Today I am excited to welcome Sally Jo Pitts as she shares some behind-the-scenes to her recent book.
“I was kissed by Elvis,” my BFF from high school announced at a get-together years after we had graduated.
“What? For real?”
And it was for real. I grew up in Ocala, Florida, and in the 1960s a portion of the Elvis movie “Follow that Dream” was filmed at the Commercial Bank and Trust downtown. A bank employee arranged for my friend, a teenager at the time, to meet Elvis between filming shots and he gave her a kiss!
Elvis was known to be gracious and charitable and since Elvis died, impersonators have cropped up everywhere to keep his memory alive. I know a fantastic Elvis impersonator, Todd Herendeen, who performs in Panama City Beach, Florida, near my current home.
So, in developing the plot for my latest book, Designed for Love, I used this tidbit as a spark and included not one but two Elvis impersonators to spice things up.
Do you have a real-life tidbit that might make an intriguing addition to your writing?
About the book:
Interior designer Izzie Ketterling wants two things: to be accepted as a professional designer and to champion the preservation of the historic homes on Feldman Square in her hometown.
Reed Harrison’s New York design company has directed him to gain favor with the Hamilton Harbor townspeople in order to obtain a development contract for the firm. However, the developer’s plans could jeopardize the properties Izzie is crusading for.
The two enter a decorating contest fundraiser to restore the abandoned houses and Reed and Izzie are surprised to discover that opposites attract. But the competition turns bitter when their agendas collide.
First page of Designed for Love:
The urgent call came the night before.
“You’ve gotta be here tomorrow.” Bagel shop owner Elaine Robinson’s anxious voice surprised Izzie Ketterling.
After six weeks in Tallahassee helping her mom recuperate from shoulder surgery, Izzie was more than ready to get back home but hadn’t expected being needed at the Hamilton Harbor Commission meeting.
Not that Izzie had any special pull.
What she did have was gumption.
She could be counted on to take a stand. With the windows down on her Suburban, Izzie belted out the words to “Open Up the Heavens” along with the song on the radio. Mulling over downtown redevelopment concerns replaced her worry about passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification test.
A half hour into the trip, she stopped worrying all together and enjoyed the colors of nature splashed on wild persimmon trees tucked among pine-scented evergreens. Crisp October air, so welcome after a hot summer in north Florida, swirled about her face. She fingered her hair, stiffened with hair gel. Earrings, she’d fashioned out of golf tees, clunked in the breeze.
On the outskirts of Hamilton Harbor, the bright red Tally-Ho Drive-In sign appeared to hang suspended in the gathering thunderclouds. Somebody must have finally located the bulbs to light up all the letters.
Throughout her high school years, the sign read, Tall O. Eight years ago, tall zero could have made an appropriate label to hang on her.
About the Author
Sally Jo Pitts has had a career in private investigation, lie detection, high school guidance counseling and taught in the field of marriage and family living for over twenty years. Now, she brings her experience in affairs of the heart to the fiction page. Writing what she likes to read—faith-based stories—her desire is to inspire and encourage the reader. She is the author of And Then Blooms Love and Stumbling Upon Romance, books one and two in the Hamilton Harbor Legacy series.
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