Are you the kind of reader who likes to turn pages instead of click arrow keys? Do you like to hold a book instead of a computer or eBook reader? Do you prefer being able to use a real bookmark to mark your place? The good news is that my coming of age novel, OUT OF THE BLUE, is now a “real” paperback book!
How did I come up with the idea for this title? Well, it involved a little jaunt across the ocean. I took some time off from work and traveled around England for several months. Staying in London was too expensive so I went north – to the Cotswolds. There I stumbled upon a small village inn that served as a model for the Windrush Arms Hotel.
The village did boast a “television personality” a man nearing retirement age who had once upon a time been in two long-running British telly shows. I'd never heard of him but the way he was treated by the locals clued me in that he was “a somebody.” The barmaid was a young Italian woman who was also traveling around and improving her English. I later learned that she took up with the “television personality” but I never learned of their fate.
I wondered what if the actor was a little more known internationally? And what if the young woman who was interested in him was American? Thus, the beginnings of “Out of the Blue” were born.
Much of the action takes place in a small, scenic village in the U.K. It’s the late autumn of 1981, and the Princess of Wales was expecting Prince William. You'll find no mention of cell phones, Prince Harry, i-anything, 9-11 … back then people actually smoked in pubs and ashtrays were even provided.
OK, without any more of an intro, here's the official blurb:
Sylvia Gardner is a naïve cashier who lives with her psychologically abusive mother in Richport, Illinois. Vivian Gardner repeatedly tells her daughter not to trust men because they only want to use her. Upset with being dumped by her first boyfriend; Sylvia later falls in love with an English actor after watching him on a PBS drama. For two years, she researches Alexander Thorpe's life and career, saving her money to travel to his Cotswolds village, intent on meeting him. Staying in the village's only inn, she gets room and board in exchange for working at the Windrush Arms Hotel.
Alexander is going through a career crisis, as he wants to continue making art films. He still hasn’t embraced the notion of “going Hollywood.” Additionally, the walls of loneliness and booze are closing in due to a long stint between acting gigs.
Complications ensue when the drunken hotelier, Harry Livingstone, takes a fancy to Sylvia. As in her fantasies, Sylvia and Alexander get together—but with unexpected results.
Amazon: Out of the Blue
Amazon UK: Out of the Blue