Question: Where did I get my idea for the Jillian Factor?
When I received the questions about where I got my ideas for the book, I decided I’d answer it here. The Jillian Factor and the Prequel take place in South Florida where I live for 30 years. Oops. I guess that shows I’m not a young thing. Come to think of it, this next sentence would have blown that belief out of the water anyway. I had retired and was planning my bucket retirement trip with no intention of returning to Florida. I’ll admit I hated living in the city. The convenience was nice where you could go to the mall or the grocery store without a thought. You had the Performing Arts Center, a football, baseball and hockey team with a half hour of where I lived. The ocean was 45 min away to the east. Yes, I miss a few of those things.
What I don’t miss is the traffic jams, the humidity, the rude and obnoxious people, the lack of community, being nothing but a number, the keep up with the Jones attitude, etc. In other words, I was a square peg being forced into a smaller round hole. I guess my upbringing in a small town ever left and I spent those 30 years wanting to move to a small town where people know who you are and will talk to you.
Back to my retirement. My daughter wanted the family to get together for a fun week before I left. Sounded good to me. My stepson planned on going to Lake Louisa outside of Clermont, FL for the week. We would have a big enough place for everyone and the lake, a pool and a lot of activities to have fun. Place set and all I had to do was to get everyone I could together. Easier said than done. Sometimes I swear getting kids to come together for a family vacation is like herding cats.
So—what does this have to do with the book?
Easy enough to answer. I got the idea after I got back home and saw this picture.
Now, imagine you are a young girl there with a family whose normal mode of communication is loud, with everyone talking over the other and no one listening. What would that girl do to get out of the confusion? Go for a walk to the lake?
Probably. But a walk to the lake wouldn’t get it. Something would have to happen. Yep, you got it…a murder.
The rest of the sites are real places but the interiors and some of the names have been changed to protect the businesses. As to the legal portions of the book, all made up, so don’t expect it to even border on real. It was all fantasy and was used as a backdrop to her story. Although the courthouse and library are there in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. The place where they stay is recognizable if you know the area and were all the duplexes are located. Oh, the picture was taken from the dock mentioned in the book, so yeah, that was a real place with the white cottage off to my right.
Where did I get the ideas for the characters?
I got the idea for her from several sources. First of all, she is Irish and that alone was a fun point for me as I like all things Celtic. Then there was this newspaper article I remembered from the 1980 era about a prostitution ring where women had been kidnapped and forced into brothels. Most were illegals who had payed to get here only to discover they had pay more or had to work to get their freedom. Only a small percentage were forced into the brothels. The rest were placed in factories, homes and other places to work for nothing until their bill was paid.
The article stuck with me for some reason and came back when I began to formulate Jill. Why? Well part of it was that most people don’t know what survivors have to go through after the abuse is over. It is something you never get rid of totally. The emotions, fears, anger and other feelings are all real for survivors. Her desire for revenge is another real thing and one most never get rid of as their abusers get a slap on the wrist and allowed to go free and do it all over again.
He is my voice of reason. He is a man of a thousand faces where you see him but you don’t recognize him as he blends in with the crowd with nothing to make him stand out other than his pine green eyes. The man is patterned after a few law enforcement people I know who worked undercover. No one would think of them as law-enforcement with their actions and looks.
Her grandfather (and boss) is based on a person who I knew for many years. He was my best friend but couldn’t hardly speak one sentence without dropping an F bomb. The language was something he picked up while actually working on the docks as a young man unloading ships in New Jersey. He was a big man, rough around the edges but had a heart of gold. Yeah, he recognized himself when he read the book, loving how I gave him a granddaughter who worked with him. (He’s actually owns his own business but it is a detective agency—that was another friend.)
Her maternal grandfather is the rich men I’d see at the race track who had the women trailing after them, attempting to get their attention. Several of these men actually became friends to me when they discovered I could handicap a horse and was decent at it. These are the type of men who bet a thousand dollars a race and think nothing about it, whereas for me, a five dollar bet is a lot. They were a fun group,most of who didn’t like stuff shirts and enjoyed having fun. I’d go to see the horses run and how many of the winners I could pick in a day. (That varied, but was usually 3 out of 15 races.)
He is the typical gentle giant who you wouldn’t expect to be an artist. Of course he loves the intrigue of helping Jill and his grandfather. There is a question as to why he doesn’t have a girl friend. I’m leaving that one open for now as I haven’t decided what way to take him in the fourth book I’m plotting out which will take Jill and Tom back to Florida.
All questions answered?
You now have all the background on the ongoing Jillian Factor characters. Oh dear, not all the questions were answered…Where did I get the names? Well, naming a character is something each writer struggles with. Certain names come to me like Bruce Foster. Wyatt was suggested by the man he was patterned after. (Go figure..lol) Jill was because I liked the name. Thomas was because it was a common as he was…an easy name to forget. As for Brad, his name popped into my head as I was writing the first book and it seemed to fit him.
That’s it for now. Have a great day and happy reading