H is for “Happy with the Millionaire” and Houses in Vermont

Happy with the Millionaire

Happy with the Millionaire” was the first novel length story I wrote. It had its genesis ten years before I sat down to write it all because someone had complimented me on a funky pair of Christmas earrings that had cost all of $2.  The earrings didn’t end up making it into the final product but they provided the muse. I finally began to write the story as a NaNoWriMo challenge in 2013. It was a useful entrée to the world of fiction writing. As I sent it off to editors (yes, more than one) before I began to pitch it to publishers, I learned a LOT from the feedback. I was forced into learning about Point of View and appropriate ways to switch from one to another. (NO – you can’t have three different POV in the same chapter. Silly me!) And I found out more about ‘show, don’t tell’. (That one is still a challenge.) Over the subsequent four years, my writing began to follow the rules, though the integrity of the story remained. The novel was picked up by Passion in Print Press last January through a SavvyAuthors PitchFest. It’s the story of Hermione and Zach.  Hermione’s initials spell out H-APPY, so her friends call her Hap. She runs an events business in Sydney. Zach owns an IT business that he began with his best friend in high school. The friend died in a car accident on the weekend that they were celebrating their rise to millionaire status. Although it was Zach and Hermione’s story (and the first to be written) and Angelique and Vincent were secondary characters, the latter couple demanded their own story. They got it in “Loving the Celebrity Chef.” These are books 1 & 2 in the Rosettis series. Book 3 is in progress.

Haiku

Ephemeral happiness –
Take love, add challenge
for happy ever after.

Houses in Vermont

About a year ago, Bree Verity put out a call for authors to contribute a novella to an anthology based around the fictional town of Whittaker Springs in Vermont in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. I was in a bit of a writing funk at the time and figured a novella was just what I needed. It was. It came together out of nowhere and wrote itself pretty quickly. I loved the story. Critics would say I have too many supporting characters for a work of that length. I do, but I don’t think that the reader loses sight of the love story. Feel free to let me know what you think about “Merry Christmas, Liebchen.

Anyway, at the heart of the story is Jolene’s family home which has a female-line entail. That sent me off to study what the house would look like. I perused ‘for sale’ ads in Montepelier VT and surrounding areas that were about 130 years old. I chose one and used it as the model for layout and appearance.  Along the way, I found out more about Vermont – but I’ll get to that later in the challenge.

As an aside, I’ll let you know that Jolene’s physical appearance was based on a young woman I observed in a coffee shop one morning:

“Her long chestnut hair framed an oval face with sad-doe brown eyes that gave her face a calm, serene appearance. But when she had smiled …, her face had been transformed. Her image shifted from serenity to cheeky mischief …”

Haiku:

Hist’ry and entail combine
– jealousy, envy
thrive to acquisitive heights.

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