For years, I carried this scene in my head: A man walks into a hotel lobby, a woman steps out of the elevator, a heavy tray of plates in her hands. She sees him, hears his voice, and she drops the tray. He comes toward her, they look at each other, and all the love they knew many years ago comes instantly back, no questions, no doubt.
I really wanted to write that scene, write about the emotions boiling under the surface, the longing, fear, doubt, and desire.
And that was pretty much all I wanted to write. But, first I had to get those characters to that scene, and so I made up the story of Jon, a world-famous rock star, who receives a letter one morning telling him he has a teenage son. He drops everything to find the girl he loved so many years ago, the only one he ever really loved.
Once I had them back together again though, some fifty pages into the story, and had written that lobby scene, I found I wanted to go on and find out what happens after the “happily ever after”. A rock star and his Hollywood life, a man who can’t walk down a street without being recognized, and the woman he loves, who hates nothing more than notoriety—yes, there’s a story there!
Fame has always fascinated me.
Everyone dreams of being rich, famous, celebrated, but only a small group really work hard at getting there. Those few really WANT to be at the top, to stand out, be on the front cover. Yet, once they get there, they find they miss their privacy, miss real friends, real love. There is a special kind of loneliness in being famous, and that is what I wanted to explore.
I’ve always wanted to write about creativity.
I believe it is a special kind of love, and a way to express it. At the root of all feelings is love. You can’t have sadness, loneliness, desperation, hate, or anger, without first having love, because all of these are its antithesis. Love comes in many guises; a kiss, a smile, the warmth of an embrace, a child’s laughter, or the smell of a sun-ripened tomato. In the end, it’s either love or loss. And with some creative people, it fuels an outpouring: a song, a poem, a book.
Being creative means loving: words, music, a canvas, a stone, or maybe your ballet shoes. It’s obsessive, single-minded, it excludes “real” life, and it never stops.
This book, The Distant Shore, was written to satisfy my need to tell Jon’s story, to see him get his heart’s desire, see him rip open the fog of fame and loneliness, and find there is still a man beneath the public persona, someone who wants a wife, and children, and happiness.