Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Exactly how I pictured it!

Have you ever imagined a place and when you finally got the chance to visit, it was exactly as you pictured? 

In my book, WILD GOOSE CHASE, Olivia Pence and Dezz Casey had a love-hate relationship since kindergarten. When they ended up working for the same magazine, all hell broke loose. Their boss had her fill of their back and forth taunts, and ordered them to take a two-week cooling off period. They were to travel separately and find serendipitous situations to write about and if the time away didn't fix their woes, the boss threatened to take drastic action. 

Of course, Dezz laughed in the face of danger (a/k/a being fired) and followed Olivia, who was on her way to Florida. Some funny situations took place along the way and so did some romantic ones. Of course, trouble also found it's way into their adventure. Dezz headed back to New York and Olivia continued on.

Olivia visited Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida. When I wrote this scene for her, I'd never actually been to this amazing attraction and had to heavily rely on information from the internet. WILD GOOSE CHASE was published in May 2016 by the Wild Rose Press. In February 2017, I finally got to visit the place I wrote about. I admit to being in awe when I realized how close I came with my descriptions in the book. The second I saw the albino peacocks I got all warm and gushy inside. There were also colorful male peacocks strutting around, making noise since they were in rut. I drank from the Fountain of Youth. The water tasted remarkably like well water. I'm still waiting for the 'youth' bit to kick in. At present, those pesky crows feet are still creasing the corners of my eyes. 

In my story, Olivia sat on a bench and tried to come to grips with her true feelings for Dezz. I think I sat on that same bench after I finished touring the park.  

For me, this after-the-fact research was surreal. It was a writer's retreat that not only helped me reconnect with the characters in the book, but also recharged my creative batteries for future stories. 

There's a lot of beauty and history to enjoy at Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. If you get a chance, check it out.

~ Jan


Monday, March 20, 2017

Romance isn't everyone's cup of tea...

...but where would we be without it? (the romance, not the tea *grins*)

Romance is the special connection that provides a feeling of excitement, mystery, and an escape from our everyday lives. It's the extraordinary chase most of us want to engage in on a regular basis. Some might scoff at the notion, but deep down, they crave it too.

I admit to being a hopeless romantic; an inexhaustible, sentimental daydreamer. I believe in meet-cutes that ignite a spark, chemistry so strong it can melt plastic, and happily-ever-afters.

Writing romance is a good fit for me. Some shy away from the genre because the ending is always predictable. The characters are guaranteed a happy-ever-after or happy-for-now. The path to get all that happiness, however, is never easy. That's where the true test for the characters comes in. It's also where the height of endurance and love can be staggering. As the author, I try to throw as many obstacles as I can at the hero and heroine, and hope they can weather the storm so their hearts can sync.

Reading romance isn't everyone's cup of tea, I get it. In the past, you may have read romance novels filled with flowery prose or unrealistic situations. I think a lot has changed in the genre over the years. If you haven't read romance for a while, you might want to give it another try. There's a good chance you'll find writing that's intelligent, entertaining, and filled with personality. ♥♥

~ Jan