About Dawn Greenfield Ireland:
Dawn Greenfield Ireland has been writing stories since attending summer camp around the age of seven. To date she has five completed novels (science fiction and contemporary), 15 completed screenplays (one optioned in 2009) and as many scripts in various stages of completion. Dawn is the author of two award-winning self-published books: The Puppy Baby Book (hardcover) and Mastering Your Money (print and eBook). Many of her screenplays have won awards. She spends her days editing and formatting engineering documents as a senior technical writer.
What inspired Hot Chocolate, by Dawn Ireland
In a nutshell: Janet Evanovich. I posted this blog on my website in November:
How Janet Evanovich changed my life, by Dawn Ireland – 11/4/2011
Everything had been going gung ho from 2000-2002. My new dog book (The Puppy Baby Book) just launched and won an award shortly after publication.
Artistic Origins, my technical writing business, was thriving with contracts/work, and I was renovating my new house.
While that part of my life was great, my dating life was non-existent. It had been six (6) years since I even HAD a date. That is not a typo.
I guess there is a reason for some things and we just have to wait until the veil lifts to see clearly.
You are most likely sitting there wondering what on earth does this has to do with Janet Evanovich, but I promise you, it is coming. Bear with me.
A guy roared into my life in early 2002 and swept me off my feet. I was blindsided. I ended up selling my house, moving out of state and living an idyllic lifestyle for one year.
At that point, the great grandfather of all disasters struck.
I should have asked way more questions than I did prior to moving, but I did not. Oh well…
Toward the end of summer in 2003, you-know-what hit the fan. I am talking beyond bucketfuls – it was clearly by the dump truck-full.
In a nutshell, within minutes on that fateful day I was not only destitute, but had nowhere to go. I was homeless! Good friends back in Houston took up a collection so I could move back home.
Then even MORE you-know-what hit the fan. I couldn’t find work. It seems that while I was off lolly-gagging in my new princess lifestyle, technical writing had been outsourced overseas.
If that isn’t enough, like rubbing a raw onion into an oozing sore, I had to hire an attorney to handle the nightmare legal mess, which had me living in fear.
And because all those jobs were outsourced, I did not work for the remainder of 2003 through 2005. My resume went around the country and around the globe with little or no response. I lived off credit cards and the charity of friends and family.
My brain was frozen and I could not write one word. Total creative shut down for months.
Then, someone gave me a battered copy of One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. I read that paperback overnight.
O M G! That book changed my life!
I loved Stephanie Plum. What a sassy, wild and crazy gal! I loved Lula! I loved Morelli. I loved Ranger. I loved Grandma Mazur. I loved all the wacky characters that poured out of Janet Evanovich’s head.
Then, one night I had a crazy dream about this wealthy woman named Lila Mae Alcott whose family was rich out the wazoo from their chocolate empire.
I must have had a hot fudge sundae or something before bedtime for that to end up in my head.
Hence, my mystery novel Hot Chocolate was born. And my characters are so sassy and outrageous, but unlike Stephanie Plum, these gals are middle-aged wealthy women from Houston’s elite River Oaks!
Janet uplifted me. Those characters were in my brain cells. I started writing again.
Work came through. A gigantic technical writing project dropped into my lap. I could hardly believe my good fortune.
Over the next two years I bought every Stephanie Plum book that I could get my hands on.
So – many, many thanks to Janet Evanovich!
Janet taught me so much about writing and characters.
I love her.
I hope I get to meet her in person one of these days!
And thank you, Dawn, for your inspirational story…and this wonderful book!