Thursday, March 27, 2014

STRANGE BEGINNINGS by Jane Whitney-Clark


Jane Whitney-Clark

Ideas for a novel can come from the strangest places and at the most unexpected times.

Several years ago, I was researching some local historical information in the small college town of Bluffton, OH. In doing so, I was referred to a delightful, elderly gentleman, Herman Hilty, whose passion was storytelling. Talking non-stop, he took me on a personal tour of the area. Although all of his stories were quite interesting and packed with details, after nearly three hours, my feet were getting tired and, I have to confess, my brain was feeling rather overloaded. And then he showed me the Swinging Bridge.

This suspended wooden footbridge is located in the Bluffton Nature Preserve and was used a hundred years ago primarily to move cows from one pasture to another, without having to use the roads. As we walked across that bridge on a sunny Spring day, I found myself thinking how scary it would be to cross this bridge at night, and with the rocky creek fifteen feet below us, I also thought that a fall from this foot bridge might very well prove deadly. I told Mr. Hilty that perhaps this bridge would make an atmospheric setting for a romantic suspense novel and his eyes sparkled. Then
he made me promise to include his name somehow in any future book.

On March 27, 2014, THE MAID'S SECRET, will be available on Kindle and, sure enough, there is a swinging bridge and a charmingly spry handyman named Mr. Hilty.

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