The night “Forty Times Platinum” was born

13199704015_72aa535bd7Welcome back!

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



American Pharoah

Six months ago, Uncle Jack and I started talking about the possibility of going to the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont. After reviewing what it would cost just for the Derby, he said, “let’s just do the Belmont this year.”

I guess that was a good call!

AND we have seats!

I won’t be home until Sunday apparently. But that’s okay.


And the story begins………

cropped-13199704015_72aa535bd71.jpgI was told it would be impossible, but I have signed with a literary agent for my novel, “Forty Times Platinum.”

While my agent (I can say that now ‘my agent’) is shopping my novel to publishers, I want to tell the story of how this project began and take you on the journey that lead up to the final version of the manuscript I had submitted.

And of course tell you about all the bumps along the way. At one point, I said to myself: “Now I know why writers drink”.

I’ll start with the writer’s cliché: I’ve been writing my whole life. Well almost, the earliest I remember is writing a time travel story (on a typewriter!) when I was in high school. Many other stories followed, most were short stories, mostly because I couldn’t finish anything.

It was when I started writing screenplays, that I found the success of actually completing something. The first one, was a “Freaky-Friday” based screenplay. I had even gone so far as to take a screenwriting class at SVA (School of Visual Arts) with the goal to polish it. After, I had submitted it to Greenlight and of course never heard back. I had written a few scripts for televisions shows, such as Seinfeld. But I never knew what to do with them? There really wasn’t the internet as we know it today.

Still, I kept on writing.  I have a blue Rubbermaid tub filled with writings; and one old laptop (that hasn’t been fired up in years) filled with snippets of other stories, beginnings, middles and endings.

My  laptop now (which is also ready to be retired- come on BIG ADVANCE 🙂 with the beginnings of other stories I had started  writing, while I was working on “Forty Times Platinum.”

So why was “Forty Times Platinum” different?

To be continued