker Room stemming from her experience as a teacher and coach on the North Slope of Alaska. She is also a regular contributor to the West Virginia Farm Bureau Magazine. Crabtree is selling copies of her new book at the Mother Earth News Fair.
WHO: Becky Crabtree signs Drunk on Peace and Quiet
WHERE: The Mother Earth News Fair, Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, motherearthnewsfair.com
WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fair admission is $25 single day/$30 weekend