Sunday, April 8, 2012
If you've been itching for a new contemporary Rubeneseque romance, I just released my novel "Picture Postcards" for your Kindle. (And if you're on All Romance eBooks, for your Kindle and various other e-readers as well.) Technically "Picture Postcards" was the second novel that I wrote. I completed it in 1995, right after the sudden death of my youngest son, Brandon. I spent two months crafting what I wanted to be akin to the romantic comedies I so enjoyed watching. Needless to say I needed the lightheartedness of such a story in such a dark time, and it totally fit the bill. It had a fairy tale feel about it, much like "Sleepless in Seattle," and was written entirely because Harlequin put out a call for any romances that revolved around the written word. My idea was originally very simple: have a young woman intercept romantic but anonymous picture postcards written to someone else. Hilarity would then ensue as she tried to piece together the mystery that would result in her finally meeting the man of her dreams that she had the misfortune to find through someone else's mail. Ultimately this book would be the first to get legitimate interest from an agent and I was signed in 1997. However many publishers felt the heroine was "too perfect." (Some even felt it was more suited to the screen, which made me convert it to screenplay form years later. I shelved it to work on other projects, but it was a very pivotal book for me in my development as a writer.) Eventually I would learn the more flawed a heroine was the more I enjoyed writing them. It made Picture Postcards stronger for the lead character of Caitlin to have certain quirks and an endearing naivete that got her into trouble more often than not. As time wore on I was able to fix the existing problems but I wasn't sure how I could save the dated plot. Our world is super-connected now where it wasn't back in the mid-90s when I originally crafted the story. It was harder to sell a concept that a couple of lovers would lose touch over several weeks or months just because they were on opposite sides of the world. Thanks to email, Facebook, cell phones and Skype, there is no opposite side of the world anymore. Even my best friend and I chat for hours every night despite being hundreds of miles apart. If he were to vanish into thin air it wouldn't take weeks or months for me to notice. This threw my whole "fairy tale" concept into a blender and made me almost permanently shelve the project. But then I had an inspired stroke of creativity that put the whole thing back on track so I could bring it to you, a more mature evolved piece that is fun, romantic and a little fanciful. Kind of like the person who wrote it. ;) I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Description: When full-figured Caitlin O'Neil moves to Los Angeles to begin her career as a creative director at an up-and-coming art gallery, she feels confident that after years of self-imposed celibacy she can find a suitable gent for a long awaited romance. Los Angeles was a sea of millions of souls, after all. How hard could it be to land one who was intelligent, kind, romantic and appreciated a successful, fun-loving gal with generous curves? After a few disastrous non-starts, however, Caitlin decides romance is a safer concept when contained within her mailbox. Anonymous and poetic picture postcards arrive every week without fail, addressed to the former occupant, and weave a romantic mystery reality can't quite match. Around the time they stop, a couple of men enter Cait's life who turn her heart upside down. One is the suave and sophisticated Reuben, who whisks her away on unforgettable dates to sweep her completely off her feet. Her other steady is her best friend Robert, a romantic cynic who keeps her laughing and always comes to her rescue when she needs him the most. Will they be able to fill the gap left by the mysterious postcard writer? Or, as the postcards mysteriously start up again - this time to Caitlin herself, could it be possible that one of these two very different men the man she'd been dreaming of all along? It's just a 20th Century fairy tale, made possible by the United States Postal Service. Read sample chapter here.