I want to tell the story of how “Forty Times Platinum” became a novel. Like all the other works I had written that went nowhere, FTP started out as some random thoughts I spilled out on to the computer. It was August 2010 and I had been driving home to Long Island from Central Pennsylvania, where my mother was living at the time. It was late, it was dark, and my dogs were sleeping in the back seat. I was on that long 440 South stretch through Staten Island when a song came on the radio.
I listened to the voice. I knew who the singer was. (I have no intention of ever revealing who this was- just use your imagination.) Something captivated me that night about him. It seemed at the time he was everywhere, but I wasn’t paying attention. His face was in my head the rest of the night. I couldn’t get him out of my mind.
I’ll stop here and tell you where I was (emotionally) at the time. I had just undergone fertility treatments, all of which were unsuccessful. My husband was still working nights at the time and I was only working part time. Trying to have a baby was my full time job. So, alone at my computer, I Googled my singer and started immersing myself into his life, like a junkie. I sifted through picture after picture and then I came across one of him and a beautiful older woman. I recognized her. She was a song writer and a producer.
And I thought… what if?
I began writing that night.
I started at what is now Chapter Four. That was the first scene I wrote. And at the time, I couldn’t even give my singer a name. It was too personal. And as the story grew, I still couldn’t name him. No name would do him justice. Being a Jose Saramago fan, I decided to keep her name just in pronouns as well. So in the 135,000 words of the original manuscript, then titled “Designed to Last”, I had no first names for my lead characters.
I’ll stop here to say that, what was actually the first book was closer to 300,000 words. I remember being in Virginia Beach at my nephew’s birthday party telling Uncle Jack (he was the only person at the time, I confided that I was writing a book) that I knew I had to split the book up. With all that I didn’t know, I knew that was too long.
The problem was, the place I wanted Book 1 to stop would either make it too short, and Book 2 too long. So I went back to the drawing board.
I spent the next 6 months splitting “Designed to Last” into two books. The sequel was called “Built to Last.” And then another story took shape and so the third book was called “The Love that Lasts”
With “Designed to Last” written and self-edited, and weighing in at a hefty 135,000 words, I then wondered: what the heck do I do now?
To be continued