Happy Book Birthday Surrender at Canyon Road!
My debut novel, a contemporary romantic suspense, is officially celebrating it’s one-year book birthday today. Since it’s release, Surrender at Canyon Road has been out there, in the wild, surviving and thriving in ways that thoroughly thrill the dreamer in me.
The seed idea for the story came to me in a rush, not fully formed, of course, but more solid than any story ideas I’d had before. It could, in part, be because my muse had my complete attention when the seed began to sprout.
I was in the car with my family, taking a day trip to the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. The lush mountains of my state marked the finish line. They were always ahead of us, and sometimes even encircling us.
My parents moved to Colorado several years ago, so I couldn’t help but consider how different the lush New York landscape was from the rugged Colorado Rockies. And that got me thinking about a New Yorker transplanted in Colorado, trying to find her way around. My husband is a photographer, and as I looked at the familiar scenery and thought of my new character driving around in a new-to-her location, I put a camera in the car with her.
Bits of story started to fall into place, and I took full brain-storming advantage of having my family trapped in the car with me for a 90-minute ride. They didn’t seem to mind. By the time we arrived at the Vanderbilt Mansion, my muse was giddy as can be, scribbling notes to herself and coming up with more story questions.
We had lunch on the Vanderbilt grounds, overlooking the beautiful Hudson River then sat for a while soaking all in. Eventually, my daughter began reading one of her Harry Potter books, the hubster took a nap on the grass, and I transcribed my muse’s notes as eagerly as she had come up with them.
By the time we reached home that evening, I had a solid story idea I could not wait to dig into – like a decadent slice of creamy New York Cheesecake. But I took my time, using all the plotting tools I had, including Laurie Schnebly Campbell’s amazing Fatal Flaw notes, and Karen Docter’s W-Plot. I researched the Rockies, and drug lords and PTSD, and little by little my hero and heroine started talking to me, more and more until, finally, it was time to write their story.
About that cover photo
Help me celebrate
I lived with these two characters for a year. I loved them and still do. And I find myself still feeling giddy at the thought of them surviving the horrors I inflicted on them to live out their lives….happily ever after.
If you haven’t yet read Surrender at Canyon Road, why not give it a go? You just might fall in love with Dani and Blake the way I did. If you do, I’d love to hear about it. Better yet, you can tell everyone at once by leaving a review.
Happy Book-birthday, Surrender at Canyon Road!