1. As soon as I dreamed up the character Nigel Gasp, I couldn't rest until I found someone who loved him like he deserves to be loved. I worry about things like that. Really. It keeps me awake at night.
2. The entire time I was writing the first draft of Stirring Up Trouble, I probably didn't cook at all. It was an entire book about Chefs and all I did was drive through fast food joints for an entire month. I wrote it quickly though, and worked on polishing it later. By then I felt I could leave the computer long enough to feed my family something other than junk food.
3. I speak enough Spanish that I might have attempted to write the Spanish dialogue in The Pharaoh's Concubine, but after careful consideration, I asked my pal Anna to help me, because I was likely to impart that school Spanish ambiance to the book. The really good cursing is me telling Anna what I wanted to say in English, and her calling her police academy student son to ask how to say it. LOL!
4. Crossing Borders was not the first book I ever wrote, but it was the first to be published. The first I ever wrote was a very vanilla story of two high school violinists in love, set across the backdrop of their high school orchestra. My mother was able to read it, and she said, "Wow. I read that. It's almost like a real book!"
The Long Way Home was next, then Drawn Together, then Crossing Borders. By that time I was so punch drunk in love with writing, I was spending all my free time with my computer. I had an email address but no link to anything but LiveJournal. No social networking. No phone, no lights, no cable cars. I didn't watch television or Netflix films. I think of that year as the "time I spent in the glow of my desktop monitor, keeping the door shut against my family responsibilities." Writing was my Drug Of Choice. After that, I floated gently back to earth... Now my family takes the front seat, but it was "an affair to remember." :D
5. I have written a number of holiday stories, I Heard Him Exclaim, What Child Is This, Secret Light and A Picture Perfect Holiday. I think my favorite of those is Secret Light. I've said many times that I took positively shocking liberties with my father in that book.
Everything about the character is my dad, everything he does, everything he says, how he thinks and feels about family and faith and friendship. The only difference is to my knowledge my father was not gay. I loved Rafe Coleman so much. I wanted to give him the happiest of happy endings. I wanted to tuck him in on that final page with enough love to last an eternity.
Even though it was the fifties, and he had to live with his lover in secret, I believe in their happily ever after and I know it only got better over the years. Good night, sweet prince. RIP.