On a hot summer weekend in Georgia at the Roswell Storytelling Festival in 2009 the idea of Apollo's Flame was born. Today the book is available in paperback and kindle version at Amazon.com. This book features over 100 poems including Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Cinquain. Along with the poetry are nine short stories including the mini novel Love Notes. The book also has an afterword that explains the ideas behind many of the poems and stories.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Today I'm going to discuss a little about how the story was conceived, places it was written, and a little about the story.
First the story is set in modern times in mainly Elkton and Ocean City, MD. The story is about an average couple. They begin a romance, marry, honeymoon in Paris, then have children. Things are great until tragedy strikes and their marriage is put to the test but in the end they stay together. Later their son becomes a Major League pitcher making his parents very proud. His dad remembers the first day he put on a baseball cap and couldn't hold the bat straight. The story ends at the end of main character Mia's life after her husband dies. She reflects on their life together, all the poems they had written each other, and their adventures. The story is told through their emails, love notes, and poems to each other.
The idea for the book was originally very different. It was conceived as I did an interview with an elderly couple to develop characters for a story. The idea was always to write a life-long romance but in the standard style of face to face dialogue. However, in the interview, they spoke of how they left love notes for each other with poetry. Being a poet, this intrigued me. After the interview I thought of how I could tell an entire story through just love notes sent to each other but realized I couldn't do dialogue very well this way. Later that day it occurred to me in this day of blackberrys and other mobile devices a story using email to communicate is very true. I carry conversations all the time emailing back and forth. Therefore the idea was born.
The setting was chosen because I was working around the Baltimore and Delmarva region. I stayed in Elkton, MD and quickly became enamored with the entire area which is tucked at the top of the Chesapeake bay. While working in the region I also made a visit to Ocean City, MD. I had first discovered the city on a trip in high school years ago. I was curious about it so I decided to visit and do some writing there and it became apparent that this awesome place had to become part of the story. It is a big part of the story. The picture on the cover is the pier by the carnival at the end of the boardwalk. Mia and Peter first discover the area while vacationing there and decide to move to Elkton after Peter takes a job in Baltimore. Other areas with significance to the book are listed below.
I am the type of writer in love with interesting places and find inspiration in my surroundings. I often write in places "with a great view". This story was no different. With laptop in hand I wrote on the beach in Ocean City, MD. In and around Elkton, MD including Chesapeake City, MD and Elk Neck state park which is where the Elk river meets the Chesapeake Bay. This is a wonderful unique area of the United States which I encourage people to see. Other places I wrote the story include: New York City, Liberty Park in New Jersey, Delaware Water Gap on top of the mountain, at a park on the banks of Susquehanna River in PA, in and around Nashville, TN and many other places. While not part of the story these place always help me with creative flow.
Below is a list of different characters and settings:
Veronica Christa Sargent
Veronica Sargent (granddaughter)
Peter's best friend Bob
Ocean City, MD
Pullman, WA (WSU)
Below is a link to purchase. This version is only available via ebook. However it is also part of a larger book coming soon titled "Apollo's Flame" which contains poetry, prose, and more short stories. No release date yet but it will be out very soon. This story will also be part of another fiction book coming later which will just have short stories. Details on that book will be posted as the writing for it is completed.
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the story.