Faster Pastor, new comedy by Sharyn McCrumb

On Tuesday, Nov. 17th, I went to a writers workshop led by Sharyn McCrumb and Adam Edwards. Everyone knows Sharyn. New York Times best seller. Author of 22 novels, including two in a NASCAR series. Great person who generously gives her time to people like me who want to write better.

Here’s the premise of the novel:

Imagine what happens when an irresponsible young NASCAR driver crashes his car into a funeral in a blink-on-an-eye Tennessee mountain town and is forced to perform two weeks of community service by teaching the town’s ministers how to race stock cars. Camber Berkley, the hapless protagonist of Sharyn McCrumb’s new novel, Faster Pastor, can’t afford his fine and court costs, so he has no choice but to turn nine ministers into race drivers competing for a $2 million prize.

This is Sharyn’s third entry in her popular NASCAR series and the first one written with a collaborator, Adam Edwards, a NASCAR/ARCA driver. She and Adam is at her best in this laugh-out-loud comedy romp around a country short track.

If you like Janet Evanovich’s NASCAR series, you will love Sharyn and Adam’s book. Why is it that women can write very funny comedies about a testosterone-dominated sport? Could it be that we don’t take the drivers as seriously as they take themselves? After all, strip off the flashy fire suits and generally you have a short, scrawny guy. Not so with Adam, who is a NASCAR/ARCA driver, about oh, six two, lean, dark, very good looking. Um, what I think a real NASCAR driver should look like. . . .

Vuy the book when it comes out in February 2010. I was lucky to get my hands on an advanced reader copy, stay up two nights in a row until way too late, and loved every laugh.

Oh yes, I also learned that you can be successful with a collaborator — if you are compatible to begin with, if both of you can write, if you have similar work ethics, and if you can meet deadlines without whining. Maybe that’s why I failed with two previous collaborators. Didn’t have any of the mix except that they could actually write coherent sentences.

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