It’s been a little over twenty years since I decided I was going to write a novel. After numerous false starts, and dozens of dozens of renditions and revisions, with enormous support and encouragement from other writers, friends, and family members, criticism and suggestions from agents, Editor, and Beta readers, and with a few other novels written in between, I finally molded that first novel, originally titled Diana, and then Querida, and at one point, Everything That Matters, until I finally settled on, My Dear One, into something I’m happy to publish.
As all novels are, My Dear One (which is the English translation of Querida, an endearment offered by Diana Gabaldon in response to my question regarding what Spanish endearment my hero Jake, might have for the heroine, Dianna), is a work of fiction. The events, characters, setting… all from my imagination, save the Titanic and its sinking, and Maywood Home. Those were real. As are the women, and man, who inspired the story: my mom and step-grandmother, and stepdad.
My mom’s real-life trauma was the impetus for Dianna’s fictional tragedy. My decision to set the story in 1912 and partially on the Titanic, borne from my step-grandmother’s past. The hero of the story is a rancher, because some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around time spent with my stepdad on the ranch his parents carved from British Columbia’s Caribou-Chilcotin wilderness. The fact the hero is a Texas rancher, rather than a Canadian one, is because at the time I conceived of the novel, I was also trying to learn everything I could about novel writing.
I discovered that one of the basic tenets of good fiction, is to test the hero/heroine, make him/her as uncomfortable, and out of her/his element, as possible, to see what she/he is made of. So, I wondered…
“Where could Dianna end up that would be as far from what she knows, and the comforts she’s used to, as possible?”
Well, England is green. It’s wet. It’s a cool climate. London is posh. Expansive. Densely populated. It’s where Dianna wants to be. She’s the daughter of an earl, raised in a large manor with servants, luxury at her fingertips, set to debut into all the glittering elegance upper-crust British Society’s Season has to offer…
Alrighty then. A remote, hot, dry climate, with low population density it is. Texas? Perfect. Bonus, it has venomous creatures, and canyons vulnerable to flash-flooding (the Texas Government State Park’s web page shares some beautiful scenery). And, because Dianna’s used to pampered living, lets bring her down a notch. Or two. See how she copes when she’s reduced to rags, and living hand-to-mouth, even for a couple of days.
So, that’s how my fictional heroine, Dianna, ends up in the fictional town of Douglas, in the fictional county of Douglas, TX, instead of in beautiful British Columbia, or rugged Montana, climates and topography too similar to England and Scotland, for my evil–er–authorial purposes.
To learn more about me, my books, or the people and experiences that inspire my writing, including some of my adventures on the ranch where my stepdad was born and raised, check out the different links, or hang out in Deb’s Writing Room, my blog where I share my thoughts and experiences, or settle in at Deb’s Reading Room and discover some of the books I’ve read. Maybe you’ve read some of them, too?
To learn more about Dianna and how she overcomes–rises above–tragedy and loss, to find ever-lasting love, sign up for my Newsletter, and you’ll be one of the first to know when My Dear One hits E-tailer shelves!
Thank you so much for popping in. Please, grab a tea or coffee–wine?–and visit awhile. I appreciate the company.