Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome to The Word Place, Vintage Rose Author Ilona Fridl

Vintage Rose at The Wild Rose Press, is romantic stories set in the twentieth century. When I wrote “Silver Screen Heroes” I didn't know about the publishing company at the time. I went to many agents and editors trying to sell my historic romantic suspense story. I found Nan Swanson at Wild Rose who thought we could make this into a real book. So, in a way, Vintage Rose found me.
I've always loved writing since I was a child; making my own picture books. Research came easy for me, because I loved finding out about how things started and worked. That was my strong suit in school. Math, not so much. I took creative writing in college and sold some stories to a few magazines, but never tried to make that my profession, because I was a horrible typist. Talking about white-out by the gallon!
Finally, getting a computer, I was able to overcome that and send a few short stories and articles into magazines. I actually got editors to buy a few. In the back of my mind was the dream to write a book, so I undertook that. I read many books on writing, joined Romance Writers of America, and went to a critque group. All that brought my skills up to an acceptable level where I tried to sell the stories I wrote.
I would advise anyone wanting to write novels to follow those footsteps and don't be afraid to network. You'll find many good people willing to lend a hand.

Silver Screen Heroes is set in 1920-21 in old Hollywood. It's about the silent movie, prohibition, and the crime families that made money off of selling illegal liquor. Also, the heroine, Adeline Garcia, is half Mexican and I touch on the tension between them and the whites in the Los Angeles area at the time.
I’m going to visit Grandpa and Grandma,” Addy called out to the pair of ears she knew was there. She walked on air to the backyard and saw the lights were still on in the apartment, just as she'd hoped. Dancing up the steps, she rapped on the door.
Her grandmother opened it, still holding in one hand the doily she was crocheting. “Why, Adeline, come in, child.”
Her grandfather was at the table with his new crystal radio set. With the earphones on his head, he didn’t notice Addy. “Dad-blamed thing doesn’t work right. I don’t know why I bother with these damned new-fangled contraptions.” He turned to say more to his wife and saw his granddaughter. “Adeline, excuse me. I didn’t hear you come in.”
Addy stood there, her hand over her mouth, covering a smile. “That’s all right, Grandpa. Maybe you can get James to help you. He’s interested in anything electric.”
I’m seventy-seven years old. You’d think things would be getting easier to understand instead of more confounding.” He grinned at Addy. “Sit down, Adeline. I know you didn’t come in to hear me cuss at radios.”
She sat across from him at the table and smelled the warm mingled scent of Bay Rum cologne and pipe tobacco that was so much her grandpa. “Something has been bothering me for a while. Could I ask you a question about my parents?”
Grandpa exchanged a glance with Grandma on the couch. He looked back at Addy. “What is the question?”
She studied her hands. “Uncle Henry keeps talking about how bad it is to marry a foreigner. What happened when Mother married my father? I need to know.”
Her grandfather picked up his pipe and started cleaning it. “Adeline, you have to remember it was a different time then, although these prejudices are still with us. No, I didn’t give the marriage my blessing. You’ve never seen your father’s side of the family because they disowned him for marrying a gringo. The Garcias are a family that has lived in California since the late 1700s and still consider the Americans invaders. There has been hatred on both sides. That’s the reason your parents moved to San Francisco. We never saw you until you were six.”
How did you know to find me after the earthquake?”
He lit his pipe and leaned back in his chair. “Your mother wrote us letters about you and your brother, and sent pictures, but we were too hurt by the elopement to come and see you. We couldn’t forgive either of them. When we heard about the disaster, it was too late. Uncle Henry and I traveled up there to see if any of you had survived. We went to the address of your apartment, and the building was ashes after the fire. The rosters of the dead were far from complete, so we went to the police to find out where the survivors were. Henry carried a family portrait your mother had sent the Christmas before. We finally found you in one of the camps that had a section for orphans. You’d told the police that the rest of your family was dead.”
Addy nodded. “I remember that.”
We raised you for our daughter. I couldn’t see a child being rejected because of a family split like that.”
Did the Garcia family ever try to find me?”
No. We’ve never seen nor heard from them.”
Grandma came over and put her arms around Addy. “We love you, Adeline. We’re also sorry we couldn’t see how terrible we were being to your family before that disaster happened.”
Is it going to be the same for Muriel?
You can visit me at my website and see about Golden North which is book two coming out next year.

Thank you, Judy, for this opportunity!

NOTICE: I just received an email from Ilona saying that for some reason she's not being allowed to post and reply to comments. She wanted me to let all of you know that she is reading your comments and appreciates them very much. 


K9friend said...

Hello, Ilona! Sounds like your persistence paid off!

Your book sounds intriguing...that certainly is an interesting time in our history.

Thanks for bringing this story to my attention, I'll check it out!

Margo Dill said...

I agree with Pat, that is definitely an exciting and interesting time in our history. And you are a good example of showing how perseverance is such a big deal in today's writing quest. Congratulations!


Christie Craig said...

Great post. And great advice.


Linda Swift said...

I enjoyed reading your article, Ilona. And your path to publishing is very much like my own. I wish you continued success with your writing.
Your fellow rose, Linda

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Ilona,
Had to drop by and say hi to a fellow Vintage author. It just goes to show how persistence can pay off. Never give up, hat is the key to success. I loved the excerpt, it sounds like a great story and the setting sounds really interesting, too. Nan Swanson is my editor also, and she is terrific.


Kathye Quick said...

Hi Ilonia--

I love this time period. Old Hollywood started it all!

Keena Kincaid said...

What a rich, complex story you're telling--and it's set in such a vibrant era. If I could time travel, that is one of the eras I would visit.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Great job sticking to it, Ilona! I love just about anything to do with movies. :)

nlindabrit said...

Your book sounds most interesting! Thank you for the excerpt. I am highly intrigued.

Judy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ilona! Your book is on my to-read list!