Thursday, March 9, 2017

A chat with Debbie Mason -- The Woman Behind the Starlight Bridge

Hi Debbie!  Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today!  I read MISTLETOE COTTAGE, book 1 of your Harmony Harbor series and just had to pick up book 2, STARLIGHT BRIDGE as soon as I could. You have created a fantastic series with wonderful characters and a super setting.  

 Aw, thanks so much! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series.

So are readers can find out a bit more about the woman behind the pen, let’s start with a few simple questions.  

What inspired you to pick up the pen (or sit down at the computer) one day and create the characters in this series that capture the imagination?

 When my publisher decided we’d end my previous series at book 7, I began playing with ideas for a new series. I wanted to come up with characters my readers would enjoy as much as they did the story people in Christmas, Colorado. I love the ocean and Massachusetts and once I’d decided to set the series there, I got to work on the history of my fictional town, which I loosely based on Gloucester. While researching the area, I came across Hammond Castle and it became the inspiration for Greystone Manor. And if you have a castle, you have to have a ghost, so that’s where the idea for Colleen originated. And if you have a ghost, you better give her a reason for being and that’s how the Gallagher family came to be. With twelve great-grandchildren who are currently single, Colleen will be up to her matchmaking tricks for a while. 

 I have to admit Colleen and Simon, along with Jasper, remind me in some ways of one of my favorite TV shows growing up, Topper. What led you to taking Colleen down that path?

 I just looked up Topper. I’d never heard of the show but it’s definitely one I would have watched. Interestingly enough, one of my favorite sitcoms growing up provided partial inspiration for Colleen becoming a ghost. It was The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.


 In these first two books your characters deal with some very rough real-life situations. How did you get yourself into a place to write about and then resolve those issues? 

For Starlight Bridge, as well as spending a lot of time doing research on the internet, I read College Girl: A Memoir by Laura Gray-Rosendale and watched the documentary The Hunting Ground. While I was writing the story, I’d check in with my oldest daughter to make sure Ava’s feelings in response to certain situations and how she reacted to them rang true. As well as having her MSW, MPH, and working toward her Ph.D. in Public Health, my daughter has spent years on the frontline working with abused and traumatized women and children. Now that I think about, she’s probably the reason my characters tend to deal with difficult real-life situations.

Which of the brothers, including looking ahead at future books, would you most like to come to life? 

I’d have to say the brother whose story I’m currently writing, Aidan Gallagher. He’s the hero in Sugarplum Way, which comes out in October of this year. A Gerard Butler lookalike, Aidan’s a former DEA Agent who now works at the Harmony Harbor Police Department. He’s smart and tough, and you do not want to get on his bad side. But with his daughter and the heroine, he’s a marshmallow.

 You’ve gotten the call, a Hollywood producer is going to bring the Harmony Harbor series to the big screen. Who do you cast in the major roles? 

I’ve used mostly actors and actresses for character inspiration, so this is fairly easy. Sadly though, some of the actors and actresses are no longer with us.

Colleen Gallagher—Katharine Hepburn.

Kitty Gallagher—Ellen Burstyn.

Rosa DiRossi—Sophia Loren.

Jasper—Christopher Plummer.

Colin Gallagher—Paul Newman.

Griffin Gallagher—Chris Hemsworth.

Ava DiRossi—Eva Mendes.


Thank you for taking some time with us today! 

Thanks so much for having me.

No comments: