Just in case some of you haven’t heard, let me tell you…I won this AWESOME contest Delilah Marvelle ran on her Blog for the month of August. My ‘prize’ was to spend a day with her and ever since I found out that I won, I prayed for good weather and not to get sick…well, one out of two ain’t bad. I wasn’t sick, but the weather sucked BIG time! Not that it stopped either one of us to enjoy each other’s company.
We met down town Chicago in front of the Historic Water Tower then went shopping inside the Water Tower Place. After some fun and just sitting around and getting to know each other, Delilah decided that she’ll give me a day of ‘firsts’, so she led the way to John Hancock Observatory [holy molly that elevator was fast] and while we ‘observed’ the wonderful view down below, the sun came up! We decided to enjoy the view some more and she treated me to lunch [and just BTW, she treated me like a Queen; paid for everything] and by the time we left, the sun decided to go hide, AGAIN!
Next, came another ‘first’ [and don't y'all laugh at me when you hear my next 'first'] and that was a TAXI ride to an undisclosed location…which was my third ‘first’ of the day…a visit to a MUSEUM. LA&M is not your run-of-the-mill museum. This was a very special kind-a-museum and boy did I get an education walking the rooms of this place! Art was…well, it sort of left me speechless as well as breathless…I was so lucky to have Delilah walk me through some of the more…shall we say, interesting rooms and explain some of the …magnificent art on display. I highly recommend this place be visited, for educational purposes, naturally.
As we were leaving the museum, the wonderful young man thought to let us know that the weather has taken a turn from bad to worse, in fact so ‘worse’ that O’Hare Airport had everyone get down to the lower level because of the Tornado warning. We exited the museum and Delilah wanted to know what would I like to do next.
Seeing as how the afternoon was turning into an early evening [and knowing I only have her 'till nine] I thought why not get to Oak Brook shopping mall and visit my favorite bookstore Barnes & Nobles; get some Starbucks and check out some books! Delilah was all for it, so all we need do now is figure out how to GET THERE! Piece a’ cake! Taxi, she suggests, and I go, hey why not take a train! I NEVER took a train, so another ‘first’ off my bucket list would be scratched off, right?! How hard can that be?! You go to the station, buy tickets go in and BOOM! You’re home! Yeah RIGHT!
Why has no one EVER told me how difficult it would be to ‘take ‘a train? I didn’t know we needed to take the ‘red line’ [or was it the 'blue line' first?] then walk to the ‘blue line’ [again, could be vice-versa] and… then walk, oh, about 10-15 blocks [IN A POURING RAIN; thank God Delilah brought an umbrella with her], climb a ‘mountain’ of stairs just to find out that we were too late to catch Metra….At this point, I was huffing and puffing; my hair was looking like I just got out of the shower; my boots were NOT meant for walking in the rain-they made this swishing sound, while I tried to keep a pace with Delilah; my paper bag broke with my stuff falling all over the road; at one point I looked around and saw this fenced abandoned lot and thought to myself…Where in the world are we?
And then I happened to spot Delilah’s up-to-her-knees soaked jeans and prayed to God she doesn’t end up with pneumonia…I could see the headlines … FAMOUS ROMANCE AUTHOR KILLED BY HER NUMBER ONE FAN! And then I looked at her and tried to apologize for the predicament I got us into, just to see those gorges brown eyes laughing and telling me, it’s all good…We’re just having an adventure together! As the dusk was turning into the evening, she takes my arm and points me into the ‘Don’s Grill’ that we could regroup and do what she originally wanted us to do…GET A TAXI!
This was a small little diner, with no one there but the proprietor who introduced himself as Art for Arturo, and who was such a nice man and between the two of them [I was so tiered at this point, I just sat and tried to recharge my batteries; walking 15 blocks I realized I need to get in shape] they ordered a Taxi to take us to my home.
A bit warmed up and with barest of nourishment [Delilah still wanted to take my hubby and I out to dinner] we were having a nice visit with Art and some of his customers that walked in; like the little 10-12 year old boy who emptied his pockets with a ton of change to order a Pepsi. While he kept counting and recounting his change, I caught Delilah motion to Art to put his Pepsi on her. The little guy politely turned to her and thanked her, then slowly slid all the change from the counter into his hand, and then with one more ‘thank you’ he left. I looked at her and all I could think was….I am in awe of this woman. She was such a trooper, and once we finally [it took NINETY minutes for the Taxi to come and get us] arrived at my home, dried off [I got her out of her pants and wet socks]; she visited with my Don while I played the hostess and a bar tender. It was way past the hour she had planned to stay with me, but this woman is one true energizer bunny and she was ready to go out once again, so we all went out to dinner at our favorite bar. She had some warm Tortilla Soup while Don and I had Pizza; we drank a bit and after couple of hours came back home waiting for her to be picked up. It was a bit before midnight when she left and as soon as she did, it felt like I said goodbye to my sibling and I missed her already!
How can one describe a day filled with genuine ….the best word I can come up with is, comfort. I felt so at ease with her. Her smile is …contagious and she’s witty and sharp; smart as whip. She impressed Don to no end. Trust me; it is very hard to impress my hubby! We talked about our families, our children, her work, my work, our homes, romance community, our childhoods….We touched on so many subjects and yet I forgot to ask her the questions that one of you asked. However, I emailed them to her and here is what she had to say toleahluvsmedieval:
My question is about her characters. Did they all come at once with the story screaming to be told or did they work themselves in as the story unfolded?
Great question! My stories never come to me all at once. I get them in pieces. I unfold who they are and their journey by spending time with them. To me, they’re like real people. The more time I spend with them, the more I get to know who they are and what their story is. I love writing this way, too, because it allows me to experience the characters in the same way my readers are. I honestly don’t know what my characters are going to do half the time! lol.
As much as I like to see a trailer based on the author’s take on the characters or story, do you think it may affect how the reader sees the characters?
I think it’s another way of bringing a creative take to the characters and the story by bringing them to life for a few moments. It’s no different than a movie. Does a movie change how much you love a book? No. Because the story in the book remains the same. I think the trailer just adds a dimension to something that already exists :)
Do you think by watching the trailers that we are taking our mind’s view away and placing the author’s view in before we ever start reading?
The trailer is meant to piqué the interest of whoever watches it. It’s a sneak peek into the world I write. The author’s view is already stamped on the book that is being read the visual aspect is just one more kiss being blown to our favorite people: our readers!
That also means that toleahluvsmedieval has won from us Delilah’s last book in her Rumor series ‘Forever a Lord’ and as soon as it’s out, we’ll be sending it to her [as long as she lets us know which would she prefer, print or eBook].
In the end, I can tell you all that in spite of the bad weather, soaked feet and dripping hair, I was humbled by and thankful to Delilah for finding and gifting me with her time.
I was given an adventure that will be FOREVER in MY HEART [pun intended]!