This book came from a conference I attended in Florida.
It was one of the first writers' conferences I attended and it was an enlightening experience for me. I was under contract for three ebooks to be published that year, with the books coming out later in print.
Some of the more established writers there were dismissive of my ebooks. I mean, no one can make a living on ebooks, right? They're not *real* books, right?
One of those authors was Joe Konrath, who later became one of the biggest ebook advocates out there.
Isn't it funny how life works out?
Anyway, I had to create a fictional conference, complete with theme and location, as well as (of course) decide who would be murdered. I mixed up the above-mentioned conference with one of the bigger romance conferences, and lo, this book was born.
It's the 2nd in my Fatal Writer's Conference series and it continues the relationship of the two main characters. It can be read as a standalone, but the other books in the series help give it added meaning. I'll be talking about those books later this year.
For now, though, during this cold winter, enjoy a bit of Sun, Surf, and Sandy Strangulation.
This book is based (somewhat) on a real thing that happened.
A friend of mine (we'll call her Grace, like the Grace in my story) agreed to meet a guy for coffee. The guy was a friend of her cousin's husband. Grace was drop-dead beautiful but she was so unlucky in love. She just never found anybody who appreciated her for more than her beautiful face and body.
So she agreed to meet this guy, sight unseen. She goes to the meeting place, a guy approaches her, they start talking, and she thought "What a nice guy" -- score!
Well, it turns out he wasn't the guy she was supposed to meet. But it all worked out okay because she did eventually meet the original guy, they fell in love, got married, and happily ever after.
I took that little glimmer of an idea and came up with Grace, who meets a guy who is NOT the guy she's supposed to meet. He gives her something and that sets off a chain of events that go on halfway across the United States while Grace is on a vacation, what was supposed to be a leisurely train trip.
I had fun with the hero in this one. Ben is very self-assured, but he's getting older and he's worried he's too old for Grace. That doesn't stop him from enjoying some time with her (ahem), but in the long run, he's sure he can't have anything long-term with her.
The next book is one of those "I wonder what would happen if ..." books. I was in a parking garage one day and I heard an argument somewhere in the garage. Given how things echo, I wasn't sure where the voices were coming from. They were arguing in a foreign languge, I think German -- I speak French and some Spanish, and it wasn't those.
As I left the garage, I thought, "Gee, I wonder what would happen if someone overheard an argument and it turns out that was right before a murder. And that person saw the murderer ..."
And lo, "Homicides, Hostages, and Hot Rod Restorations" was born. I love researching things I know nothing about for my books, and this was no exception. The heroine is a rather erudite person, and I had fun checking facts about the English language. Plus she's of Rom heritage, so that involved some research. Then there was the whole car restoration stuff.
Lots of fun to research and write. This was the first of the "Gypsy cousin" books (followed by "PhDs" and "Ex-Wives", to be mentioned later). If you like an interesting heroine and a somewhat shy hero, this one might be for you.
It's weird to kick off a year of posts about books with the final book in a trilogy, but there you have it -- the luck of the draw.
Leap of Faith is the final book in my far-future trilogy (composed of Human Touch, Living Proof, and Leap of Faith). This trilogy is penultimate group of books for the series I'm currently writing -- the Endless American Dream series, which will have (Lord willing) 14 books total.
Yep, you read that right. 14 books. There are 9 books set in current day. One book set 2 generations from now. One book set 4 generations from now. Then these 3.
Here's the odd thing: I wrote these 3 books knowing that I would be writing the first 12 someday. But I only had vague ideas of the plot lines, although I did know the characters.
So I created this trilogy years ago and now I'm writing the 12 books that lead up to it. I have Books 1-7 done. I'm writing Book 8. I have book 11 done. Yeah, I keep busy ...
So what can I tell you about Leap of Faith? This entire trilogy is about politics, really. I tried to envision a society that had solved a lot of our problems: racism, inequality between the sexes, religious intolerance. I imagined what it would be like if those issues didn't exist. What would be the conflict?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there will always be conflicts -- it's just a matter of where they come from. And that's where Leap of Faith starts: a new race has been discovered on this imaginary planet, but where did they come from? And what effect will they have on the current inhabitants?
Dru Delaney is a planetary leader and her co-leader is Jak Exo Moreno. They have a lot to learn about trust, love, and leadership -- and it all culminates in this book.
I'll tell you about the other 2 books in the trilogy later, on their anniversary dates. For now, just tuck this one away in the back of your mind: you may want to revisit it later ...
I'm kicking off a new year, starting my 12th year in publishing, with posts here about some of my old books (the ones that are still available). I'm going to revisit them, write about them, and maybe introduce some of you to them. So hang on for a trip down Memory Lane.