Good morning! It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for some behind the scenes talk about writing inspiration! For me, meeting readers and getting to spend time with them as well as meeting other authors and hanging with them is a prime source of inspiration.
My trip to San Diego for the Romance Writers of America conference filled me with lots of energy and new ideas.
I know my trip to the Fall in Love with New England Conference will be just as awesome! There are going to be lots of fun games, panels and a book signing for readers and just as many wonderful opportunities for authors to connect with the readers and with each other.
As for me, I also get to do a road trip two fabulous writing friends. That means lots of talk about our stories, what’s happening in the publishing world and even better, my first ever trip to Salem! So excited about that.
Anyway, if you get a chance, check out the conference and I hope I will see some of you there.
I am so chugging along on Book 1 of the Jersey Girl Bridesmaids series! I am having a ton of fun with it and I hope you will also when the first book, tentatively titled Since We Were 18, is released in 2017.
The scene I’m writing right now is set at the Bryant Park Grill. I’ve eaten there several times and it’s a great restaurant with scenic views and good food.
Regular visitors to the blog know that Bryant Park is one of my favorite spots in New York City and I go there often, like every day! There is always something happening and I love seeing all the gardens in the park.
At one time, the park was known as “Needle Park” and it was filled with prostitutes and drug dealers. You risked your life walking through there even in the daytime, but no more. The park has been rejuvenated and now is a fabulous place for New Yorkers and tourists alike to visit and spend time.
Today’s Write Wednesday is some photos from Bryant Park since I’m busy writing this scene.
Long before I was a writer, I was a reader. Some of my fondest memories are of reading the Sunday paper with the comics, going to the library, or anxiously standing on the corner waiting for the bookmobile to arrive.
Prince Valiant was my all time fav comic. I lost myself in those amazing images by Hal Foster of Valiant fighting to save his people while falling in love with the fair Aleta. The illustrations in the strip are amazing and I loved reading the stories and making up my own action-adventure romance as I fell asleep at night. I should have known then that I was meant to put my stories on paper in the future.
This strip was first published in 1937 and is still syndicated today to 300 American newspapers. The creator, Hal Forest, is a Hall of Fame cartoonist and illustrator. Thank you, Mr. Forest, for such wonderful memories.
As I mentioned earlier, another memory is of the blue Levittown bookmobile rolling up to the corner. I’d dash in to return the books I had borrowed and to find new books! I always had a book in my hands and when I wasn’t reading a book, I was reading the cereal box. LOL!
Here’s a picture of an early version of the library bookmobile.
I hope you enjoyed this Write Wednesday look at my days as a reader before I became a writer.
Prince Valiant Photo Credit: http://www.alvarezperea.com/alberto/images/prince_valiant.jpg http://www.schrijvergezocht.com/viewtopic.php?p=13868&sid=949d10039a50efca4d09d9d0e842e2ee This is fair use under US Copyright law because (1) It is only a small portion of the Prince Valiant body of work; (2) It should not affect the commercial value of Prince Valiant; and (3) It is used for non-commercial purposes.
I’ve always loved reading stories about our military men and women and that inspired me to create the Take a Chance series. It’s been a challenge to explore the many facets of military heroes and their struggles in the battlefield and off, but I so love giving them their happily-ever-after.
What’s truly inspiring is the way so many veterans have dealt with the wounds they’ve suffered while serving our Nation. People like Daniel Jacobs who didn’t let the loss of part of his leg, remaining foot, and a few fingers keep him from trying out for the Detroit Lions.
Or Noah Galloway, a double amputee whose goal it is to inspire other other veterans!
Then there are my friends at the RomVets, romance authors who have served in various military branches. And let me not forget my buddy Kim, from the wonderful SOS ALOHA Blog who is the wife of a military man and helps organize so many wonderful things for our military men, women, and families with the help of RT Book Reviews.
So that’s my #WriteWednesday inspiration and God bless each and everyone for their service and sacrifice.
I’m in the midst of writing ONE NIGHT OF PLEASURE which features sexy retired Navy Captain Mark Smith and veteran Army Staff Sergeant Bridget Sullivan. If the Sullivan name is familiar, it’s because you met Bridget’s younger sister Maggie in ONE LAST NIGHT. It’s also familiar because you meet both Mark and Bridget in STAY THE NIGHT, Rafe and Elena’s story.
One thing I always think about while writing one of these novellas is how I can give you a quick intro to some of the characters you might see in a future book. In ONE NIGHT OF PLEASURE you’ll get to meet Lieutenant Commander Samantha Whittaker who is now in the Coast Guard and veteran Seabee Zack Rodriguez.
Why the Coast Guard (and I promise you’ll see more about the Seabees in another Write Wednesday post)? Well, I happened to be rescued by a very charming Coast Guard vet when I was stranded on a hotel balcony during an RT Convention in Orlando. To this day we both smile whenever we see each other and recall that very interesting (and embarassing) incident. You see, my friends and I had gone out there to have a glass of wine on a beautiful day. As we powershut a very recalcitrant sliding glass door, the security bar came loose and came down perfectly, trapping us on the balcony.
Luckily our hero walked by and seeing our dilemma, called for hotel security to come free us. He then graciously offered to get us some more wine as well. LOL!
So in his honor and to honor the service of our Coast Guard veterans, I thought it was time to highlight that branch of the military in one of the upcoming TAKE A CHANCE series novellas.
So here’s a little bit more about the Coast Guard, my Write Wednesday inspiration for EMBRACE THE NIGHT (late spring 2015), my story with Samantha and Zack.
During times of peace, the Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security (as of 2003). During times of war, the Coast Guard is part of the Navy. Coast Guard heroes like Douglas Munro, a Medal of Honor winner, have saved countless lives during both peace time and war.
The Coast Guard is one of five military branches. Its motto is “Semper Paratus” in Latin which means “Always Ready.”
In ONE LAST NIGHT you first hear about Maggie’s older sister Bridget Sullivan who is in the Army. You also get to meet Bridget toward the end of STAY THE NIGHT. You also are introduced to Captain Mark Smith, U.S. Navy, Retired, in STAY THE NIGHT. Mark runs a security company with multiple offices, including one in Atlantic City. The next novella in the Take a Chance series, ONE NIGHT OF PLEASURE, will take place in A.C. and will feature Bridget and Mark’s story.
Bridget’s occupation in the story was inspired by the work that I saw happening along the Jersey Shore after the Hurricane Sandy devastation. In addition to the towns rebuilding their boardwalks and streets, the Army Corps of Engineers came in during 2013/2014 to help replenish the beaches and dredge local inlets that had been affected by the storm. Here’s a photo of some of the beach replenishment courtesy of the US Army Corp of Engineers. You can click here to see more photos of the USACE dredges and works on the Jersey Shore.
In ONE NIGHT OF PLEASURE, Bridget was Army Reserves and called into active duty where she served honorably and received a Bronze Star for valor during combat. She’s back home and finishing her college degree. In the mean time, she’s working for a construction company that is assisting the Army Corps of Engineers with additional work along the Jersey Shore. Since she’s become friends with an assortment of ex-military in the Atlantic City area, she’s thrown together with Mark and the sparks fly! I hope you’ll enjoy ONE NIGHT OF PLEASURE when it’s available, hopefully in February.
For now, I’ll leave you with some photos of the Jersey Shore after Sandy.