With the official release of Ruby’s Letters only days away, here are 10 things you didn’t know:
1. Emma is very loosely based on me (and I do mean very loosely based). Once upon a time, I owned a fireplace and chimney restoration company, but I was not in the field like Emma. I stuck close to the office.
|Caroline G. Atkinson School. Freeport, NY|
2. Emma got her maiden name and married name from my sister-in-laws, Barbara DeVuono and Kristine Hopkins.
3. Ryan Atkinson was named after the Caroline G. Atkinson school in Freeport, NY. An elementary school I attended.
4. Even though the story takes place on Brooklyn Heights, NY, the actual inspiration for Betsy Morris’s home is a brownstone in Harlem.
5. Betsy Morris was named after my second son’s favorite grade school teacher. She made such an impact on him, I felt I had to honor her in some way.
6. The character, Bart, is based on stand-up comedian Hugh Van Well. Yes, he is related to me, and, yes, he is that crazy.
7. Other than Bart, none of Emma’s employees are based on any one person, but some of their antics did actually happen on job sites. I’m not telling you which ones :-p
8. Many of the superstitions mentioned in the story came from a book on actual superstitions.
9. Finding random items inside a walled-up fireplace is a common occurrence–very old newspapers, tools, dead animals, and, one time, a box of condoms from 1912–finding a human body, however; is not (thank God!)
10. Originally, Ruby’s Letters had a prologue, but it got mixed reviews from my critique partners and beta readers. Some absolutely loved it, others felt it was too long for a prologue and/or wasn’t needed. In the end, it was nixed. Personally, I loved and it was with great pain that I removed it.
Speaking of the prologue–here’s a little teaser 🙂 Find out how the pictures below tie into the prologue to Ruby’s Letters in my next post!
So, there you have the 10 things you probably didn’t know about Ruby’s Letters. If you have any other questions, always feel free to ask!
Until next time, my friends, eat healthy and happy writing!