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