The Story Behind the Story – Water Hazard
The Story Behind the Story
As I explained in a previous piece, I began writing mostly by accident.
When Living the Dream was published I had no inclination to write another book. I assumed the one story was all I had in me, until I attended a work-related (my day job) seminar about ground water.
The speaker was a man named Professor Robert Glennon, from the University of Arizona. Professor Glennon is a huge advocate for the conservation and protection of our planet’s water supply. At the end of the session I purchased his book Water Follies.
The information in the book was truly mind boggling, and much to my surprise, it gave me an idea for another novel, which, hopefully, would provide some vital information in an entertaining format.
Coming up with the story idea wasn’t difficult and as for the villain, that was even easier. I had spent the previous year working for a construction company building condominiums in St. Augustine, Florida. The company’s practices and policies were, in my opinion, somewhat less than honorable, but a job is a job. Not surprisingly, their questionable dealings caused them to go bankrupt. This meant I was out of a job, but it also gave me a ready-made bad guy.
Writing Water Hazard took significantly less time than Living the Dream, although I must admit, it wasn’t nearly as much fun. (While writing Living the Dream there were times when I would laugh out loud at some of the situations I dumped poor Kurt into!) What I enjoyed most about Water Hazard was watching the development of Ike. I decided that, in addition to being the hero (anti-hero is probably more accurate) I would also make him sarcastic and witty – so it was fun writing his dialogue.
In Water Hazard I also moved the majority of the action south from St. Augustine to the town where I spend most of my free time…Flagler Beach. Then…since the story took place so close to home I figured I might as well include some local land marks recognizable to anybody who has ever been there. Most notable being The Golden Lion – except it wasn’t originally written as The Golden Lion. If memory serves I called it The Lion’s Den.
Still being new to the writing world I wasn’t sure if it was legal to use the names of real places. I certainly didn’t want to be sued especially considering the fact that my writing career up to that point had me in a deficit situation.
When the book was finished my publicist suggested a release party, and asked if there was a place that might be interested in hosting it. Long story short – we approached the Golden Lion. Owners Tony and Carolyn were not only happy to host the party, they were thrilled to have their restaurant named in my book.
From that point forward The Lion became a key location in my books, owned by Ike’s boss, Flagler Beach bookie Ralph Donabedian and the favorite hang out of Ike and Brewski.
…and that’s the story behind the story.