“A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Staples Office Supply”
My husband and I had been talking for some time about getting a new laptop, so one rainy afternoon a few weeks ago, we drove down to our local Staples in Brier Creek, North Carolina. The young tech my husband was speaking to had his back to me. I was looking through some of the cool office supplies, drooling over this or that, (oooo wouldn't that look nice in my office! If only I had the room!). The first time I had a chance to look at the young man was when my husband and he, brought the chosen laptop to the register. I felt my mouth open in surprise, and I think I stopped breathing. For low and behold the tech looked just like Jim O'Flannery, (as my editor Mary said, his face WAS a little fuller).
My book, The Wild Mountain Thyme had just been released from the Wild Rose Press a few days before, and Jim O'Flannery is the hero in the book. O'Flannery, is most likely a made up name, I have never heard it in all the my reading about Ireland, and I have had a real love for that island nation most of my life. But, Jim O'Flannery, just like his name, was a product of my own imagination. I haven't spoken to writers that this has happened to; that you meet face-to-face with someone you've made up, someone who is living inside your head. To find someone in the flesh, as it were, is quite a jolt to the senses. I didn't say anything at the time, but I kept thinking about this tech who looked like someone I had made up in my head more than a decade before.
Before I could change my mind, I hustled on down to the Staples and found the young man again working behind the tech counter. I went up to him with a tentative, 'please don't think I'm crazy, but you look just like the hero in my book.' I had a few postcards I had made up with the cover of the book and a blurb on the back and handed him one. He said,'wow, I'll look this up.' I told him that he was probably the only real person I'd ever seen who looked just like the person in my head.
Writers live in their heads. A lot. To be faced with something that is three-dimensional and warm (!) and breathing, as I said, is quite a jolt.
Before I left the store, the tech came up to me and said, 'now who am I again? (in the book), I'm very flattered.' I hope he didn't think that I saw him last week and wrote the book and got it published all in that small amount of time before I told him about it. I didn't have the heart to tell him that when Jim O'Flannery first came into my mind he, the tech, had either been in grade school or hadn't been born yet.
Jim O'Flannery, in The Wild Mountain Thyme, is a flawed character. He has warts just like the rest of us and puts his foot in his mouth more often than is good for him. But he sure is a grand, beautiful man, and to see a three-dimensional speaking person just like the one I made up in my head decades before was something that still makes my jaw slide south.
You can get The Wild Mountain Thyme, from the Wild Rose Press or from Amazon. And I have it on good authority, that there will soon be an audio rendition of the book.
Blurb, The Wild Mountain Thyme:
There’s a serial killer murdering Irish-American tourists all over Ireland. Jim O’Flannery of the Boston Globe and Megan Kennedy of the Irish Times, are teamed up to report on the killings. They want to work together, but stay clear of each other emotionally; there was A LOT of trouble with the opposite sex in the past. But, Jim’s guardian angel appears, as a leprechaun, to pester and cajole Jim into getting involved with Megan. Jim can see Seamus, Megan can’t.
Jim and Megan trail the murderer to the west coast of Ireland, piecing together his motivation and where he may strike next.
An attempt is made on their lives, and only Jim’s quick wits saves the two. Megan disappears. Has the killer kidnapped her? Can Jim, with Seamus’s help, save her from mortal danger?
The elevator started again, but jarred to a stop suddenly between floors. There was not a sound.
Jim felt as though he’d fallen into a vacuum. He stood very still and tried not to breathe. The only sound was the rapid beat of his heart.
A puff of green smoke rose from the floorboards. It wavered through the air and wrapped itself around Jim as it hovered and shimmered. Out of the swirling vapor popped a little man about three feet tall. He wore a Kelly green waistcoat, green breeches, green knee-high stockings, and green shoes with shiny silver buckles. Jim backed against the wall of the elevator as he felt the blood rush from his face and into his feet. His jaw slid south, and his heart hammered painfully.
“I’m not trying to give you palpitations, boy-o, but you must listen. Aye?” said the apparition. The little man had a long, crooked nose, slightly slanted, pale blue eyes, pointy ears, and a long stemmed pipe clutched between his teeth. His bright, fiery red hair fell down around his shoulders in soft waves. He had a beard of the same fiery red shade that curled in front of his chin, like he’d used a curling iron to force it into shape. He held his hat, an elf’s pointed cap, in front of him, as he stared intently at Jim. Jim felt the air whoosh out of him as he slid soundlessly to the floor of the elevator. And then he forgot to breathe. The little man walked up to him, nose to nose and in an undertone, he said very quietly, “Boo.”
“Grand. I had to get you breathing again.”
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5560-the-wild-mountain-thyme.html?search_query=Kathryn+Scarborough&results=2
Kathryn Scarborough is an acclaimed author of historical thrillers, light romance, and romantic suspense. She was a musician and teacher for many years but finds herself writing now more than any of the other two endeavors. She is married and she and her husband have four grown children, two grand daughters, and two grandsons. They reside in NC.
She has a trilogy of books, 2 of which are out on Amazon, Deception, and The Locket. The stories are of one family spanning nine decades and a world war. The 3rd book is being written now.
Website - http://www.scarboroughbooks.com/
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Twitter - https://twitter.com/kathy60snc
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org