Thanks Emily and Lisa for inviting me once again to Literary Lagniappe. Your question about what was the hero doing the day before the story begins reminds me of my years in acting. We always talked about ‘the moment before’ the action; just as you walk on stage or go in front of a camera. So here I go:
The heroine, Joanne Mc Kenna Friedman has finished night school and taken the Bar Exam. She’s beautiful on the outside, damaged on the inside. Her secret past leaves her distrustful of everyone.
Tom, the hero, graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He had a football scholarship, was quarterback, a leader and lover of all women.
It all began with Reconstructing Charlie, my fourth book published by Vanilla Heart. The story came to me in my sleep. I dreamed of a fifteen year old girl from a small town in Minnesota. Compelled to write, I began the next day and when I finished a few months later, two secondary characters whispered in my ear, “ Hey, how about us. Tell our story.” And I wrote Sin of Omission where Charlie is a secondary character.
A minor character, the hunk, Tom Donnelly showed up and said. . .and I wrote The Catch. They are all stand alone books. Somehow I couldn’t keep Tom’s voice in place and his phrasing rubbed off to other characters. After six drafts I finally found my way and Vanilla Heart and I did a happy dance. Also it’s a multilayered story, richer than the others, I do believe, and more complex with court room drama, abuse of the law, and the worst bad guy I’ve written thus far. YIKES!
All the while, just like a car, this author was in and out of the shop for repairs but I survived.
Do you remember the movie, “Something’s Gotta Give” with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton? She’s a playwright; he’s a wealthy lover. As she sits at her computer writing a new play, she alternately laughs and cries. That’s what happens to me when I write. One scene takes place on a path in the woods where Shelley Costigan goes into premature labor, her only companion is Jerry Kahn now a paraplegic due to an accident. Joanne delivers the babies. Twins. I cried. It brought back memories I’ve tried to forget and there they were. I kept the details accurate ending in romance on a beach at Lake Michigan between Joanne and Tom, but I did. Fiction, don’t you just love it?
I got myself in deep trouble while attempting to write a courtroom scene. The setting was perfect, Joanne as an assistant carried the briefcase, took out yellow pad, laptop and waited for the “All rise.” In came the Judge. Now what? Several curses later, I made a devious, amusing choice. Actually I cracked up writing it. A bit of ingenuity saved the day and taught me a lesson. Unless you’re willing to go the distance with research, bow out gracefully or in my case, fake it. Shhh.
Fleetwood Mac’s song “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow, Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.” That would be a running theme throughout the book—especially the scenes with Joanne. Tom lets go of the past. She must learn how.
I have an inkling regarding a sequel but I’m tabling it for now because I’ve already written a story about two seniors who meet by chance at the Jersey Shore. Romance, grandkids, and action. Lots of humor because laughter soothes your way over rough times. And there’s another senior story I’ve begun. Younger people may not believe that romance still blossoms in older hearts. I’m here to prove it does.
Giveaway: A print copy of Reconstructing Charlie is my gift to one random commenter. Contest ends June 13, 2013 at 11:59PM EDT.