Debut author Kat Gerard is visiting us today to talk about her new book In Transit and her journey in writing it. Let's give her a big Bibliophile welcome!!!
A Novel 17 Years-in-the-Making
My novel, IN TRANSIT, was released in May, but I actually started writing the book 17 years before it was published. A literary agent I had when I was in my early 20s, had an "in" with a romance publisher that was looking for "women in jeopardy" stories. The publisher recommended that aspiring authors read the book REBECCA by Daphne du Mauier (1938) to inspire their own stories. REBECCA is about a girl's transition into womanhood - how her innocent intentions grow into something much larger, as well as duplicity, secrets and lies. REBECCA really appealed to me because of the bold characterizations of a very powerful older man and a younger woman who is not quite so powerful and the surprises that befall their relationship as a result.
With that in mind, I brainstormed, searching for my own unique story to tell. A dear friend of mine since high school, had been working as a New York City Police Officer. She prowled about the New York City Subway System on a midnight to 8 a.m. shift...If that didn't epitomize a "woman in jeopardy," what did? I planted that seed in my imagination and that's when a story began to flourish.
One of my favorite contemporary romance novels is BEYOND EDEN by Catherine Coulter. It's a metropolitan story about "Eden," a New York model (with secrets) who falls in love with an older, handsome ex-cop, with a sordid past of his own. I loved the chemistry between the two main characters, and I really admired how Coulter interwove the plot with elements of romance, family dynamics, mystery and murder.
That mix was exactly what I had in mind in fashioning and structuring IN TRANSIT, and I wanted my novel to crisscross genres, too. However, unlike the more "exotic" nature of BEYOND EDEN, I wanted to write about the lives of ordinary people who just happen to be police officers. The characters in IN TRANSIT might be like those who live next door to you and go to their jobs in the NYPD like a neighbor might go to work as a plumber or a teacher.
IN TRANSIT begins as a rather naive quest for Rita Del Vecchio, a 22 year-old "Jersey Girl" with innocent intentions of becoming an NYPD cop and "marrying a man in uniform." Once she passes the police exam and training, her story snowballs into something much more harrowing and ominous. The plot is rooted in the ordinary lives of NYPD career cops, the choices they make (or don't make), and depicts how their fates are often determined by people who hold secrets as dark and as labyrinth-like as the New York City Subway Transit System.
It took me about four months (8-10 hours per day) to write a very rough, first draft of the book - Rita's (the protagonist's) story was central, and then I rewrote the novel again and again over the next year. When my agent finally submitted the novel to the publisher, it was met with favorable responses, but it was ultimately rejected. At the time, it was a crushing blow, but over the years, I've learned that's the business of writing. Sometimes it's hit or miss. When you miss, you simply dust yourself off and move on to the next project. That's when I decided to put IN TRANSIT away, and I began to work on another book...then another...and so on.
Seventeen years later, an editor who heard me read a portion of another novel at a writing workshop asked if I had any genre fiction "in the hopper." I remembered IN TRANSIT and sent her a sample. When she expressed interest, I decided to resurrect the novel and completely overhauled the book - updating facets of the plot for a post 9-11 world. Voila! The book finally found a home!
Have you ever committed to something for a period of time in your life - be it in a relationship...in pursuit of a dream or passion...a goal you felt you needed to pursue in order to find fulfillment in your life? Were you met with opposition or did people embrace your choice? We encourage you to share your stories with us.
To learn more about Kathleen Gerard and IN TRANSIT - and to read more details about the story behind the story visit http://intransit-thenovel.blogspot.com
Copyright 2011 by Kathleen Gerard. All Rights Reserved.
Thank you, Kat, for stopping by today! It was a pleasure! :)
***BIBLIOPHILE ALERT! I have been reading like an even crazier book addict than usual this year, and apparently three reviews a week can't keep up pace with me! Because of this, for the entire month of July I will be having FIVE reviews a week! That's right! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! So, please remember to check back here more often during July - and come August I'm planning on returning to three reviews a week. Keep the schedule change in mind, and don't miss any reviews! :)