What was I thinking?
I’d never written a novella before. Still, that definitely seemed doable. But historical as well? I didn’t have MaryLu and Kim’s years of experience in researching and writing rich historical tales. Nor did I have Ronie’s amazing ability to build worlds that become living and breathing entities.
I asked myself again. What was I thinking? Could I do this? Could I write a story set during the Vietnam War and do it justice? Then bring these characters I barely knew into the present to culminate their story in the here and now?
The best thing I did was to just write. I gave up trying to figure it all out and trusted that I had the expertise of three consummate authors to guide and help me. Let me just say that these three extraordinary ladies did not let me down.
I dove into the research with tentative fingers on a keyboard more sure footed than I was. Yet the more I looked the more I discovered and learned. My confidence grew. I grew up in the seventies. Surely I could remember some of it.
Words. What phrases did they use? Clothing. What was the fashion during a time of transition from more conservative styles like those of Jackie Kennedy to the flashier wardrobe of a free-love generation?
Those challenges were the easier ones, I confess. The bigger challenge came in the location. I wanted to take advantage of the Manhattan setting to bring my characters out of their comfort zones. I chose a play, Annie. Surely that would work.
But, just to be sure, I checked. Nope! Annie hadn’t come out on Broadway yet. Had to find a new play. That was a close one. I think I breathed a sigh of relief when my story shifted to present day. Whew!
I have to say I have new respect for historical authors. My research was minimal and partially based upon what I remembered from growing up in this era. And I’m so grateful for the experience of working with three great authors and delving into a whole new writing experience.
With love and a little pride like a proud parent, I now get to see this labor of love enter the world full grown. May the Central Park Rendezvous collection bless you as much as it has me.
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