The inspiration came from a real life couple who were active in the reenactment groups in Tombstone, Arizona. I lived just twenty miles west of "the town too tough to die" for over twenty years and visited often. Of course Graveyard Gulch is an analog of Tombstone. I made a lot of changes in the two characters who ultimately became the stars of this story, Melissa and Lawton, but the first spark came from real life. I have a fondness for what I call April-September matches. Not quite as extreme as May-December but separated by a half-generation or so. All but one of my serious love affairs and my marriage fit that category so maybe that's why! Mature men have so much to offer!
For what its worth, I always envisioned Sam Elliot playing Lawton but had more trouble casting Melissa. At the time, Sandra Bullock was playing roles a bit too madcap to fit but her more recent roles indicate she might have been able to handle it. We'll probably never know, huh?
I've always meant to go back and write a story for Jo, Melissa's dear and supportive friend, but so far that has not happened. Maybe it will, especially if I decide to revise this one a little and self-publish it in a year or so. Meanwhile you have two months to get a copy of the first version. To tempt you, here is the blurb and the original and the Amber Quill covers. I liked the concept of the original but the Amber Quill one is certainly more professional. However, computer art came a long way in the intervening years.
Blurb: Proverbial "poor little rich girl" Melissa Hartford, burdened by guilt and grief over her father's death, is instantly attracted to retired Special Forces officer Lawton Kane.
|Amber Quill Cover|