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The Unfinished Business Series

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some Thoughts on the Eve of the Publication of The Widow's Walk

Now that I have finished the final edits on The Widow's Walk (and my doctoral paper, but that is another story), I have time to sit and think back on all the people who've helped me get this novel--and the entire series--launched.

I started writing Unfinished Business as short story back in 2006! While opening up a summer cottage, pulling off dust covers and vacuuming up dead flies, the inspiration for a story about a woman finding a trunk of antique clothes and the aftermath came to me. Two days later, the story was done. I missed all the Fourth of July festivities, and my husband was really pissed. But as all writers know, when you've got the inspiration you've got to go with it. So, that's the first thank you. John has read every draft of both Breakwater Beach (the novelized version of the Book 1) and of The Widow's Walk. 

It took until 2011 to find an editor, by the name of Rayne Hall, who was willing to publish Breakwater Beach as a novelette. She'd been working me on it since 2007 as the moderator of the Professional Author's Group, and the stars converged. Thank you, Rayne, for a wonderful Christmas present that year.

But before I got to that point, there was Barbara Gordon, at Anticipation Workshops in 2009, who took the time to help me get both the historical and British details correct. And Andrew Richardson, my critique partner since 2005, who has also read just about every piece of fiction I have ever written, if not all of it. It was a thrill to meet him and his lovely wife, Emma, on my trip to England this summer for LonCon.

Breakwater Beach is Liz's story, The Widow's Walk is Mike Keeny's story. As such, the input of male writers is critical to avoid mistakes like a seaman marveling over the details of a Victorian gown. Nope, they'd be more interested in cleavage than the emerald green slubbed silk, bustled high in the back, with matching shoes. Thank you, John Blackport for many such insights. And for your unending exuberance about The Widow's Walk. I will never forget your last comment: "If all romance was like this I'd read a lot more of it."

Going even further back there is Oliver Waite, who helped me sink the boat in Breakwater Beach. A racing sailor, he was able to enhance that scene as I could never do. Despite the fact that I grew up on and around all types of boats, I was never on one that sank.

I owe my love of the sea, of sailing, and of Cape Cod to my father, Frank Moleti, with whom I spent many days on the waters of Long Island Sound and on Cape Cod. There was that  particularly memorable Whale Watch out of Provincetown that was so rough, even he--US Navy veteran--had white knuckles and was looking for the life jackets. I wish you were still alive to share this with me, Daddy. You too, Gramps. Alexander Bruno was the captain of The Sea Mist, a wooden cabin cruiser that my mother was on while pregnant with me. And from which my Uncle Mickey tossed me into Long Island Sound off Half Moon Beach at age 4-without a life jacket--since I needed to learn to swim.

They're all gone now, looking down on me, I fancy, very proud as they always were of the first born daughter, grand daughter and niece who they assured every day of my childhood that I was going to go far in life. I learned to be strong, and brave, and independent at a time when all girl were supposed to be playing with were Barbie dolls. If you knew them as I did, you'd be able to see a little of each in the male characters. And Liz and Mae don't take no shit from no one. For that, I credit growing up in The Bronx (but that also is another story).

Frank Moleti on the Seamist II
circa 1980

I just came in first in a swimming race, about age 12.

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