Wednesday, March 2, 2016

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW...AND MAKE UP THE REST by Hannah Rowan



            Where did I get the idea to pair an undercover cop posing as a gigolo with a reporter intent on exposing naughty activities going on in an escort service?
           
            From real life, of course!

            As a reporter for our local newspaper I happened across an ad for escorts in our traditional little suburban New Jersey town.  I contacted the owners, promising them exposure in a “new business in town” feature. In return, they allowed me to spend an afternoon sitting in their office while the male proprietor blatantly took phone calls from prospective customers looking for a companion for the evening, and he wasn’t shy about his employees performing “special favors.”

Meanwhile, his wife “interviewed” male job applicants one at a time in a back room.

The man claimed that his business was protected by local police, so of course as a dutiful reporter, I called the chief of police to inquire about the situation.

He not only denied the allegation, but offered to let me ride along on a raid planned for the following week.

But what if, instead of a happily married woman and mother of two who enjoyed a low-key and manageable career, I had been a young reporter eager to make a name for herself, to break out of the lifestyle section to cover hard news?

And what if one of those men getting a test run had been an undercover cop?

Thus came the germ that grew into a novel I titled “Just a Gigolo,” which Kensington Precious Gems retitled “Man Wanted.”

The raid was exciting, complete with K-9 dogs and a huge contingent of local police, the sheriff’s department, and several news people who hadn’t had the privilege of knowing the entrepreneurial couple in advance.

Perhaps it wasn’t as exciting as a similar situation was for undercover cop Connor McRae and reporter Eden Sinclair, both posing as someone they weren’t in order to do their jobs, but who couldn’t deny their attraction to someone they thought was all wrong for them.

“What is she doing here?” the angry proprietor asked, looking at me as the police led him away.

What indeed!  Aside from enjoying one of the most fascinating days of my newspaper career, I was listening to that little voice in my head asking “What if…what if…”

Do you ever wonder where authors get their ideas?  Or do you make up stories about events you encounter in your daily life?  Tell me about it in the comments!

About Hannah:

Hannah Rowan is a life-long Jersey girl who covered news for her local paper for many years. She wrote a gossip column, profiled prominent citizens, and wrote a humor column weekly.

Hannah has also had articles published in national magazines. But maybe the most fun of all, she thinks, was having her first novel published by Kensington Precious Gems, and a paranormal novel published by one of the first e-publishers.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband and 105 pound Golden Doodle, and is currently at work on several new stories.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Hannah. Ideas are everywhere! For me, ideas are not the problem. I just worry about having enough time in my life to put all of my ideas into the books I want to write. :)

    Loved your post and the premise of Man Wanted. Is it still available in print somewhere?

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    1. No, Maddie, it's not available in print though I do have the rights back. Have to get on the ball and at least self-pub it!

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  2. Hannah - I totally agree with write what you know and make up the rest. LOL! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. What a funny premise! Enjoyed your post and the backstory. Have you turned Man Wanted into an ebook? I want one for my Kindle!

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    1. Haven't turned it into an ebook yet, Joan. The process looks terrifying, but I intend to figure it out.

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    2. Hannah - have you check into Draft2Digital? They'll handle the process for you.

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    3. Thanks for the tip, Becky! I'll look into that.

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  4. What a wonderful book idea and I love how you used your own (pretty darn cool) experience. And fwiw, I love the original title.

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  5. That is such a cool story, and I'm with Bonnie--I like the original title!

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    1. Thanks, Liz! They said "Just a Gigolo" would offend people!

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  6. What a great genesis for your "Just a Gigolo" book and that you could use your own history with a twist. Talking about falling into your lap.....
    Patty

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