'The Girls Next Door' based on true High Point story
In Alice Sink’s latest book, “The Girls Next Door,” fact meets fiction. News story meets novel. And, most notably, pasties meet pastors.
And best of all, it’s based on a true story ripped straight from the pages of The High Point Enterprise.
“The Girls Next Door” (Alabaster Book Publishing, $20) tells the amusing story of a fictional church in South Carolina — Palmetto Church of the Brethren — that’s forced to move into an empty warehouse that just happens to be next door to the Pink Alligator Strip Club.
Sink, a retired associate professor of English from High Point University — and the author of 20 books — weaves her own unique tale of what happens when the two entities become unlikely neighbors. She freely admits, however, that her inspiration for the book was a story she spotted in the Enterprise last year about The Mission, a small but growing church that moved into a building on S. Main Street, right beside the Tiki Cabaret.
She even made use of the Enterprise’s headline on the story, “The Girls Next Door.”
“I read The High Point Enterprise daily,” Sink says, “and when I saw that story about the church moving in beside the strip club, I said, ‘Ooooh, I want dibs on that!’ ”
She wasted little time digging into her research.
“I knew a lot about the church, but I didn’t know anything about strip clubs,” Sink says, adding that she bought several books online that gave her some insight into the world of strip clubs. “I learned a lot about strippers.”
She quickly points out, however, that her book — which she says would probably be rated PG-13 if it were a movie — doesn’t delve too deeply into the seamy side of exotic dancing. In fact, she describes her book as “a very sweet and endearing story about two very different cultures who have become friends and show an interest in each other and grow to care about each other.”
In the book, when a spring storm tears the roof off of Palmetto Church of the Brethren, the church is offered free use of an old warehouse just outside of town. The catch, of course, is that the building stands right beside — and shares a parking lot with — the Pink Alligator Strip Club.
While Sink insists her book is not tawdry, it did get her thrown out of a book-signing she was doing outside a restaurant at an upscale resort area on Hilton Head Island. A man identifying himself as the president of the resort area got a glimpse of her book and said, “You need to pack up and leave.”
Sink tried to explain that the book was not filthy, but the man insisted she leave — without even hearing her out — so she left.
“I commissioned my own grandson (Jackson McCabe of Clemmons) to do the cover of the book, and he didn’t have any problem with it,” Sink says with a chuckle. “How bad can it be?”
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Want to go?
Alice Sink will sign copies of her new novel, “The Girls Next Door,” from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 906 Mall Loop Road.
Published by Alabaster Book Publishing, the book retails for $20.