by Laura Simcox, author of Summer Promises
Would you pack up a rickety car with most of your possessions (including the change under the sofa cushions) and drive halfway across the country to work for a company you’d never laid eyes on? Oh, and live there, too, dormitory style — with a bunch of people you’d never met? Maybe fall in love with one of them? Seems crazy, huh?
It takes guts to travel sight unseen to a job like that, but there are plenty of theater professionals who do — every summer. I did, for almost twenty years. Mostly as a costume designer, but occasionally I ended up on stage filling a minor role. I’m an adventure addict and although I chose to leave my theater days behind, I now get to do something awesome — create my own adventures by writing romance. The best thing about that? There’s always a happy ending.
Working in summer stock theatre, you never know what you’re going to get until you get there. One time I lived in a dorm built mostly of plywood nestled in the chilly Northwoods of Wisconsin. Raccoons nested backstage in the theater and I worked from Memorial Day until the fourth of July without a single day off. Torture.
Another time, later in my career, I had a two bedroom apartment all to myself in what had been an historic mansion. I had a personal assistant and a costume staff of eight. On opening night, the producer gave me a giant bouquet of flowers and people bought me drinks all night long. Bliss.
In any summer stock situation, dreadful or delightful, a woman is a heroine starring in her own show. Her own adventure. And there’s always the possibility that love might be just around the corner. If it is, it’s intense. But a “showmance” is usually doomed from the start because an inevitable obstacle appears: the end of the season. Curtain down. Love lost. Heroine jaded. After being on this see-saw for years, she wants to give up. No romance. No heartache. No problem.
Carly Foster, the heroine of my novel Summer Promises has adopted this attitude. She’s jumped in a rickety car to drive to a summer theater for what she hopes is the very last time. She’s made one promise to herself: no romance. But for her…true love really IS right around the corner. Oh, she’ll avoid it like a champ. And then she’ll fight it head on. But true love doesn’t give up easily. It finds a way. Carly just needs to find the courage to trust that she’s found the real deal. And it’s up to a guy with a killer wink and an amazing smile to unlock her heart.
Like Carly, many of us, otherwise brave, hesitate in the presence of true love. How do we know when it’s real? Are there signs or is it just a feeling? I’d love to know what you think!