With Blueprints going on sale in paperback this week, I just reread it to refresh my memory. Does it surprise you that I would need to do that? But consider this. I’ve written and published more than 80 books. No human mind can keep straight all the details of 80 books. Moreover, it’s been two years since I finished writing Blueprints, and since then, I’ve been immersed in writing The Make Up Artist. I’ve often made the analogy that moving from book to book is like cramming for final exams. You jam as much as you possibly can into your mind, take the exam, then push it all out to make room for the next subject.
The neat thing is that I came back to Blueprints with a fresh mind. Naturally, I loved it – of course, I loved it. I create people I love, use settings I love, add elements I love. This time, though, I found myself wondering why I do love these things. So here’s a breakdown.
A wonderful, old Victorian house plays a role in Blueprints. Why? Because I grew up in a large Georgian colonial but always coveted the Victorian of a friend. The walk from my house to the high school took me down a street lined with beautiful Victorians, and my friend’s was the best of the lot. I loved its front porch, its tiered layout, its meandering stairs and the nooks and crannies between.
Carpentry plays a role in Blueprints. Why? Because good carpentry is a thing to behold. Seriously. I’ve always been in awe of the people who do it. They are artists. When it comes to the men among them, some are tall and sinewy – i.e., gorgeous. Way back, I wrote a book called The Carpenter’s Lady, the first line of which was, “From the waist down he was promising.” Enough said.
Nail polish plays a role in Blueprints, along with grapefruit and thyme body cream. Why? Because I’m into both. The body cream I use is by Stonewall Kitchen. And the nail polish? Usually either OPI or Essie, and lately in shades of blue or green. Oh yes, I’m a color person. Just like Caroline.
Cats play a role in Blueprints. Why? Because my own cat has been dead for five years now, and I miss her terribly. Writing about Caroline’s three cats brought me a purring comfort.
Heirloom lace plays a role in Blueprints. Why? Because I have few heirlooms from my past and regret that. So I live vicariously in this, too.
And then come motorcycles. Caroline’s love-hate of them reflects my own. The first time I was ever on a motorcycle, I was in college, sitting snug up against a guy whose name I remember clear as day – but since I have no idea what he’s done with his life, where he is now, even whether he’s still alive, his identity will remain secret. Suffice it to say that the ride was exhilarating at the time, if terrifying both before and after.
I could go on and on here. There’s so much of me in every book. Who has questions?