How did Blueprints come about? I’ve been wanting to write about ageism for a while – actually from the time friends of mine starting losing jobs that they loved simply because they passed one birthday too many. They were still perfectly able to work, wanted to, often needed to financially. But no. Today’s world is hung up on youth. Blueprints is my protest of that.
Not to worry, though. Blueprints isn’t a political book. It’s a book about family. More, it’s a book about growth. If you’ve read others of my books, you’ll know that character growth is a common denominator. That said, if you want your characters to grow, they can’t start off perfect. This can be a problem, since if readers don’t like your characters, they won’t read on. It’s a matter of balancing goodness and flaws. The characters in Blueprints are wonderful people with very human flaws. Caroline is short on self-esteem, while Jamie is compulsively organized. Dean is blunt and occasionally abrasive. Chip is still recovering from early self-implosion. Tell me you don’t know people like these …
Typical of my books, Blueprints is filled with unexpected challenges that force the characters to grow. Thanks to these unplanned twists, their lives change dramatically from start to finish. For the better? You’re the judge of that.
Blueprints in my Blog: A Sneak Peek
While writing BLUEPRINTS, released June 9, 2015, I dropped hints in my blog about characters, plot, and setting. Here are those hints, all in one place, newest ones at the top. Click on any blog title to learn more. Check back again for updates!
- Ha! Do you really think I’ve led a life sketched out like a set of BLUEPRINTS? I didn’t plan to lose my mother at a young age. I didn’t plan on having kids right away. I didn’t even plan to write.
- Prominent in BLUEPRINTS is a swatch of Victorian lace taken from Caroline’s mother’s wedding dress, framed and hanging on a wall. In its way, that framed lace is a little lovey – a special something we either look at or touch that relates to our roots and brings us pleasure. I have little loveys. Do you?
- I returned to New York for meetings with my agent and publisher in advance of the publication of BLUEPRINTS and, let me tell you, I was dreading the visit. A writer spends endless hours in solitude; that’s what I’m used to. But suddenly, I have meetings, one after the other, with anywhere from one to a dozen people, all focused on me.
- I have a childhood friend, living far away now, who swears she knows what’s going on in my life from my newest book. She is certainly right where BLUEPRINTS is concerned.
- Work-wise, I’ve often had to operate outside my comfort zone. Can you guess what made me squirm when I wrote BLUEPRINTS? You’ll be surprised.
- In life we’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what we do when it comes to our reading. The cover sends a message about what’s inside. In that sense, it’s a crucial marketing tool. What do you think? Does the BLUEPRINTS cover draw you in?
- Book titles arrive different ways. Some crop up at the get-go, even before I start writing a book. Others come when my publisher reads the opening of the book and a word or phrase pops up that is perfect. Others, like BLUEPRINTS, take longer to find.
- Months before I started the actual writing of BLUEPRINTS, I focused on research. I had to cover a lot of territory, ranging from what a carpenter’s hands would look like at the end of the day, to how an architect might approach a project, to how a home-renovation tv show might be taped.
- When life happens, I write about it. Construction is a major player in my new book because — drum roll, please — we’re redoing a bathroom in our house. Actually, BLUEPRINTS isn’t about redoing a bathroom but about rehabbing entire houses. But the presence of a contractor, carpenters, electricians, and lumbers at my house every day doesn’t hurt.
- Here’s the opening of the book proposal I gave my publisher: “A daughter’s chance at happiness might cost her mother everything….” Curious to learn more? Read on.
- Early in the process of writing BLUEPRINTS, I can tell you it’s very, very different from SWEET SALT AIR. Here’s what to expect.
- Caroline and Jamie are the female leads in my book. Why those names? And how did I come up with Theodore, Roy and Tad?
- Why do I usually start thinking of the next book even before the last one is done? It’s a defense mechanism.