Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Blogger Author Joya Fields

My journey to create this story and characters.

LOVE DELIVERED features a heroine and hero who, at first, appear very dissimilar. Bianca is a big-city girl who is not only following her own dreams, but following the dreams her mother never achieved before her untimely death.

Pete, the hero, has tight ties to the small town where he grew up, and never wants to leave the charming town.

 My journey to create LOVE DELIVERED began with this conflict. I needed a reason why these two people could not possibly stay together as a couple. When Bianca returns to the small town to fix up and sell her deceased grandmother’s house, she fully intends to return to New York. But she gradually grows attached to the town. Pete, her mailman, has a lot to do with this.

Many people in the small town where I grew up still live there today. Sometimes, they buy a new house, and often they purchase the family home from their parents. When I needed to create a small town that offered many reasons for Bianca to stay, it was easy. I modeled the town after the one I grew up in.

One particular scene portrays July 4th celebrations in the small town. Growing up, I thought all towns went crazy for this holiday. Turns out, our town was pretty unique in the way it celebrates. For one thing, one week before July 4th, residents stake out a spot along the parade route by lining up roped-together lawn chairs and tarps. A week before the parade!

July 4th starts out with a bicycle decorating contest and games for kids at the local high school. Then, a two-hour long parade complete with our local NFL marching band, floats, politicians, and baton twirlers entertain the crowds. Most people retreat to their homes for a few hours, don themselves in glow sticks and bug spray, and then head to the local high school for a spectacular fireworks display.

I hope I captured the essence of this celebration, and the way the town embraces this day as not only a commemoration of America’s birthday, but of neighbors and the town itself. Basing this story on a real town and the people who live there made it easy to create characters who blended in and were charmed with the town.

Purchase LOVE DELIVERED at these locations.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Bernadette! Did I make it obvious enough that I'm a small-town girl? LOL. :)

  2. People used to camp out for the Rose Parade MORE than a week ahead of time. It got so out of control (and messed with traffic!) that the city finally had to impose a rule barring camping until noon on 12/31. I spent the night once - nothing romantic about sleeping on a sidewalk with thousands of strangers!

  3. Hahahaha, Christi. You're right that there's nothing romantic about sleeping on a sidewalk with strangers. Sounds like a good idea to impose a rule. I'll bet it was quite an experience, though. Thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing your parade experience. :)