Howdy do ya’ll,
It’s me again, Matt Ortiz, the writer and lover of all things southern. Perhaps that’s why I set so many of my books in the south. Many folks think very negatively of the south and have preconceived notions that, we’re are as dumb as a dish of hushpuppies. That couldn’t be further from the truth. So many great comedians, politicians, actors and writers hail from the steamy, sultry, wakadoodle land south of the Mason Dixon line. We, as a whole, never met a stranger, are gracious to a fault and are a bit nuts. In fact, in the south you don’t ask if you have any crazy people in your family—just what side. I think that’s why I like writing southern characters. Now writing gay male romance is primarily about the MC, but I find the supporting characters to be so much more fun. Especially the women.
Southern women are like no other on the planet. They are kind, loving, gracious, fierce and loyal to a fault. They can hand out a compliment that can sting as well as caress. I believe Clary from Steele Magnolias said it best, “If you can’t say something nice, come sit by me.” A true southern woman to the core. In my current series: The Butcher, the Baker, the Custom Bikemaker I have two strong women. The mother of the Myer triplets: Lynda ‘Lynnie’ Myer and her mother, Gladys ‘Mawmaw’ Winston. Lynnie is loving and kind and strong as steel. She is the mother we all hope to have. Mawmaw has reached the age, that for southern women, gives them the right to say whatever comes to mind and that is why I love writing her. My favorite line of hers was what she said to one of her grandsons, regarding a man he had dated: “If he don’t lick the postage stamp, he shouldn’t get to send the mail”. She is all the wonderful older southern women I was blessed to know—sassy, brassy and completely honest.
Some say we’re stupid and slow. That is not true. We talk slow because we are only taking our time figuring out, how to insult you… or ask you to dinner. So if you are hankering for a bit of southern charm, come visit the Myer family and through them the Gaithers… sit a spell, have some sweet tea and laugh. Because laughter is the balm to a hurting heart.