My romance novel,
, started as a joke between me and
two online friends. We projected ourselves as career women, described a love interest,
and I was to write a short humor story around our ideas. Well, the words just
kept flowing, plot twists came in my dreams, and what started as fun between
friends became a full-fledged novel. Hemphill Towers
One of my friends has Multiple Sclerosis. When I voiced concern over her condition, I was invited (and later adopted) into her MS chat group. When she mentioned the book, they wanted to read it too. So, I sent it in installments, one per week. When writer’s block reared its ugly head and I wanted to give up, I’d get an email saying, ‘We’re waiting on our installment’. It took three months to finish the first, very rough draft. I’m grateful to that small group for letting me bounce ideas off them, and giving me the push I needed.
It took much longer to clean up the manuscript, fix spelling and punctuation, and then have trusted critique partners to check it all out. To actually see my book published by Muse in late summer 2013 will be awesome, to say the least.
I gave my three heroines their own story line, but kept them intertwined. Stella Mason, Riley Saunders and Birdie Orwell are best friends and co-workers for an advertising agency owned by JB Edwards. Birdie is whisked away to faraway
by JB’s friend, winemaker Federico Martinique.
Stella has eyes only for her handsome boss, while Riley is pursued by a
scheming, obsessed stalker. Her work with an art museum is a labor of love, but
leaves her vulnerable to his watchful eyes. The friends are all drawn into
Riley’s nightmare, but that’s what good friends are for. The handsome museum
curator also vows to keep Riley safe. Italy
My story switched back and forth between Hemphill Towers and Italy. A wine forgery that started in Italy made its way to the states and bridged a gap between them.
Since this was my first novel, I had no idea how much research would be involved. I mentioned an advertising agency, wine,
and an art museum in the above paragraph, and each of these required research.
It was unbelievable how many different types of grapes were used to produce
wine, and how many were grown in one specific area in Italy. But, Federico was
well worth the research. Rich, handsome, romantic – and definitely, not a joke. Italy
Bio: A lifelong resident of Illinois, I have four children, twelve grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. After losing my husband of forty-four years to lung cancer, I turned to my computer to save my sanity. It was only then that I started to write. One friend recommended a free online writing course called F2K. (Fiction for 2000). I took this course three times and then became a Mentor with my own classroom. We get writing students from all over the world, both beginners and published authors.
Leona Pence can be contacted at:
Hemphill Towers coming in 2013 MuseItUp