Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Behind the Book . . . .Spoilers Ahead--BEWARE!

Hearts for Rent was a ten year project that wasn't intended to last that long.  I started writing the book my senior year in high school. I put it away after I graduated and went on to college.  Every once in a while, while I was in college, I would blow the dust off the black and white composition notebook and write some more.  I never finished it during college.  Then, I got married, had a couple of kids, pursued my Master's Degree and still had this unfinished book looming in my presence.  I would go back and read it and realize that I made some references in there that no one would understand. Ten years is a long time and catch phrases change!  So, first I had to edit anything before I could continue with my story. I finally finished the book about a year ago and just published it in January on  So, now that you know how long it took me to write the book, I want to tell you a little bit about how Hearts for Rent came to be my first novel.
While still in high school, my best friend informed me about the Broadway musical, RENT. She "dragged" me to the show and I fell in love with the story line and the music.  I have seen the show probably six times since. Then, my same friend loaned me the book Without You by Anthony Rapp(the original Mark from Rent). I read the story and finally decided that I wanted to incorporate the musical into a story.  Since I was getting ready to go into college, I thought I would write about a group of twentysomethings that were trying to find their purpose.  I am a big fan of movies like Grease, Fame, Centerstage, Save the Last Dance and so on and wanted to play off of those storylines.  Then, I realized that there was more to the story than just a bunch of kids going to Julliard.  They needed to deal with some social issues.  So entered the martyr, Kelso Stark aka HIV+ guy and love interest of an indecisive and emotional Ashley Downing.
But, Hearts for Rent isn't just a love story.  It is a story about friendship.  I couldn't have created any of the main characters without my friends.  Each character has a little bit of my friends' personalities.  If you're a friend of mine, and you read this book, you will know who you are.  There is even a scene taken out of my best friend's wedding that I added to the book.  I had to document somewhere that your dad hobbled down the aisle in crutches after a motorcycle accident when he gave you away!
I think the reason I waited so long to end the book was because I wanted Kelso's struggle for life to be real.  I hadn't encountered seeing someone die until 2009 when my grandpa was battling colon cancer and a nasty blood infection. As I watched him, I found the right words to express the struggles of all the characters that were affected by Kelso.
So, that's the story behind the book.  I hope you enjoy it because I'm currently working on a sequel and have some ideas for a third and final book in the series.

Download Hearts for RENT now! Barnes and Noble Ebook: Hearts for Rent