What is the title of your next book?

Sing Me To Sleep

Where did you get the idea for the book?

My husband and I used to go to clubs a lot ‑ in fact, we met at one ‑ and I’ve always found the “rock star” attraction (even at the local level) fascinating, The way women of all ages get so uninhibited and “groupie-like”, following the band around, pretending, for a few hours, that they could be sprung from their everyday existence and swept off their feet by some hot guy who knows how to play the crowd. I, of course, was immune.

Or, so I thought.

One night at a local festival with competing stages, my husband and I were at odds over which to visit. I lean toward alternative and pop, while my man is a hardcore blues fanatic. He convinced me to give his choice a chance, and…it was a good call. The main attraction was a singer in a local ten-piece (complete with horns and keyboard) band that I had never seen before, and which had quite a following. No surprise there, he was romance novel material if ever I’d seen.

And I did.

It wasn’t that he was amazingly handsome (if he passed you on the street you might not even give him a second look)

but what he did on that stage, between the amazing, gritty voice and the way he handled himself, flirting with the audience and just throwing himself into the moment (at one point, it was a very hot evening, he doused himself, long black locks and all, with a bottle of water reminiscent of the big “Flash Dance” scene), well, it worked for me. I thought, “This is the guy, the one I need to write about.”

And I did. After months of research that included going to many of his shows, and buying all his CD’s - listening to them over a glass, or two, of wine – I thought I had his character nailed. I wrote a short story, “Blue Gauze”, which dealt with his (my supped-up version of him) affect on a woman who was contemplating marriage to his exact opposite, and her buried indifference. It’s an insightful little yarn, and is on this site.

That wasn’t, however, the end of it.

This guy, this “bad-boy-rock-star” that morphed into an irresistible male lead, I just couldn’t shake him. He needed a whole damned book.

What genre does your book fall under?

Romantic suspense,

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jenna Fischer (Pam on The Office) would make a great Caroline. Unassuming and sweet, but with a hint of sexy just under the surface. Everyone sees it but her.

In a perfect world, I’d like to see the Columbian singing sensation “Juanes” screen tested for Mitch. I’m hoping he speaks English, with a great Latin accent, or would be willing to try.

Ryan Gosling is ideal for Caroline’s husband, David. He’s about six years younger than the character, but he did an amazing job of aging in “All Good Things” (a movie I recommend) and he’s actually a really good actor. He could pull it off well.

And Tera Coleman, the grand matriarch of the Coleman clan, and Caroline’s worst nightmare of a mother-in-law would have to be played by Jessica Lange. She’s played this part before in a movie (Hush), and, if you’ve seen her in American Horror Story, you know that she can do anything.

So, that’s my dream team.

 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Caroline Coleman is in love and ready to start her life over but, unfortunately, her old life — with secrets than run so deep they threaten all she knows — isn’t ready to let her go.

 Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m just pitching it now.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Over a summer - four warm Minnesota months, give or take.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It would be “what”.

My very best friend, also a writer, calls me a hopeless romantic, and when she read the first draft of “Sing me to Sleep” she said, “Of course you’d write this book, it’s you.”

It’s funny, sometimes, how it takes someone else to point out the obvious.

I do believe in love.

And, in great earth-shattering “romantic trysts” not necessarily confined to a room with a bed. The back of a van or the great outdoors … I think if the attraction is strong enough, you have absolutely no choice, and throwing caution to the wind is something you don’t take time to ponder. Not if you want to be in my book.

I should say here, “Just try to keep from getting arrested,” but that kind of defies the spirit.

Now, does crazy, careless coupling always result in love?

I’m willing to concede that it may not, always, but I can’t imagine love, true love, without it.

And I just hope my kids are not going to read this blog.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Eveyday people.

Everyday stuff.

The folks in this book get down to business. It’s crazy what they have to face — a very public murder trial — but they are real people with failings and worries. Readers get a glimpse of “what if?” at it’s most imposing.

What if you lost the love of your life over a misunderstanding? If your chance at happiness was ripped right out from under because of your inability to trust the one man that really, and truly, loved you?

You have a few of choices.

You can be thankful you had the chance to fall in love, cherish the memory and, eventually, put one foot in front of the other and…move on.

You can put the wall back up so you don’t get hurt again, taking this as a life lesson to live by.

Or, this is the option I know I’d entertain, no doubt about it: Never give up hope. As long as there’s life, there’s hope. Nothing is really lost to you until you decide to stop looking.

I just hope Caroline makes the right call.

Now please follow these links to some other very gifted writers I know:



© Jim Herkenhoff 2013    Ellis Hoff email: