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Blue Moon Luck Paperback – September 9, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


In the early 1980s, two aspiring musicians yearn to escape their sleepy West Virginia hometown in Collison's (Water Ghosts, 2015, etc.) short, lyrical novel.

Chancellor "Chance" Lee and his best friend, Tollie Osbourne, have always wanted to leave Falling Waters, West Virginia, and from the time they're in high school, both believe rock music can be their tickets out. Tollie is the naturally talented one, "Jimi Hendrix re-incarnated."
Chance plays rhythm guitar and later learns the drums when the two get a regular gig in a country band. While they wait for stardom, Tollie works construction and Chance sells the weed he grows. The summer they're 22, they drop $5 each on a visit to "the witch," a woman who tells fortunes on the night of the full moon. That's where trouble starts...

Collison's novel starts strong, and her writing is evocative, as when she describes Falling Waters: "Like two old woman's hands cupped, a little bowl in the midst of craggy, tangled green hills." While she takes her time establishing Chance's and Tollie's back stories, the novel's pace speeds up as it progresses...

A well-written novel that rushes through its second half; readers might want another 100 pages.

-- Kirkus Reviews

From the Author

Blue Moon Luck,one of my earliest novels, was originally titled "With a Little Luck."  I wrote the first draft in 1995 -- it took me about six months -- then entered it in the 1996 Maui writers Contest, judged that year by best-selling authors John Saul, Elizabeth Engstrom and Don McQuinn.  Call it intuition, call it delusional thinking, but I had a good feeling about that story. I had a hunch that, with any luck, "With a Little Luck" could win.

The erstwhile Maui Writers Conference was a big deal. Held at Maui's flamboyant Grand Wailea Resort, it brought together authors, hungry literary agents, top editors of the big New York publishing houses, playwrights, screen writers and Hollywood movie directors.In 1996 Ron Howard and Jackie Collins were featured speakers. All of this high profile razzle dazzle was funded by a thousand eager, emerging writers with disposable income who believed they too, had a manuscript that could, with the right agent and editor, win the Pulitzer, make the New York Times Best Seller list, or be optioned for a movie.Although there were lectures and workshops that were designed to help writers improve their craft, what really made the Maui Writers Conference seem magical was the possibility of discovery. Though chances were miniscule, that's what we all dreamed of.

I was one of those hopefuls who spent $495 (not including airfare or hotel) to spend a long weekend on Maui, where I never once dipped a sandy toe in the ocean.Like most of the attendees, when I wasn't attending lectures or workshops I was feverishly rehearsing for the coveted fifteen-minute pitch sessions with agents and editors - sessions we hoped would earn us an invitation to send the manuscript to their attention, with the secret code to put on the envelope that would get it past the hack assistant who was prone to placing brilliant manuscripts in the slush pile.  

A few weeks before the Labor Day Weekend conference someone called to tell to me "With a Little Luck" was among the ten finalists -- and to invite me to join the others in an intensive two-day workshop led by Saul, Engstrom and McQuinn. I was ecstatic. Yes! Maui, or bust! Since I was living on the neighboring Big Island at the time, it wasn't such a long or expensive journey to get to the Valley Isle, though it was an emotional ride, for sure.

Ron Howard, one of my favorite film directors, started things off with his keynote speech about storytelling and timeless themes.  I was truly star-struck,having followed his career since he played Opie Taylor on the Andy Griffith show.  Author and screen writer Chris Volger's sessions on mythic structure in storytelling was instructive and inspiring and has influenced my own writing in the years since.  But where I really got my money's worth was participating in the intensive writing workshop with the other finalists. Don McQuinn was particularly good at teaching the art and craft of writing. Through his Socratic method I improved my manuscript and learned to look at my work with fresh eyes and listen to it with fresh ears.  I am grateful to Don and am a better writer for his insightful criticism.

The weekend flew by. Sunday morning we gathered together in the auditorium, an intimate group of about 1200, for the closing ceremony. Conference director John Tullius was about to announce the contest winners.  Apparently there was a tie that year (1996) and two grand prizes would be awarded.  I had been sufficiently humbled in the workshop, but still believed my story had merit. Now, nearly twenty years later, I can vividly recall sitting near the back of the auditorium  listening as the names of the honorable mentions were called. My name was not among them but I was still hopeful.  Tullius announced the name of the first grand prize winner and I clapped until my hands stung for the man whose name I cannot remember - the man who took his place on stage alongside the runners-up and received his award. My husband squeezed my hand tightly as we waited.  Tullius then passed the microphone to DonMcQuinn who began to read in his rich, slow voice with its hint of a Southern drawl, bringing  young Chance Lee to life.

 "The trouble between Tollie and me all started the night we got our fortunes told,the summer I was twenty-two. That was the summer everybody was doing it, going down to the river to see the witch..."

Product details

  • Publisher : Fiction House, Ltd. (September 9, 2015)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 200 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0989365352
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0989365352
  • Item Weight : 9.1 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 6 ratings

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