And...she's offering a tote bag to one lucky person who leaves a comment today! If you're interested don't forget to leave an email address.
To view the tote please go to: http://is.gd/mkd0xr
(apologies for their being a wrong linlk yesterday- the above one should work)
The Class of '85 from The Wild Rose Press:
Create a Realistic Setting by Kat Henry Doran
Several years ago, using the RIFLE [Realistic, Interesting, Fun, Logical, Entertaining] Approach, four romance writers came together and created a four story contemporary anthology, targeting the Wild Rose Press. The overall concept was based on five friends from high school who return to their hometown after twenty years when one of the five dies suddenly and leaves each survivor a legacy. Each novella focused on one of the four men.
The task then came down to 'inventing' the setting. Since three of four authors live in Western New York, we decided to make that our “World”. Each of us took a season and used the weather and the lake [that's Ontario, Queen of the Great Lakes] as background flavoring.
To invent the “City/Town”, one of the authors explored a unique neighborhood in the city of Rochester, took photographs and brought them to the other three and soon Summerville was born―on paper anyway. Though the anthology never came to fruition, the concept morphed into The Class of '85, a reunion series for the Last Rose of Summer line at The Wild Rose Press.
As senior editor [as well as one of the four originating authors] for the series, it came to me to lay the groundwork and either invent or expanded upon the social and political infra-structure of the town, further enhancing the “City/Town”.
As stories were contracted, the contributing authors tweaked the city/town into “The Hood” and then took it one step further to refine “The Set”. The inhabitants, primary and secondary were born and are unique to their individual needs and plot lines. The first 'alum' to make the reunion, “Getting It Right” was released in August 2010. By the Fall of 2011, twenty four stories were released.
Here's how creating a setting that speaks to readers worked for us and hopefully will work for you:
The World: Summerville, a town of 25,000, sits on a bluff over-looking Lake Ontario, Queen of the Great Lakes. Water sports are a popular outdoor activity. The area is a busy assignment for the Immigration and Naturalization Service as well as the Coast Guard and County Sheriff's Marine Unit, preventing illegal entry via the lake from Canada, drug trafficking and alcohol related marine incidents. A large transient migrant population in the region who work large farming operations make the area a hotbed for activists and illegal immigration―both in the past [for some of the characters] and current law enforcement personnel.
The City/Town deserved extra added attractions so we invented Summerville College, inaccurately termed 'the U' by locals. A co-ed, liberal arts school, it is known for its NCAA division I champion men’s lacrosse team. The town has a full service hospital which is code red most nights [the ER is full and can only accept chest or head trauma.] It's in desperate need of urgent care centers to cut down on bottlenecks in the ER and to put an end to patients using the ER's for a doctor's office.
For the sports nuts we offer the Hornets, a triple A baseball team, part of the Orioles system, and just as [un]successful and the Red Barons, part of the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey system.
Local law enforcement is covered by the Summerville Police Department, headed by the former school bully. One of his former victims is now the County Sheriff. A former bad boy now advocates for victims of school bullies and non-responsive school systems. Note the over-use of the word ‘former’. Hmm. As an editor, I’m cringing as I read this.
Arts and entertainment are supplied locally with annual fine arts and artisans shows or by a thirty minute drive to Rochester which offers a symphony, several major museums and the Eastman School of Music.
The contributing authors also supplied “The Hood” by way of Down The Hill, Summerville's version of a slum, and Pill Hill and Castle Row, where the elite reside and never the twain do meet.
For “The Set”, where individual scenes take place one of the authors took a photograph of a local landmark and turned it into the Summerville Inn which is the setting for several of the reunion stories, one of which involves pre-reunion renovations, a reunion dance, and an elite awards dinner. A couple authors took a real-life former [there’s that word again!] orphanage located in Syracuse New York, renamed it, then picked it up and dropped it into Summerville. Hey, it worked.
World/Town/Hood inhabitants include:
Two prime time network news anchors/reporters
A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for photographic journalism
A retired rock star
A world famous fashion photographer
Several members of local law enforcement
A modeling agent known for large size and 'mature' models, male and female
A mega-millionaire computer geek, ala Bill Gates
A philanthropist [now deceased] whose legacy continues to benefit the community
A con man
A retired major league baseball player, now coaching the Hornets triple A team
It is clear when imaginative people come together, any number of wonderful things can happen, including the creation of interesting, fascinating, unforgettable settings.
About Kat Henry Doran:
Over the years I've had the honor to work at a number of occupations: operating room nurse, malpractice insurance investigator, forensic nurse examiner, victim advocate, wife and mother. Five years ago I became Nana for the first time and, believe me, it’s the best job ever!
Even if I sometimes wish they'd remain in the closet, the years I spent in the OR and labor floor, and later advocating for victims of sexual violence, contribute significantly to the voice of my writing. You don’t spend thirty years playing loyal serving maid and mind reader to egotistical surgeons, then twelve years haunting police stations, Emergency Rooms, and criminal courts without developing an internal alarm system for covert misogyny, rampant apathy, and overwhelming bigotry.
I retired my stethoscope and speculum a few years ago but continue to advocate quietly for marginalized populations through Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders.
I like hearing from readers.
You can contact me through:
my website- ,
my website- ,
Thank you so much for coming and explaining that, today, Kat. Like me I'm sure other writers wonder how a series like this comes together. Best wishes with sales of 'the Class of '85' series.