A New (Argentina) Project

Once upon a time, a girl was born in a dusty, forgotten village in Argentina. She was illegitimate as were her four older siblings. This made life difficult and so did the financial hardship her family faced after her father died and so she dreamed of bigger and better things. More specifically, she dreamed of Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital. So, when she's fifteen, she goes to Buenos Aires. She is determined to become an actress. And, when she was determined to do something, that is exactly what she did. She spent the next decade acting in films and plays and soap operas on the radio. One day, in January of 1944, she meets an Army colonel. The military overtook the government six months ago and so he's also the Secretary of Labor. They begin living together, fall in love, and marry. Hardly anyone approves of this, but she doesn't care. She's been disapproved of before. He becomes President. She becomes First Lady. She goes to Europe, to Spain and Italy and France, and comes home knowing what she is supposed to do as First Lady. She creates a charitable foundation that builds school and hospitals and gives food and housing to the lower class people of Argentina that she calls "descamisados." And they adore her. She is instrumental in getting the women of Argentina the right to vote. And, when her husband is up for re-election, she is asked to run alongside him as Vice President. But, she is dying. She has cancer. She won't run for Vice President. And in July of 1952, she dies, leaving behind a legacy that, I'm convinced, no one will ever be able to truly understand.

Her name was Eva Peron. They called her Evita.

So, I'm writing a novel about Eva Peron. How did I get to Eva Peron after writing about Bonnie Parker, you ask. Well, technically, I got to Bonnie Parker after writing about Eva Peron. Eva came first. I've been working on this novel for almost a decade. When I took a break from it, though, is when Bonnie jumped out at me. Now that her story is on submission, it's Eva's turn again. And, trust me, she's been impatient. Eva was the center of a lot of rumor and controversy and she still is, today. She is also the lead role in the musical Evita, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. (The title of this post is referencing the Act One closer of said musical.) Like most people, at least outside of Argentina, the musical is the way I first heard of Eva Peron. But, as I often do when I'm watching or listening to something rooted in history, I started researching. I found that there was so much that the musical, as flashy and impressive as it is, left out or oversimplified. So, in the way that I so often do when I want to understand something, I started writing about Eva.

She hasn't made it easy. But it's my favorite thing I've ever done. I want to honor every part of her legacy and I hope I can do her justice. Now that I've announced said project on all of my social media platforms, well, there's a lot more to come.