Tuesday, June 7, 2011

'Hassie Calhoun': A new novel from a Charlotte native

If you're a longtime Charlotte resident, you may know Pamela Cory as Pamela McMahon, daughter of Sam and Carolyn McMahon and a graduate of East Mecklenburg High and Queens University.

What you might not know is that Cory, a former cabaret singer, voice coach and model, is now a novelist, author of "Hassie Calhoun," the first book in a planned trilogy from Scarletta Press.

The coming-of-age novel centers on Hassie, just 17 when she escapes small-town Texas in 1959 in search of a Las Vegas singing career.
Hassie has beauty and talent, but also a "tendency to make the wrong decision, to put it mildly," Cory says.

She'll read from the novel at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road.

Cory, who splits her time between Dubai and New York, got the idea for the story when her husband, an architect, was working on a hotel project in Las Vegas. To gain background, she dove into books and movies about the city and the Rat Pack era. Frank Sinatra appears in the book.

She's now working on the next Hassie novel. When the trilogy ends, young and naive Hassie will have evolved into a "fabulous, mature woman" in her 60s, Cory says. "So the payoff is there."