Monday, March 22, 2010

Where have you set your books and why?

Ask me why I don’t have a Jersey Girl accent. Really—you’d be the first! *smirk* But please don’t expect me to do the “fist pump” on the dance floor. That’s not gonna happen.

While I may disappoint some expectations, I really am a bona fide Jersey girl. (I even graduated from Rutgers University.) We are some dynamic, colorful people. And from the woodsy Bear country counties to the more NYC-borough-esque region, our geographically diverse state makes for an awesome setting for a story (or two).

Perfect Shot is set in a fictional town that sits in the shadow of that towering Manhattan island where I was born. A trendy shop like Chic Boutique (the modeling contest’s headquarters in PS) would easily fit into the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the real Bergen County towns that inspired me. And ambitious young ladies like London Abrams and her bff Pam are found in abundance all throughout the garden state.

London’s town is the type of neighborhood I moved to as an adult. But I was raised in East Orange, NJ, the city I wrote about in Hallways Diaries. Here I am with my godmother (great aunt/soulmate) “Dada” outside of our East Orange home.

Ever see that “30 Rock” episode when we learned that Ken the Page sees the world as one big puppet show? Well, my hubby likes to tease that Ken and I are kindred spirits. (Of course, you know that’s an exaggeration--in my mind, the world is more like a Broadway musical.) But so what my POV is a little rose-colored? I know a lot of folks consider New Jersey to be more of a punchline than a home state. That doesn’t bother me. I can’t deny the great memories of growing up there. Like with everyone else, sure there were some off moments, but they certainly don’t come close to outweighing the bad. And at this point in my career, I find myself wanting to write more stories about colorful characters in this colorful region of the country.

But just don’t expect any of my characters to bust out with the “fist pump” dance, either. Not gonna happen.


Nikki Thornton said...

Liked your post. Someday I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.

Debbie Rigaud said...

Thanks, Nikki. LOL! I hear ya. :-)

Kelly McClymer said...

What exit are you? Sorry, couldn't resist. Grew up in Delaware. New Jersey gets no respect. Friends of mine live in among cows and corn fields, not a fist pump heavy Jersey accent to be found.

Ms. Yingling said...

Our girls' volleyball team is having great fun with Perfect Shot! Teammates usually return it with a friend who is ready to check it out. It hasn't hit the shelves since I purchased it.

Debbie Rigaud said...

Hiya, Kelly. You couldn't resit, could you? hahaha!! Too funny. Thanks to Bruce Springsteen and the Fugees, we could hold our heads up. :-)

Hi, Ms. Yingling. Yay! That is amazing news. I'd love to send you a signed copy. Sending you an email now.

P.J. Ruditis said...

I grew up just over the bridge in Philly. For years, I've been toying with the idea of writing a book about the Jersey Devil. And don't forget about your state's other favorite sons: Bon Jovi.

Debbie Rigaud said...

Oh yes--can't forget Bon Jovi!! You see? Jersey literary rocks.