I used to come to this beach when I was a teenager. It’s a private beach, but I had friends who lived in the neighborhood. We loved to swim and jump off the float and sometimes we’d sail around in a sunfish that belonged to one of the guys. One recent afternoon when I drove by here, I saw some kids on the float and it brought all those memories back in a flash.
If you’re looking for the town of Dorset, Connecticut on a map, you won’t find it. When I wrote my first novel, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café, I decided to create my own town of Beacon, Maine. Although Beacon was inspired by real towns I’d seen in Maine over the years, I took bits and pieces from several places, added a hefty dose of imagination, and came up with the final setting.
I used a similar approach to create Dorset in The Rules of Love & Grammar. I grew up in Darien, Connecticut, so writing about the state where I spent most of my life was fun. In creating the adolescent backstory for the main character, [Read more…]
The Rules of Love & Grammar, published by Little, Brown & Company, is in bookstores as of today and can also be ordered from online book sellers. I can hardly believe it. The process of having a book published, once you turn in your manuscript, seems about as long as the gestation period of an elephant. Well, maybe not quite that long, but close. There are so many steps to be dealt with, and as an author you’re involved in a number of them – reviewing changes suggested by your editor and making the ones you feel will strengthen the story (most of them in my case), reviewing the questions and proposed [Read more…]
Yes, it’s James Patterson. The other day I had breakfast at a local eatery with Jim’s wife, Sue, and Kristy, another friend of ours. After we had a long chat, catching up on life in general, Jim came in and joined us. Kristy presented him with these “You Don’t Know Me” sunglasses, which she had seen at an airport and thought would be perfect for him. Jim, who has a great sense of humor, immediately put them on and I took this picture.
Grace Hammond, the main character in my new novel, happens to love ice cream. (Don’t we all?) My publisher in Germany, part of Random House, held a huge promotion for my book, in conjunction with 82 ice cream parlors in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg and five other cities. The ice cream parlors sold their ice cream in paper cups with the Sommer der Sternschnuppen (Summer of Shooting Stars) book cover motif on them and gave our free excerpts of the book.
Well, my second novel, The Rules of Love & Grammar, just came out this Monday in Germany (the title there is Der Sommer der Sternschnuppen or The Summer of Shooting Stars) and I’m VERY excited to report that by Wednesday it was number 25 on their paperback bestseller list. On May 31 the book will be published in the U.S. and I’m really looking forward to that.
The book has been out of my hands for weeks now, while my publishers in the U.S. and Germany have been doing what they do to get it ready to send it out into the world. It’s kind of like going through an “empty nest” syndrome for me, similar to how people feel when their kids go off to college. So I’ve been thinking about my third novel. [Read more…]
Because a bicycle plays an important role in my new novel, I’m always keeping an eye out for cool looking bikes, and this is definitely one. The Brazilian Court Hotel, here in Palm Beach, is offering these Lilly Pulitzer-inspired Martone bicycles to guests, as part of a special package or to rent separately. What a great way to pedal around the island!
Photo: Brazilian Court Hotel
Apples feature fairly prominently in The Rules of Love & Grammar. There’s an apple orchard in the town of Dorset, where the story takes place, and all of the local restaurants try to outdo one another with their own versions of apple pie.
When I was growing up in Connecticut, we had a couple of old apple trees in our back yard. The apples that came from those trees were tiny, green, and extremely tart. Against what seemed to be all odds, my mother somehow turned those apples into pies. She would scoop them up from the ground and pluck them from the branches. I have no idea how many apples she had to collect to make one pie, but I’m sure she needed a lot. When the pies baked, the fragrance of apples and cinnamon that filled the kitchen was heavenly. [Read more…]
Der Sommer der Sternschnuppen or The Summer of Shooting Stars, the German translation of The Rules of Love & Grammar, will be on sale April 18. It can be pre-ordered now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. It has an earlier publication date than the English version (which is coming out May 31), so if you can read German you’ll get a jump on everybody else. My publisher in Germany, Blanvalet, did a wonderful job on the cover. I just love it.