The girl was young, blonde, slim and beautiful. She turned heads as she weaved her way through the lunch time crowd in South Beach. I watched her from an umbrella table at the News Café as she bought a bag of croissants and coffee from a food truck and nearly caused a traffic jam.
Who was she? A movie star? A super-model? Paris Hilton? I had no idea. She was completely confident without a trace of self consciousness. I had the feeling she knew people found her intriguing and was secretly amused by the attention. She stopped to wave to a young man in a yellow convertible...
...before darting under the portico of a very chic hotel. The doorman smiled at her and she rewarded him with a croissant wrapped in a napkin. They chatted for a minute or two and then she disappeared into the lobby.
I found myself thinking about her over my salad nicoise. Over the next few minutes, I scribbled a few notes on a napkin (which I still have). The notes became the novel, GOLDEN GIRL, the story of a beautiful young woman named Amber Fielding whose father owns one of the most popular hotels in SoBe. I started making up a whole history about her, the "backstory." I filled in details about her friends, her family, her life as a celebrity. I wanted her to be kind and intelligent, not someone who was just "famous for being famous."
GOLDEN GIRL is one of the three books in my Hollywood Nights series. All three books revolve around the movie industry (South Beach is known as "Hollywood East" because of the number of movies that are filmed there.)
When Amber meets enigmatic Nick Crawford, she falls hard. Nick comes from a different world. Smart, tough and ambitious, he plans to make it big as a documentary filmmaker. Nick confides that he's shooting a film about "the beautiful people" in historic South Beach.
Is he telling the truth--or does he have a hidden agenda? Nick could be just what Amber is looking for--or he could blow her world apart.
Golden Girl is what many writers refer to as a "gift book." The whole plot seemed to be delivered in one piece. The story just presented itself and I could hardly get the words down quickly enough. I remember I brought an AlphaSmart on that trip and I worked on the book while sitting on the balcony of the condo.
It was an amazing experience and how I wish that all books came to me that! A chance encounter (I suppose it was more of a "sighting" than an "encounter" since I never spoke to her) led to one of my favorite books.
Golden Girl is available as an e-book.
You can read about all three books in the Hollywood Nights series right here. Happy reading everyone!