I’ve been putting off joining the world of blogs …. but I had no idea how much I was missing until my Web project brought me an intimate chat with two of my fictional heroines – Jenny and Georgina.
I’ve been putting off updating my Web site for years while one by one my fellow writers joined the world of blogs and set up a 21st Century Web presence. At first I told myself I didn’t have time. When friends called up their Webmaster or Webmistress to modernize the author pages, I told myself I had no excuse to hire someone else. After all I actually had a professional certificate in Web development, and once upon a time I’d taught a Webmaster certificate program. But my ten-year-old knowledge of the Web world was so sadly out of date it was a hindrance more than a help. I’d somehow managed to avoid blogs and confess that until EC Sheedy and Bonnie Edwards dragged their fellow Pen Warriors into Twitter during a recent retreat, in my world tweeting was something birds did. Not that I was opposed to tweeting myself, but beyond knowing it was some form of social networking, I hadn’t a clue how to tweet or even why I would want to.
It’s embarrassing to be be an Internet Luddite when only ten years ago I was the tech nerd everyone called when they had computer problems.
Ah, well. I finally got tired of my own excuses and finally, today, I’ve got the VanessaGrant.com web site up again – here’s my first blog on the new Website and I get to share the fun I’ve had today with anyone who stumbles into my virtual kitchen for a chat. Thanks to WordPress I haven’t had to dig into much of the HowTo, and have been able to focus on what I want to say here.
One thing I wanted to do on each of my book pages was to take a few minutes to write about the characters and how I came to know them. Today I’ve put up the pages for Jenny’s Turn and Stray Lady. Recalling how Jenny’s hero came to me while I was taking an instructional media course at summer school took me right back to the excitement of that moment when I started to get a feel for the world the film-maker instructor lived in. Exciting, state of the art, a perfect fit for a passionate, driven, successful, artistic – and yes, a little arrogant – hero. Jake, the hero of Jenny’s Turn was born in that lecture room and I had almost as much fun remembering as I’d had writing the book.
Remembering Jenny inevitably brought me to George, her cousin who started out as a voice on the telephone – at that point both Jake and I believed George was a man – and almost took over Jenny’s book. I rememberedhow I’d just finished writing a scene up on a boat in Massett on the Haida Gwaii islands, and George had been playing her guitar and I felt a guilty falling-in-love-with-the-wrong-person sensation when I realized it was George’s story I wanted to tell. I had some trouble subduing her voice in my mind until I could get Jenny’s story finished and get on to George’s tale in Stray Lady.
The day’s over now and instead of putting up all twenty-five books, I’ve succeeded in getting three up. But I’ve had a wonderful time reminiscing with old friends and smiling over their happy endings. It’s the sort of day where I wouldn’t miss being a writer for anything in the world!
I got the idea for my fifth romance novel, Jenny’s Turn, when I was a college instructor taking a summer course on instructional media at the University of British Columbia. I had expected the course to be boring, but instead of learning about overhead projectors I learned about the life of a commercial film-maker and it excited me. The course didn’t do much for my skills as a college instructor, but it jump-started my new book by bringing my hero to life. Jake … artistic, passionate, driven and successful. Women loved him, but I needed a special woman who could become the only woman in his life. What if my hero didn’t recognize the right woman when she came along? And just how long should a woman in love wait for her turn? I hope you enjoy reading Jenny’s Turn as much as I enjoyed writing it – and if you’re wondering what happens to Jenny’s cousin Georgina, check out Stray Ladywhere George is forced to stay in one place long enough to fall in love.
Originally published in hardcover by Mills and Boon Limited.
Synopsis of Jenny’s Turn
She’d had enough!
Jake’s talent as a filmmaker made working with him an exciting experience for Jenny, but after five years doing things his way, she’d had enough! She’d fallen hard for Jake and she knew the only way to get over him was to leave Vancouver and get out of his life. So she left – but a Pacific Island just south of Alaska wasn’t nearly far enough to keep Jake away!
Carrie Brooke fell in love with her employer, Charles Kantos, the first time she saw him, but she’d always been careful not to let it show. Now she’d ruined it all, and when she woke up in bed with him the morning after his best friend’s wedding, Carrie knew there was only one thing to do – run. But Carrie was Kantos Holdings’s best acquisitions specialist and Charles wasn’t letting her quit.
… about writing After All This Time
“I wrote After All This Time shortly after returning to Vancouver Island from Mexico, where I had been living for two years. Like many of my stories, a number of diverse ideas came together to create the story After All This Time. I’d just spent two years in a strongly family oriented, laid back, machismo culture. Driving to a friend’s guest house near Vancouver I drove by numerous golf courses which I noticed particularly because there was controversy over a wealthy developer’s plans to build a new golf course on farmland near my new home. And last – or perhaps I should say first of all, I’d years ago shared a table at a writer’s event with another romance writer who said one day she wanted to open a book with the heroine in bed with the hero. Personally, I’d always preferred to let my hero and heroine develop some chemistry first, but … well, it was different with Charles and Carrie. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.” Vanessa Grant
Originally published in hardcover by Mills and Boon Limited.
After years without updating the Vanessa Grant home page, I’m finally bringing it into the 21st Century with a new look and a blog/discussion-board. I’ll be adding all my titles over the next few months, and for those of you who are interesed in writing, some of my favorite resources for writers.
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to drop in anytime, drop off a comment, talk about romance, writing, or whatever strikes your fancy. Join the discussion – or start a new one – by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed.
And while you’re browsing, stop by the PenWarriors blog where I have fun talking about the writing life with fellow writers Bonnie Edwards, EC Sheedy, Laura Tobias, and Gail Whitiker.
Last week I gave up trying to “renovate” my old Web site, and decided to start again from scratch using WordPress.
The good thing is that I now have a site that supports a blog and is easy for me to update without having to drag my Web programming skills out of the dark ages. The bad thing is that I don’t have any writers’ resources on the site. Or is that actually a good thing, because I have one more virtuous activity to substitute for writing when I’m not sure which words to put in my characters’ mouths? It’s a lot more fun than cleaning the refrigerator – one of the alternatives!
I’ll be optimistic and plan to both add the resources and write the novel. Meanwhile feel free to look around, leave a comment, and have a good day!
Storm is my second novel, the story of Luke and Laurie falling in love on the magical islands of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. Luke and Laurie have always had a special place in my heart, and the storm that drew them together symbolized many coastal adventures I’ve shared with my husband.
When I wrote Storm, I set the story on the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, islands originally named after the wife of the British King George III without regard to the fact that the indigenous First Nations had already named their islands. In 2009 the province of British Columbia signed a historic reconciliation agreement with the Haida Nation, and the islands were renamed Haida Gwaii. Because the romance in Storm is so much a part of the heritage of Haida Gwaii, I wanted to bring the story forward into the 21st Century.
In bringing the islands forward to the present day, I’ve taken artistic license with regard to logging on Lyell Island. A few years after the book was originally published, a national park was established and the Gwaii Trust was given the task of managing the forests. Because logging itself is not central to the story, I’ve taken the artistic license of leaving the logging camp on Lyell Island
… Vanessa Grant
Synopsis of Storm – the Author’s Cut
She had become what others wanted – could he help her find herself?
Broadcaster Laurie Mather wanted desperately to be aboard Luke Lucas’s seaplane when he flew out on a search-and-rescue mission off the treacherous coast of northern British Columbia – for professional reasons, but also for deeply rooted personal reasons.But when she pressured Luke into accepting her presence, she had no idea that she was Luke’s private fantasy, a warm living voice he listened to on lonely flights – but one he had no desire to turn into reality.When Laurie succeeded in talking her way aboard Luke’s plane, her well-ordered life was changed forever.