Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inspiration for A Taste of Honey

A reader asked me the other day where I got my inspiration from for my latest release, A Taste of Honey.

The concept came to me initially from a newspaper article I read in one of the national dailies, here in the UK. It was about a woman who worked for a private detective agency as a honey trapper. Now if you don't already know, a honey trapper is a woman who sets up men on behalf of their partners to see if they are capable of cheating or not.

Now I got to thinking: What would happen if one of these so-called honey trappers accidentally set up the wrong guy? And so, a germ of an idea for 'A Taste of Honey', my romantic comedy was born.

I knew that I wanted the hero, Travis O'Connell, to be a little different from the usual male Alpha hero with the bulging biceps and rippling six pack. For a start he's Irish and I've never written about an Irish man before, but I know some Irish people and I've read a lot of works by Irish author, Edna O'Brien. That aside, it's one of the accents I do best, but that would be debatable in some quarters!

Travis is a free spirit. He doesn't like to feel hemmed in. That's probably why he lives on a delapitated caravan park where his only friends are a stray dog named, Buster, and a neighbour called, Marge. Marge's lorry driving hubby ran off with a young bimbo from the bingo hall some years back leaving her to look after her brood of kids. 'The old woman who lived in a shoe' would be a good analogy for Marge.

In my eyes, I see her as someone looking and acting like, Janet Street Porter.

Someone who's forthright with her tongue, but beneath that steely exterior beats a heart of gold.

Fran Santini, I knew would be someone who loves life. She wouldn't be one of those skinny size zero women who loves to nibble on a lettuce leaf to keep her looks in check. Fran enjoys her food and working at the family Italian restaurant, she needs to. Of course, totally complicating matters is the fact that as a respectable Catholic girl, she moonlights as a honey trapper for The Peace of Mind Agency. If Mamma and Papa, and her brothers come to that, ever find out, there will be hell to pay.

I got the idea for the two elderly, cantankerous sisters at the restaurant from watching two old women who dine in the same hotel restaurant, where my mother and myself go from time to time. They always seem to order the same food!

I developed the character of Ronald Santini, restaurant owner and Fran's Papa, from an Italian restaurant I visited in Cardiff. As soon as my mother and myself went in through the door, the man I based him on was throwing his hands in mid air and shouting: "Beautiful ladies, please sit here." He made such a fuss over us that we ended up ordering a lot of food and wine and got quite a hefty bill because of it. Oh well, you live and learn. I would definitely return to that restaurant but only for special occasions.

So, there we have it, that's how my baby, A Taste of Honey was born!


Edward Yates said...

Hey Lynette,

great description of the origins of the characters in A Taste of Honey. I'm still meaning on reading A Taste of Honey post thesis (unfortunately I have a lot of reading work to do as part of finishing it off)...so not for another few months at least.

Also have to say I like the new layout and colour scheme of your blog! Bit less...erm...pink.

I also voted 'other' on your poll. I generally like authors that write between genres that you might call postmoderns. Some that blend fantastical and the real well.

Also a number of authors, like Margaret Atwood, who arguably write "sci-fi" reject genre labels, I think she might have taken the position that she does 'speculative fiction'.

I think she sort of sees 'sci-fi' as a bit of a ghetto for writers, and once tagged it is hard to escape the labeling of your work as such.

Anyway...that started with a point and ended up a ramble. Good thing your blog is called Nettie's ramblings then.


Lynette said...

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your comments about this post and the new look blog! I was getting a bit fed up of all the pink! And as my books are getting more and more crime related, I want to break away from the fluffy Barbara Cartlandish look lol!

I've heard the name Margaret Atwood somewhere before. I'll have to check her out!

Take care,