After many long months of working alone, my novel is now published and I’m out on a book tour talking about Down and Out in Beverly Heels. I’m really enjoying meeting my readers at book signings and answering questions about my writing process. Invariably I’m asked, “how do you come up with your ideas for stories?” Well, sitting in front of the blank computer screen, I often wonder myself! But, for me, it always begins with “what if?” I’m an actor as well as a writer and I find that asking myself “what if?” ignites my imagination and opens a whole universe of possibilities. Once a character begins to inhabit me, I start seeing the world through a different set of eyes, becoming aware of things I hadn’t noticed before.
As a writer, I place the character I’ve come to know and love in the most demanding, difficult circumstances imaginable, thwarting her every attempt to achieve her goal and then, when all seems lost, help her to find a truth, a strength within herself, so she can overcome the obstacles I’ve put in her path. In Down and Out in Beverly Heels, actress Meg Barnes marries a man who turns out to be a con artist and she loses everything she’s worked so hard to attain. Worse, her husband has bilked her friends and they, along with law enforcement and the press, think she was somehow involved in the scam. Homeless and living in her car, which she calls her “Ritz-Volvo,” Meg tries against terrible odds, to clear her name and regain her career. The novel is a mystery romance, fun and light-hearted, but I couldn’t write it without examining the reality of what it is to be “homeless and hiding it.” I also wanted Meg to find both redemption and retribution―there must be that moment when she faces the man who caused her downfall.