This time, it’s a house. ~ Diana Copland: Outside the Margins

Join us as Diana Copland goes Outside the Margins.

Diana Copland OtMThis time, it’s a house.

One thing I get asked a lot is where I get the ideas for my books.  The answer is, there is no one answer.  For every book I’ve written, it’s been something different.

For ‘Grand Jete’, my daughter, who was a pre-professional ballet dancer, had just suffered a career ending ankle injury.  Watching her go through that, being there with her as she was facing the end of her dreams of a career in dance, I began to wonder about dancers who actually make it only to have their careers cut short.  Davis was born of that moment.  Jordan, the nurse he meets in the ER, was inspired by my daughter’s best friend, who is a nurse.  Jordan and Davis remain two of my favorite MC’s, and while they didn’t start out in the same story, they went together almost as if that was the plan from the beginning.

Kiernan Fitzpatrick, the medium from A Reason to Believe, was born of a moment in the grocery store.  I was shopping, and I saw Dreyer’s Thin Mint ice cream.  And I thought, ‘hmmm… what kind of man would love Thin Mint Ice Cream?’  Kiernan came from that moment.  Matt, his counterpart, evolved from me trying to develop the man least likely to fall in love with Kiernan.  Their differences, and the things they ultimately find in common, is what I think makes their relationship crackle.  And made it so much fun to write!

For the book I’m working on right now, it started with a house.  I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.  In June of last year, when my dad went into an assisted living place for Alzheimer’s, I moved from the north side of Spokane to the South Hill, a neighborhood on the other side of town.  The South Hill is the oldest, most established neighborhood in Spokane, and while there is a lot of financial diversity, there is one area where the houses are at the high end of Spokane real estate.  It encompasses Rockwood Boulevard and its surrounding neighborhoods, and the houses run anywhere from four hundred thousand to just over a million dollars.  And they are gorgeous, beautifully maintained homes.  Except for this one…

This is the house!

This is the house!

It’s a Spanish style house built in 1925, (I’ve been able to find out that much), and if it weren’t for the fact that there are occasionally lights on inside of it, it would appear deserted.  The paint is faded and peeling, the yard overgrown, the rock wall in front beginning to crumble.  It’s a mess.  And yet there it sits, on a street surrounded by million dollar homes, an ugly Miss Havershim whose groom never showed up for the wedding.

And I want to know WHY.  I want to know who owns it, and why it’s been let go even though clearly someone still lives there.  I’ve searched public records, because seriously, I’m obsessed with this house, and the only thing I’ve been able to find out is the year it was built.  But knowing that tells me it was one of the first homes built on Rockwood Blvd.  Most of the others were built in the late thirties and early forties, so for at least a decade this once stately home was the only one on the street.  Who built it?  It was obviously once a show place, but what happened?  I cannot tell you the amount of time I’ve sat in an idling car, staring at this house.  It’s completely captured my imagination.   And since I can’t find out the actual history, I’ve decided to make one up

My story is about Garrett Connelly, a twenty nine year old retail executive who’s been sent back to Spokane to help save the department store where he began his career.  Once he left Spokane for college he never intended to return; there was too much unhappiness, too much heartbreak for him in his home town.  Detested by his step-mother and secretly in love with the man who’d married his step-sister, Seattle had seemed a much better option for Garrett.  And for nearly a decade, it had been.  Until the Barclay’s flagship store where he’d started as a stock clerk is in trouble, and he and a small team of retail experts are sent in to save it.

It’s a timely transfer.  His beloved, cantankerous great uncle Wilson has died and left Garrett his ramshackle, decaying mansion on Rockwood Boulevard.   In addition his step sister, Diedre, is in the process of divorcing the object of his adolescent fantasies, Brent Harrison, because he’s finally admitted he’s gay.  Garrett wants to believe in happy endings, but there are family expectations, small town attitudes and prejudices, and his own wariness to contend with.  On top of everything else, Garrett has begun having weird dreams involving a dark man with hypnotic eyes and his new home appears to be haunted by an angry, possessive ghost who seems to believe Garrett is his.

All of that came from a sad, tired house in the middle of an extremely elegant neighborhood.  My mom always said I had a very active imagination!!

God knows were the next book will come from!

~ Diana Copland

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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3 thoughts on “This time, it’s a house. ~ Diana Copland: Outside the Margins

  1. I love your imagination 🙂 And I so hope your mum meant it in a good way *hug* (unlike my dad, when he said I had too much imagination)

    And that house… it does beg for a story (and a touch up!)

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