Today I thought I would start with a fun story. I always love to hear how other people come up with their book or movie ideas or how they created a character. For example, Stephenie Meyer, the writer of the Twilight series has mentioned many times in interviews that she had a dream about a boy whose skin glowed like diamonds and thus became Edward Cullen.
My idea for The Blue Lute actually came from several places. First of all two of my favorite Jude Deveraux books are A Knight In Shining Armor, about a medieval knight that is summoned forth to the 1980s (that’s when it was written) and helps a woman in crisis. In turn the woman goes back in time to help him from being condemned to die. My second favorite is Sweet Liar where a woman is forced to search her missing grandmother to fulfill her father’s will after he died. The story she finds is that her grandmother was a gangster’s moll in the 1920s and escaped from a Al Capone type of guy only to be found again in the 1960s when she tried to save her family by abandoning them.
I often wondered what it would be like if those two books were combined for many years but never thought anything of it. Well that is until I moved to San Diego and into my first apartment. I lived in the El Roberto which used to be an old hotel back in the 1920s. It was a swanky little place that movie stars back in the day would stop in on their way to Mexico (at least that was the story I was told.) The old place had one absolutely amazing feature in the basement: two distillery boilers, preserved like they were back in the Prohibition days. How do I know, you ask? The first clue was that they were stand alone boilers that weren’t connected to any piping in the walls. So I asked the landlord (a creepy dude for another story) what they were for then and he simply said, “For gin”. He proceeded to tell me that beneath them were trap doors that still had glass bottles inside. They were truly there for the purpose of making homemade alcohol underneath the radar of the police. I was intrigued and a story started creeping up inside of me little by little.
It was later when I was supposed to be unpacking, I sat in this vast closet, which also held a drop down Murphy bed, and wondered how cool it would be if I found a photograph or letter of someone who once stayed at the hotel in my very room. I put all of those thoughts together and stopped packing to start my new story! The Blue Lute was born.
That was back in 2000 and I wrote out a lot of thoughts and ideas for chapters, but never truly got back into it until 2008. It was then that I went all out to put this book together. And what fun it has been! I have loved researching and writing about these characters and the strange events they went through. I can’t wait for everyone to share my story with me.