It’s so much fun for me to talk about how one of my books became a book. This one has to do with both subjects–inspiration and publishing. I had sent my original story about Georgette Carlisle called Bobby’s Diner (the no. 1 book in the Bobby’s Diner Series) to a book distributor/publisher for distribution. He liked the story so much that he asked if I would be interested in writing a series and offered to publish it which was not the original intention. After talking with him, we decided to move forward on it.
Now, I had this contract looming over my head and I must say, I was pretty nervous about writing a series. I’d never done it before. So, what I did was re-read Bobby’s Diner and without even a stutter, the second story flowed out of me. It’s as if Georgette’s story is such a compelling one for me (and I hope for others) that I feel I could just write and write about her life at the diner.
It’s like real life to me there at that little diner. The diner sits in the middle of the Arizona desert in a town called Sunnydale, a fictional setting. The diner is situated on a highway and the town is a pass-through kind of place where people don’t come to stay, they come for gas and supplies on their way to towns like Laughlin or Las Vegas. Sunnydale has been fashioned after the little town Wikieup. I love Wikieup and go back often to get the feeling of that place.
But, it’s Georgette’s story–how she came to live in Sunnydale and her life since she moved there–that really interests me.
Initially, she got involved with a married man, Bobby Carlisle. He owns Bobby’s Diner. Not a very noble act for a main character but after you finish reading the novel you’ll see exactly the way her life played out when she first got to Sunnydale. The story begins shortly after Bobby dies. In his will, Bobby leaves the diner to Georgette AND Vanessa, Bobby’s ex-wife. That single act thrusts the story into action.
I actually dreamed the beginning of the novel. The version in the novel however is much more lucid than the dream. But, the original idea came when I was just waking one morning. It’s the truck driver scene–a funny sexy scene.
But, “Easy as Pie at Bobby’s Diner” (the no. 2 book in the series), just seemed to fall from my fingertips when I began writing that story.
Award-winning author, Susan Wingate, gets a monthly column about writing and the publishing industry in her local newspaper, The Journal of the San Juan Islands. She will also be posting weekly discussions about the writing industry for the regional online newspaper, the PNWLocalNews.com site.
You can view Wingate’s discussions by clicking on the “Entertainment” tab and then finding Wingate’s discussions under the “Blogs” section of the Entertainment Page.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona to James & Amie Ajamie (a writer and an artist, respectively), Susan Wingate tried to fly, at age five off the roof of their family house using newspaper, wire hangers and scotch tape. She’s been dreaming of flying ever since. Oh, by the way, she never jumped. Her mother ran out in the nick of time to stop her from take-off.
Wingate realized her dreams when she entered the world of writing. At first, she only wrote songs and poetry but then her writing blossomed when she tried her hand at fiction. In 1997, she devoted her days to writing and in 2004, she began writing full-time. Since then, Susan has written several plays, one screenplay, one short story collection and seven novels with two more scheduled to be written in 2010. In 2008, she started writing a memoir.
A lover of the arts, Susan draws and paints abstracts using oil as her favored medium. She has taken up playing the violin (it’s been a squeakly start) and she loves the theatre. Susan lives in Washington State.
Wingate’s novel, Bobby’s Diner, received three finalist awards in the following book competitions:
■2010 International Book Awards,
■2009 National Book Awards (USA Book News),
■2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
In May 2010, two of Wingate’s novels were released, they are:
■A FALLING OF LAW, and
■EASY AS PIE AT BOBBY’S DINER (the no. 2 book in the Bobby’s Diner Series)
“Camouflage,” Wingate’s fourth novel (written as Myah Lin) received a Finalist Award and an Editor’s Choice Award in the 2009 Textnovel Writing Contest.
To date, Wingate has written seven novels, two short story collections, a memoir, hundreds of poems, a few plays for theatre and one screenplay.
Her books can be found online and in bookstores across the country and her articles, short stories and poetry can be found in magazines, journals and reviews.
Locally, Wingate volunteers with the San Juan Island Library. She offers workshops, readings and presentations at writing conferences, bookstores and libraries throughout the country.
You can visit her website at www.susanwingate.com.