You can't tell it from my writing; or maybe you can, I don't know, but I've got a heavy Southern accent. It's one of the reasons that I detest talking on the phone. I hate the way my voice sounds over a recording, video or any sort of play back- so when one of my close friends, Sin Jones, radio host, author, and critical thinker extraordinaire invited me as a guest on her program 'Poison Apple Radio', I was petrified.
I can usually wiggle out of voice conversations by telling people that I "think better with my fingers", which isn't a lie, I do; but it's also because my multi-state linguistics comes off to me as just sounding weird.
I hesitated to do the show even though I was grateful to Sin for the opportunity to plug my book. She's a phenomenal person but she's an incredible interviewer and host. She's garnered quite an audience with her show and I knew that everyone would be able to hear my backwoods, north Georgia speak. I was caught in this weird vortex of fear where on one hand, I really wanted the publicity for my book but on the other, I really didn't want to open my mouth, come off sounding like a hick and turn off any potential readers.
So what did I do? I did the show anyway. You don't know this about me, but I WILL NOT turn down a challenge and I began to see the idea of doing the show as just that. A challenge for myself. I'm big on doing self-work and I knew that this was a confidence issue I needed to work to try and overcome if I wanted to generate an audience for Bimini, The Romance. I literally white-knuckled my way through the show, with dogs barking in the background and my neighbor rocking out loudly to some serious bass while he cleaned his yard. In the end, it was a fun experience that I wouldn't trade and I thought I'd share it with you in this blog.
If you're interested in any of the other Poison Apple Radio shows, you can find them on tindeck.com or blogtalkradio.com.
Listen to the show about Bimini, The Romance here.
Friday, March 29, 2013
My name is Lori Ann Robinson (just Lori for short). I'm a lot of things and I have a lot of hobbies, which I hope we'll find time to discuss eventually, but my biggest passion and the reason for this blog is the novel I wrote, Bimini, The Romance.
Bimini, The Romance came out in April of last year after many years of being a work in progress and through the writing of it, I made numerous self-discoveries about myself, some of which I also hope to share with you down the road.
All of my life, I've been obsessed with the Caribbean, specifically Bimini, which is a tiny little island off the Grand Bahamas and about 45 miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. I've read about it, studied topographical maps of it, looked at pictures of it for hours on end as well as studied the native wildlife, flora and fauna and the migratory patterns of the fish and birds. I can recite to you its holidays, its history and the demographic of the people who live there though I've never set foot on it myself. I can't explain to you why Bimini has always been that "place" for me; it just always has.
The closest I've ever come to getting there was a cruise that my entire family had taken several years ago. We landed in Nassau and there were boats available for day trips to Bimini. I was out-voted and overruled when I announced that I wanted to go, so I didn't. I don't have very many regrets in my life, but that's perhaps my biggest one. I should have just hopped on that boat and went. But I didn't.
I believe wholly that there's a reason for everything and maybe the reason I didn't go against the family pledge to do everything together on that vacation was that I hadn't yet finished Bimini, The Romance at that time though the story had really begun to develop at that point. Had I actually went to the island and saw it for myself, maybe it would have lost the sparkle it had maintained throughout my life or maybe it would have changed my perspective so much to the point that I would have scrapped the entire project. So, while I regret not visiting it, I'm also glad that I didn't. For whatever it was worth, that mysterious, never seen by me island, gave me so much in the way of journeys through my imagination that real life might have never been able to compete with. I am forever grateful to that place and its people who have no knowledge that a southern girl living in Georgia, fell in love with their island way of life via the internet and wanted to pay homage to it.
There were a few different directions that I could have taken with the novel but I chose the avenue of paranormal romance. I wanted to bring together my first passion with my second; which is my spirituality. I am a pagan, more specifically an eclectic Wiccan. It seemed only right to combine the magic of the island with the magic of my everyday life and as far as combinations go, the two made for a very happy marriage, tied together with a big dose of romance between the two lead characters, John and Laurel.
Both characters (and pretty much the rest of the cast as well) were inspired by people that I've known or still known in real life. Laurel, our heroine, whom many think is a portrayal of myself was actually patterned off of a girl that I knew during my first year of high school. She was very petite, very pretty and there was something about her, just an air of confidence that I immediately liked and admired. During the early years of writing Bimini, The Romance, the main character's name started off as Maeve but as I got more in depth with her, and then stood back and examined her as a whole, I realized that through that brief association with that high school friend of mine, years and years later, I'd actually made her come to life in the pages of my manuscript. I renamed the character for the girl she'd been patterned after as a tribute to someone whom I'd long ago lost touch with after she moved at the end of our ninth grade year. I can't even remember her last name.
John's inspiration will always remain nameless because his real life counterpart asked that it be so. This character was born out of my respect and admiration of a close friend, who's dedication, morality and values were always something I appreciated. In my mind while I was creating the relationship between John and Laurel on paper, I could see the real life Laurel and the person John was created from, actually being a perfect match had they ever met in their real lives. The two seemed to fit perfectly together and the dialogue between them flowed effortlessly from my mind and onto the screen.
Even the cottage where Laurel lives in the book was taken from a real life home on the island.
When I published the novel, I honestly didn't expect the overwhelming support that I'd received and still do receive. I thought it was a good story when I wrote it and I was very much in love with the characters; but characters to a writer are almost like children. As a parent, you're biased (if you're not, you should be). By rote of creation, you're entitled to think your kids are great and that they're worthy of recognition. Writers feel the same way about the characters they create, but when the first stranger who read Bimini, The Romance emailed me and asked for a sequel because she "wasn't ready to let go of the characters yet", and then the second email came in as well as the third and so on, I realized that maybe I wasn't just being biased. Maybe I had written something that others wanted to read.
So, in answer to those questions; Yes. I am writing a sequel. I started working on it this past August and no, I'm not finished with it yet. I said in the beginning of this, I have a lot of hobbies and those do take up my time as well as being the mother of a seventeen-year-old girl who is very active in school. I write when I can and when I absolutely cannot deny myself the escape that writing provides, any longer.
Like the first Bimini, The Romance, these characters are also inspired by people I know and I'm so grateful for their presence in my life. The inspiration for the new lead couple in this yet to be named sequel are active in my life and their friendship is of high value. It's been fun taking these two personalities and throwing them together because of the oh, so different dynamic of who they are and the wide chasm of differences between them and the characters from the first book, who still play a large role in this sequel. Hopefully, it won't take so many years to complete this one.
I hope you enjoyed this first blog and continue to read them as I have an opportunity post. I look forward to getting to know all of you.