Today I thought I’d share something a little more personal, and with lots of people celebrating “Christmas in July,” I hope you’ll enjoy this short tale about how I found inspiration to write the Free to Love series. This was originally shared in my newsletter. If you aren’t a subscriber, you can sign up here: https://authorsharonhamilton.com/newsletter.
I remember the rainy day in winter when I was looking for something as a Christmas gift for a family member, wandering amongst the shops in Healdsburg. I’d just finished writing the third of the vampire series books, the book about vampires at Christmastime and how they viewed angels and candlelit celebrations, cherubs and choirs at that time of year.
The day was perfect for coming down out of that world, and trying to get into Christmas. As often happens, I feel a little sad and let down when I’ve completed a book or series, hard to let go of the characters I’ve become so fond of and close to, like extended family, or cousins I rarely see.
I came upon a gallery, and in the window was an old Elna sewing machine, except it had been sculpted into a tractor, child’s toy wheels in the back, and smaller ones in front. It had a postal scale mounted to the side, a tin of chewing tobacco and various other odd things all added to the green Elna, perfect for the mainframe of the tractor.
Next to it was a ray gun, fashioned out of an old trumpet, a flute, a soldering iron. It looked as though Flash Gordon himself could have held it and protected my life with it. I was a huge fan of Buster Crabb when I was a young girl. I loved his boots, the hair on his head that never got mussed, just as if he was a being from another world, or another time.
Inside the gallery, the clerk told me about the artist, Monty Monty, who spent his days going to garage sales, picking up parts and making “found things” sculptures out of them. I learned that was a new kind of art. This local artist didn’t use soldering material, but screwed everything together, making the discarded and found again things into something beautiful and worthy of praise.
That’s when the story started, that day. It began the search, years ago, for incorporating the idea that found things could be put together to make something perfect. Once discarded, now made perfect. How it would be overlooked and considered broken, now part of some greater good after all, to live its life in a work of art, giving pleasure forever.
I bought that tractor. I bought the ray gun. And I bought several heart sculptures made out of a children’s heart-shaped cake tin, just like I used to play with when I was little. They’re hanging in my living room now. The tractor is on my TV mantle next to my Navajo dolls and my blown glass daisy bowl. All these were things I brought with me to Florida, like exposing the AI hero in this book to the beautiful Florida sugar-sand beaches of the gulf. A marriage of art, story, and history, real history.
That also got me thinking about the nature of what is real. And could a being made up of parts, put together by an imperfect “maker,” become a more perfect human being than the human “maker” himself.
I reached out to Monty, and he gave me license to use his beautiful artworks for my covers. My talented cover artist, when I told her about the story arc I was developing, created these images, incorporating flowers and living, growing things. I have a love for things that grow, bloom, live for such a short time and then fade away to make room for other living things.
This mysterious cycle is like love and death. One comes before the other. One makes the other sweeter. Nothing lasts forever.
Except one android, one AI, Adamis Jefferson—he could. And he will, if only in your heart and mind. I know he will live in mine. I think he’s got a big chunk of my heart already. And there are four more books to go.
I dedicate this book to all freedom-loving peoples all over the Universe.
Sharon Hamilton, writing as S. Hamil
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Start reading FREE AS A BIRD by clicking any of the links below!
P.S. Don’t miss the Free to Love multi-author launch party in the Rockin’ Romance Readers group on Facebook Friday, July 21st! There’s also an awesome giveaway that is only open for a few more days. Get your entries before it closes!
Join Sharon Hamilton’s Rockin’ Romance Readers group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sealteamromance
Enter the giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7c85497724