I’m chilling out in Ormond Beach, Florida, for what I expect to be a fun weekend celebrating my 30-year high school reunion with dozens of other peeps from Mainland High School. I’m starting off my visit in my favorite manner: writing at a coffee shop before going body surfing.
This particular Starbucks at the intersection of Granada and A1A doesn’t hold a ton of sentimental value for me. I’ve only been here a handful of times.
But one of those times was very important.
I spent several days in Ormond Beach during the Christmas holidays of 2013, mostly binging on the complete Breaking Bad series. I think Walter White’s cautionary tale did something to inspire, because one morning at this Starbucks I revisited a very embryonic idea for a book that I first conceived in mid-2012. The idea was The Book Club Widowers, and I had little to go on except for “a group of book club moms going on weekend girls’ trip and disappearing.”
Then I watched Breaking Bad, and ideation exploded for this particular project. TBCW has nothing to do with meth heads or chicken restaurants, but it certainly has its share of crime, sinister characters, and mystery. And not quite three years removed from that Christmas of 2013, the book is out in paperback and Kindle and I’m pretty happy with it.
Time and the 30-year reunion now find me back here at that same Starbucks, developing a series of novels that will be quite different from anything I’ve written. In a little while I’ll wade into the nearby ocean, catch some waves, and float on my back; just like I did a million times growing up, in the same waters that served as the liquid incubator of so much childhood prose.
I keep returning to the original sources that shaped me and continue to influence me as a writer and a person. Whether people, coffee shops, or the ocean, they seldom disappoint.