Today I’m welcoming wonderful author and friend, Dina Santorelli. Dina is the author of Baby Grand and I’m so honored that she’s been able to join me on the blog today!
Guest Post: A Wild Ride – Dina Santorelli
I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment I came up with the concept for Baby Grand.
All I know is that it happened sometime in the 1990s, when I was a twentysomething journalist with a husband, a DINK lifestyle, and grand professional ambitions. Although I lived in the borough of Queens, New York, which was technically only about 10 miles from my Manhattan office, I had to take both a bus and subway train to get to work, which made my commute about an hour and a half-sometimes two hours if there was ‘congestion’ in the tunnels.
While occasionally the commute felt like forever-particularly when I was nearly nine months pregnant-most of the time I hardly felt the time go by. That’s because I became a voracious reader, immersing myself in the works of Michael Crichton, Tom Wolfe, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, David Baldacci and James Patterson, among others. I liked the pace of those books, the edge-of-your-seat suspense. I know the word on the street is that riding the New York City subways is akin to some kind of wild ride, but in actuality it’s pretty boring. Crowded. Often smelly. But boring nonetheless. So to be able to forget that the guy next to you forgot to shower or that you’ve never stood this close to anyone you actually know for an hour or so is a godsend. Sometimes I longed for the commute to be even longer, just so I could finish a chapter. (No, I never missed my stop-I was so paranoid that I would that I stopped reading the stop before mine, just to be safe.)
I always thought to myself as I read, I think I can do this. I tried a few times too. More than a few times, actually. But it was always the same old story. I had a great idea and lots of enthusiasm, but when it got ‘hard’ -and, boy, does it get hard-I’d abandon the novel in favor of other worthy pursuits, like eating Chinese food and watching Friends with my husband.
Flash-forward ten years. Now I’m a suburbanite mom with three kids, trying desperately to hang onto a dream. When my three kids were really small-a time I call ‘the dark days of parenting’-I was lucky if I could remember my name, but always in the distance I could see myself writing that novel. And it was always a thriller. I still think it was that desire and determination that got me through the hard days.
When the kids were old enough, I decided to go to graduate school, the only place I could think of where nobody would ask me about potty training and pre-kindergarten and where I could focus on my writing the way I should. It was there, in my final semester, that I started-and was determined to finish one day, come hell or high water-one of those many novel ideas that I had come up with in my twenties. It was there that I started writing Baby Grand.
Although now I work from home and have the ability to squeeze in some reading any time of day, I still long for those long bus and subway journeys where there was nothing to do but read. And now that my debut novel is available for purchase, I hope that my book can turn at least one person’s commute into the wild ride they deserve.
About Dina Santorelli
Dina Santorelli is a freelance writer/editor who has written for many print and online publications, such as Newsday, First for Women and CNNMoney.com. She served as the “with” writer for the nonfiction title, Good Girls Don’t Get Fat (Harlequin, 2010), and is the current Executive Editor of Salute and Family magazines for which she has interviewed many celebrities, including James Gandolfini, Tim McGraw, Angela Bassett, Mario Lopez, Gary Sinise and Kevin Bacon. You can follow Dina on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and on her blog. Baby Grand, her first novel, is available on Amazon.
About Baby Grand
In Albany, New York, the governor’s infant daughter disappears without a trace from her crib at the Executive Mansion. Hours later, newly divorced and down-and-out writer Jamie Carter is abducted from the streets of Manhattan. Jamie is whisked upstate, where she is forced by her captor, Don Bailino, an ex-war hero/successful businessman, to care for the kidnapped child in a plot to delay the execution of mobster Gino Cataldi – the sixth man to be put to death in six years by hardliner Governor Phillip Grand. What prevails is a modern-day thriller about family ties, loyalty, murder, betrayal, and love that’s told in deftly interweaving narratives that follow the police investigation of the missing Baby Grand, the bad guys who took her, and the woman who found the strength to protect her.