Readers sometimes wonder how a book came to be. One early editor compared the manuscript of Laughing Dolphins to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. I was flattered but I’d call it more Tales of City, without the sex and drugs, stretched over twenty years, many cities, and thousands of miles.
Actually, what eventually became Dolphins started out as a writing experiment using one unique location as a setting. I chose Key West, Florida. Then I needed a character. I’d met a massage therapist in the Key Largo yoga community, a glowing woman in the 1990’s spiritual world who lived in a conch house among mangroves. After she moved away I heard she’d gone to Key West. Later I learned she had run for Fantasy Fest queen. And soon after been killed while riding her bicycle. I envisioned her riding though Key West, her massage table in a cart behind her bike.
So, I began with a setting and a character. Immediately, two more characters stepped into the story. Tourists from a cruise ship, celebrating their honeymoon, and not very happy in the midst of lively colorful Key West. I stopped typing to wonder where they’d come from. As I walked them around my favorite Key West spots, the newlywed husband wandered off. And the massage therapist showed me her community. The ending sort of happened and it was perfect—for a short story.
Yet I kept thinking and worrying about those people. Where they had come from and where they were going. And gradually, place by place, Laughing Dolphins told their story. I met their friends and watched them follow their dreams, make mistakes, find happiness, and lose hope.
So, instead of offering the first chapter (find that on my website), meet Sandy and Jeff in the middle where it all began…in Key West, Florida.
An Excerpt from Laughing Dolphins –
Key West, Florida:
…Tales of the City, without the sex and drugs, stretched over 20 years, many cities, and thousands of miles…