So this is a little embarrassing. The inspiration for my newest book, “Pirateless in the Caribbean,” was a ponytail. And it came from an ex-boyfriend who didn’t even have one.
He wasn’t an “ex” at the time, in 2013- he was quite current.
So, I was a couple of years out of a divorce and swimming along in the dating pool. I was taking a shot at couple-dom with a nice Jewish man I’d met. We circled each other warily when we weren’t giving into the excellent chemistry, trying to get a feel for all the places we might overlap comfortably while keeping an eye open for the land-mines on the borders of compromise.
Anyway, he was intrigued with my writing, not that he had any desire to write, but he had artistic creativity and he loved to brainstorm plot ideas. He was great fun to do this with, because he came at things from a completely different angle than I did.
In any case, I had shared with him my plan to write a series of stories about people who shared one common friend with a magical gift, and then each met the love of their life as a result. All the stories could be totally different from each other, in place and theme.
I don’t remember actually how he came up with the pirate idea, but as soon as he did, he declared the pirate must have a ponytail. And that was that. I don’t know what it was, maybe a wish-fulfillment fantasy of a man with thinning hair, but he could not let that ponytail go. I wasn’t even writing that story yet- I was still writing my first story and was immersed in swords and Historical European Martial Arts.
He hounded me about that ponytail for most of the five months we dated and I kept it in my closet of intriguing ideas, thinking that a modern day story about a pirate might call for a Caribbean vacation setting. It was a good idea, a better one than the relationship as it turned out.
A few months after we broke up, a country song came on the radio that sparked that little ponytail into the full-fledged plot of my next story. Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane” was just the ticket – my heroine was going on a deluxe Caribbean vacation she did not want to take- no way, no how.
I set the ideas on “simmer” while I finished my other work in progress, letting a plot evolve that would put my unwilling character in a first class seat to meet the love of her life- a pirate.
I have no problem at all thanking my ex-Mr happily-for-now for the great idea. As another story-teller once reminded us, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Dig in and enjoy.
I think it worked out rather well, but you can judge for yourself when “Pirateless in the Caribbean” goes up for sale on June 17th on Amazon and many other places ebooks are sold (you can pre-order on May 1st).