ROAD TO YOU (and me) via Holly Golightly and Princess Ann
My non-writer friends find the whole idea of writing books
fascinating crazy. The very idea makes them offer me a glass of wine and a sympathetic pat on the back. I understand this, of course. Sitting down in front of a computer with a blank page and a blinking cursor intimidates me too, even after twenty-some books. Trying to explain how ideas come to me—a frequently asked question—is even harder. I suppose that’s because no two books are ever the same, not in the way they come to me, nor in the way I figure out how to tell their stories. My latest book, ROAD TO YOU, Book Two in my Band of Brothers series, was no exception. The inspiration for it came (weirdly) from Hollywood. But more on that in a minute…
Can I tell you a secret? Writing is…well, personal. If you’ve read any of my books then I’d say you got to know me, the writer, a little better. How, you ask? Of course there’s my voice. That’s what’s on the page, but there’s also what inspires me, what I’m interested in and maybe a little (thematically) of what I’m going through. Things like fighting injustice, the healing power of love, finding courage and creating family where you find it…all of these ideas and the exploration of them have wound through my books and continue to evolve, just like I do.
My new series, Band of Brothers, definitely falls into that ‘creating family’ category for me, because soldiers (ie: these former Navy SEALS) who go to war together are bonded like family ever after—but they’re not actually family. But they are. Know what I mean? Yet, once their service is over, what then? That’s what really interested me. How do they heal and pull their lives together afterward? Find each other again? Maybe more importantly, find love? It’s no coincidence that the idea for this series came up for me just after my husband and I made a major move across country to be closer to our grandkids and found ourselves leaving behind the familiar, starting over and facing the challenging prospect of making new friends and a home in a new place.
Also, right about the time I was plotting this book, I watched (for the hundredth time) Audrey Hepburn’s classics, Roman Holiday and the fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s, (because you can never watch them enough) and I suddenly knew I wanted to write a twist on these two stories of secrets, hidden identities and the longing to fit in somewhere. And if you look for it, you’ll find my current favorite theme in both of these movies. Never seen them? Gasp! Please, put them on your must-watch list. You’ll thank me later.
The hero of my new book, ROAD TO YOU, is Noah Mathis—a bit of a mystery even to his brothers. Never one to fit in completely, he made a choice long ago and has to live with the consequences of that choice now. He’s got secrets. In Marietta, Montana for the wedding of one of the brothers, Noah’s accidental encounter with journalist-at-loose-ends, Gemma Wade, will turn his secrets upside down and change both of them forever. And while there’s no actual runaway princess in this book, rest assured, there is definitely a happily ending. And maybe…a cat.
This Band of Brothers series is really hitting me in the feels and I hope it’s doing the same for you. Like the town of Marietta with its wonderful people, this group of ex-warriors are family to each other. With each book we are learning more about what makes them tick. So please, pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea and enjoy!
Because the Rascal Flats song “The Broken Road” was another inspiration for this book, I thought you might want a soundtrack to hum along to. So, here’s the playlist that inspired me:
The Broken Road – Rascal Flats
**O (Fly On) — Coldplay**
Arrival of Birds & Transformation — The Cinematic Orchestra
Theory of Everything (Soundtrack)
Yellow – Coldplay
Thinking Out Loud — Ed Sheeran (and basically, anything else by him)
Take Your Time — Sam Hunt
A Thousand Years– Christina Perri
All of Me—John Legend
One Day We Had Today – piano
Moon River – Andy Williams
Barbara Ankrum has a thing for the West and has written both historical and contemporary romances, all set in that magical place. Twice nominated for RWA’s RITA Award, her bestselling books are emotional, sexy rides with a touch of humor. Barbara’s married and raised two children in Southern California, which, in her mind, makes her a native Westerner.