Monday, 6 December 2010

With These words – Sarah J. Bradley

Dream in Color

Dream in Color was born of two experiences I had in 2000 and 2001.

In 2000 it was announced that the TV show "Emergency" was going to be inducted into the Smithsonian Institute.  "Emergency" was my number one number one favorite show of all time.  I adored Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto.  In order to get the artifacts from California to Washington DC, those in charge decided to make stops in cities across the country.  The plan was for cast members to do appearances, for fans to see the squad, and for the show itself to raise money for local fire stations across the country.  It was called "Project 51."

To get more information about these appearances, I joined my very first online fan group.  Suddenly, after so many years of being devoted to a show that went off the air before I finished grade school, I found tons of fans who felt like I did.  It was eye opening.  I made friends with two sisters online, and in May of 2000 my mom and I met them in Chicago the weekend Project 51 came to town.  At that point Randy Mantooth (Johnny Gage)was the only cast member still doing the tour. Standing in line, waiting to meet him, I spoke to so many people, women especially, who  had kept the torch lit for this TV character, and the actor who played him, for 30 years.  It was a devotion that inspired me and made me wonder what it felt like to be on the receiving end. 

Then in early 2001, I attended a Rick Springfield concert, and a meet and greet event after.  It wasn't my first Rick concert, but it was the first where I really watched the fans, again, almost all women.  I realized that there was potential for a story.  I wasn't sure what to do with that potential. I wanted to write something, an homage to the fans who had stayed loyal, and who had made me feel like less of a freak for also being loyal to my favorite aging stars.

Like most works of fiction, there's alot of reality at the heart of the "Dream in Color".  The scene where Jesse and Ramona meet is based on an actual meeting between some fans and a celebrity.  It was a story I got from a fan group.  Apparently a group of women found their celebrity catching a quick smoke in some remote corner of a venue.  When they stampeded up to him, he sort of snapped at them.  Reading the women's accounts of this event, and the vicious tones they used regarding the now out of favor celebrity, I started to see the darker side of the celebrity/fan relationship, and I knew I had a novel. 

I started with Ramona, my heroine, who is Everywoman.  In the earliest version, there was no physical description of her, because I wanted her to be the woman who was reading the book.  Ramona has the same battles many of the women I met online or at concerts do: balancing a sometimes overwhelming devotion to a celebrity from their childhood with every day life.  Some do the balancing very well, they manage to have jobs, marriages, children.  Some do not balance as well, and their stories would make you cry.  The women in these lines were so ready to tell their stories, it wasn't even work to get material for Ramona.

Which brought me to Jesse. I didn't know Jesse nearly as well as I knew Ramona.  Writing a character like Jesse, who is the retired rock star looking back at these fans that simply won't go away, that was a bit more daunting.  The best part was I got to go to A LOT of Rick Springfield concerts, all in the name of research!  The title of the book, in fact, is after one of my favorite, and one of  the more obscure, Rick Springfield songs. I don't want to give away the ending...let's just say I saw a different ending for the book, but Ramona was in my head all along singing the song lyrics to Rick's "Dream in Colour,"  (not a misspell, that's the title.) and yelling at me.  Writers understand what I mean.  In the end....well, you just have to read the book!

The fact that Wild Rose Press published Dream sort of amazes me.  Don't' get me wrong, I loved working with Wild Rose!  Those folks are wonderful, and I can never say enough about them.  What amazes me is,  I didn't set out to write a romance.  Even now, I don't think of this as a romance novel, although it certainly is.  It's really Ramona's journey from one point to another.  Of course, the fact that Jesse Alexander is a very talented, handsome guy...that's just icing on the literary cake, right?

© Sarah Bradley

Featured Book

Dream In Color

Author: Sarah Bradley

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Buy Link

Ramona Simms is in a rut, her life at a standstill. She is single and over the hill according to her overbearing mother. Her job is beyond tedious and the boss is a tyrant. Instead of a husband, Ramona comes home to a dog with gas. The closest candidate for Prince Charming is Neil, the guy from around the corner and someone she's known her whole life.

When Ramona discovers her childhood rock heartthrob Jesse Alexander is coming out of retirement for a summer tour, she decides to change her life to reach for the dream of love and music. Can Ramona turn her nightmare into the stuff of dreams, and make those dreams a reality?

Excerpt

More about Sarah

Sarah J. Bradley is lifelong Upper Midwest girl who lives with her college sweetheart husband and her two children in Waukesha, Wisconsin. When not writing or volunteering at her church, Sarah's passions include following her children's sports teams around the county, cheering for the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Redwings, and, of course, listening to Rick Springfield music.

Sarah’s website: http://www.sarahjbradley.com/index.html

Blog: http://www.myspace.com/sarahjbradley/blog

Welcome to the world of publishing Sarah and I wish you every success.…..

8 Speak To Me:

Chris on 6 December 2010 at 14:23 said...

I really like that cover!

Blodeuedd on 6 December 2010 at 15:32 said...

Nice story, and he certainly sounds like the icing on the cake

Sassy Brit on 7 December 2010 at 09:16 said...

Hi E.H!

What a lovely story.

Hope you are well :) Happy Christmas!

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 13:15 said...

@Chris

I agree - I know the dual pic covers are popular but this one has a little something special about it...

:)

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 13:16 said...

@Bloduedd

I am loving that blurd as well... I am hoping to read it soon..

:)

Erotic Horizon on 9 December 2010 at 13:17 said...

@Sassy.

Any hon..

I am good, hope all is well in your side of the country..

Stay warm and happy holidays...

:)

Sassy Brit on 9 December 2010 at 14:08 said...

You too, thanks, E.H!

Hugs

Sarah J. Bradley on 27 December 2010 at 03:55 said...

Hi All! I am running a little behind in all my internet stuff, but I'm so excited to be here! Thank you to E. H. foir the opportunity! The cover is the amazing work of Nicola Martinez at the Wild Rose Press. She captured exactly what I was going for and I can never thank her enough! Hope you're all having wonderful holidays! Happy New Year!