I fun aspect to writing is where the inspiration comes from. I’m often inspired by historic events and the diverse locations I travel to. I like to use authentic places to help the reader better connect to the story. I used the Wentworth-by-the-Sea hotel in this story because it has inspired me for decades. This building has an amazing past and has housed many famous guests, my favorite being the sharpshooter Annie Oakley who was hired to teach female guests to shoot. This hotel closed in 1982 when I was ten years old. As a kid, taking long drives with my folks along New Hampshire’s scenic coast, I’d stare in awe at the turn of the century hotel. As the years passed, I saw the Wentworth fall into disrepair and it weighed heavy on my heart. I always wondered what she had been like in her heyday and wished the building would be saved. The Wentworth with its tumultuous history, elegant architecture, and grand setting is one incredible source of inspiration I had to write about. Giving my characters Harmony Parker and her relatives a connection to the Wentworth’s history helped fuel this series. I used the hotel’s tragic event in 1989 when eighty percent of it was torn down as a climactic scene in The Rare Pearl. I took the snapshot in the front of this book not long afterward the teardown, when only the original facade remained. Like many great stories with tales that rollercoaster from splendor to tragedies to happy endings—the same goes for the Wentworth-by-the-Sea. She was eventually purchased, refurbished and reopened in 2003. After the reopening I finally got my chance to step foot inside the building for the first time and stay as a guest—it left me giddy. The rooms, décor and service were top notch bringing her into a new era, but I found myself wondering about the days long ago and what kind of stories she could tell if her walls could talk.
You can purchase your copy of THE RARE PEARL in The Wentworth-by-the-Sea gift shop!