Author Archives: amydetrempe

Your Novel as a Musical?

            I recently finished doing makeup for South Pacific. This is a 1949 musical, music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan. The story is taken from James A. Michener’s 1948 novel, Tales of the South Pacific.  Do you think Michener was envisioning a musical when he wrote this Pulitzer Prize novel? I’ve read blogs and articles where authors discuss possible movie rights for their novels, but I don’t think I’ve read where they have considered the story being adapted for a musical.  So, thinking big, I tried to envision my characters from Loving Lydia breaking into song.  I can see my heroine, Lady Lydia Demains, being moved at particular times, and they would be deep and meaningful lyrics.  My hero, Lord Alexander Wake, on the other hand, not so much.  Okay, to be honest – never.  As for the other characters, maybe a few have it in them, but not enough to carry a show.

            So, I guess this novel won’t make it to Broadway, nor do I think my next release, Pure is the Heart, is a good candidate either.  I suppose if I want to see my show in lights I need to develop characters who have a song in their heart.

            What about you? Have you ever envisioned your novel on the silver screen, as a stage play or entertaining musical?  Try to picture your novel or WIP as a musical. What is your first reaction?


Filed under writing

Love is Timeless

It is Valentine’s Day and our thoughts and hearts are focused on love. I’ll admit it right now – I am addicted to love stories and have been since I can remember.   I’ve always favored the older, sweeter stories to the more modern ones.  There is something about the innocence and the fade to black moments that make me sigh and just feel good.  Not that I have any objection to more modern love stories, far from it.  I am drawn to them because of their gift of weaving a love story.  Whether there are fade to black moments or not, it doesn’t matter.  These novels make me care about the hero and the heroine and make me want to see them with a happily ever after and sigh when I turned the last page. 

Below are a few favorite love quotes that have withstood the test of time and have gone on to appear on screen, stages, still published, or are read at weddings.

Act 2, scene 2
William Shakespear

Sweet, so would I,
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. [Exit above]

by: George Gordon (Lord) Byron (1788-1824)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

1 Corinthians 13

…Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

By Margaret Mitchell

Rhett Butler: [holds her tighter] Scarlett! Look at me! I’ve loved you more than I’ve ever loved any woman and I’ve waited for you longer than I’ve ever waited for any woman. [kisses her forhead]
Scarlett: [turns her face away] Let me alone!
Rhett Butler: [forces her to look him in the eyes] Here’s a soldier of the South who loves you, Scarlett. Wants to feel your arms around him, wants to carry the memory of your kisses into battle with him. Never mind about loving me, you’re a woman sending a soldier to his death with a beautiful memory. Scarlett! Kiss me! Kiss me… once…
[he kisses her]

And even though Rhett exited with these famous last words:
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I think we all secretly know, or at least hope, that he did. 

So, what will I be doing today? If you could pick only one romance / love story what would it be?  What is your favorite love quote?

Amy De Trempe, author of Loving Lydia and Pure is the Heart


Filed under writing

‘Tis the Season . . .

There are many ways to finish this sentence and most would probably fill say “to be jolly”. For me, it would be “. . . for the Hallmark Channel”.  Not that I don’t watch this channel the rest of the year, but I tend to gravitate to it during the holidays.  Why?  Because of almost constant Christmas movies.  I can barely get through one without shedding a tear, or two, or three. . .  If I am going to be watching a Hallmark movie, I have tissues at the ready. 

I know, Hallmark isn’t the only station to run wonderful Christmas movies and I’ve tracked them down on every channel I know.  My husband and I will record them throughout the week and then on the weekend we will build a fire, pop some corn and settle back to watch some of the movies. 

What prompted this post is actually Jerrica’s from yesterday.  That is how I decompress.  It is so easy to get caught up in the baking, shopping, parties, etc. that the holiday season is more exhausting than enjoyable. This year, I did 99% of my shopping online and I am about 90% done.  I am not going to bake the dozens of cookies I have in the past or worry that everything is not perfect.  I want to relax, enjoy, and absorb all the season has to offer. 

 So, this weekend, I plan to decompress with one or more of the following currently recorded movies awaiting my viewing: 

It’s a Wonderful Life (NBC)

An Old Fashioned Christmas (Hallmark)

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Hallmark)

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (BBC A – hubby’s choice)

Silent Night (Hallmark)

November Christmas (CBS)

The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue (Hallmark)

Do youenjoy Christmas movies? Do you go for the ones to tear at your heart strings or are you a Grinch and other cartoon fan?  What Christmas movie must you watch every year?


Filed under writing

Bastille Day

While it is just July 14th in America, it is a holiday in France.    

On July 14, 1789 the medieval prison, also known as the Bastille, was stormed and fell.  At the time it only contained seven prisoners.  Regardless, it was what some believe the beginning of the French Revolution.  In France it is formerly known as Fete de la Federation (Federal Holiday (and I can’t get my accents to work)).  We know it as Bastille Day.

 I love history and most of the time my mind is in another century, which is probably why 99% of what is write is historical.  My favorite periods, at the moment, are the Georgian and Regency, from our American Revolution on through approximately 1820.   One of my latest fascinations is the history of the French Revolution.  After two visits to the country I continue to research. The city is rich with history, bigger than life historical figures, architecture, etc. I am sure there is a book or two in there somewhere. 

But, today is about Bastille Day. 

 When last in Paris I was able to visit the site of this famous fortress. Of course, it no longer stands, but there is a sign on the side of a building so you know you are in the very spot where history took a turning point.  There was much that led up to that day, and the people finally deciding enough was enough.  They had reached their limit and wanted change for France and they viewed the Bastille as a symbol of royal tyranny.  Though not the only prision in Paris, it was quite famous and known for having held “criminals” for speaking out against the king and queen. 

 Earlier in the day, the people had gathered arms after storming the Hotel des Invalides. However, they lacked powder and shot. This was stored at the Bastille.  Around mid-morning a crowd gathered around the prison and demanded surrender and to hand over the munitions.  Negotiations did take place but they were taking too long and the crowd lost their patience.  They surged into the inner courtyard and the gunfire followed. It is unknown who fired the first shot and the fighting became violent.  Some tried to call for a cease-fire, but it went unheeded. 

 The Royal Army troops who were camped on the nearby Champs de Mars did not intervene and eventually Governor de Launay ordered a cease fire.   His order was ignored and when he realized his troops could not hold out any longer, he opened the gates and the Bastille was liberated.   The death toll was ninety-eight attackers and one defender.  The Governor was seized, beaten, stabbed and killed. His head was then cut off, placed on a pike and carried through the streets.  Three officers of the Bastille were killed by the crowd. 

 Those at Versailles were ignorant of this attack and what was happening in Paris. 

 If you are wondering why I am visiting the Bastille, besides it being a French holiday, it is because I have been participating in a blog challenge called Paris in July at my own blog.  Stop by if you have a love for Paris and France.


Amy De Trempe is the author of Loving Lydia and soon-to-be released, Pure is the Heart. Both Historical Romance Novels with an inspirational touch.


Filed under writing

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

            Yes, those are lyrics from Sound of Music.  I have two passions in my life outside of family and church.  1) is writing and all that goes with it; and 2) the theater.  Often the two meld into each other, as they have with this title.

            But, I am not going to talk about the theater; instead I am going to address one of my favorite things to do – go to writer’s conferences. 

            I’ve only been to two so far and both were the Romance Writers of America National Conferences and I intend to attend again this year when it is held in Nashville.  However, I have not attended a conference organized by one of their many chapters.  That will all change on April 23rd and 24th when I attend the Chicago-North RWA Spring Fling 2010.  I cannot wait. Not only will I be joining three of my critique partners there, but I will have the opportunity to spend two full days in workshops.

            I love workshops.  I know, a lot of people don’t, but I do.  Rarely do I walk out of one not inspired. Besides the workshops there are chances for writers to pitch their WIP to either an editor or an agent, attend Spotlights for other publishing houses. I always find these interesting because it gives you a good idea of the trends in the business.  But, for the most part, I go for the workshops to try and improve my craft.  There is always so much more to learn whether it be research, dialogue, deep POV, scene structure or online promotion and anything else you can think of.

            If you have not been to a writer’s conference, and you are an author, I encourage you to attend one as soon as you are able.  I know they are constantly going on and it doesn’t matter what the genre because each one has their own conferences. I have friends that love attending mystery workshops.

            However, there will be a first for me this year.  There is always a book signing open to the public. This year, on April 24, 2010 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., I will be joining 47 romance authors for a mass booksigning. If you are in the Chicago/Deefield Area, I would love for you to drop by.

Amy De Trempe, author of Loving Lydia and soon to be released Pure is the Heart


Filed under writing

Christmas Movies

            I love Christmas movies.  Well, at least most of them.  Sappy, funny, traditional, crazy, Santa or religious.  For the past few weeks I’ve been taping shows and watching them in my spare time.  However, a few of my favorites have been missed and one in particular has not been aired in a few years. I have even looked for it to purchase but have not been able to find it in stock or available anywhere. 

            The movie:  Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Clause.  There have been several versions of this Christmas story made, mostly of the cartoon variety.  In fact, there was a cartoon version on a week or so ago.  That isn’t the one I want to see. I want to watch the 1991 version with Ed Asner, Charles Bronson and Richard Thomas.  It is my favorite and I have seen it far too little.

            Out of all the Christmas stories told, this one has to be my favorite, second only to the original Christmas Story, the one that is the reason for the holiday.   And, when I cannot see Virginia I must find the article online so I can read the editorial.  If you are unfamiliar with this story, you can find the editorial here:

            This was first published in 1897. Can you even begin to imagine that anything you write would be remembered over hundred years from now?  Do you think Francis Church had any idea that his editorial would still appear in newspapers today?  Or that movies would be made of this story?

            Is there a movie you like to see every year, or something you must read?    

Amy De Trempe is the author of Loving Lydia and soon to be release Pure is the Heart.



Filed under writing

It’s Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be taken so many ways:

 1)                  A day to be truly thankful for the blessings you have received;

2)                  A day off work, before a second day off work (a/k/a Black Friday), which leads into a weekend – thus a 4 day weekend;

3)                  A day to eat as much as you want and worry about the calories tomorrow;

4)                  Football;

5)                  Family and friends. A day to get together and enjoy the company of your loved ones;

6)                  Parades;

7)                  A day of rest before waking at 3:00 a.m. to participate in Black Friday shopping.

 So, what will I be doing this Thanksgiving? Well, I will cook a few things and then head to my mother’s where the rest of my family will eventually gather.  What I won’t be doing is writing. It is a day off to be with my loved ones and a day to be thankful and a day to eat. That would be 1, 3 and 5 of the above. 

This year I have a ton of things to be thankful for.  Always at the top of my list is my family. I have a wonderful husband and three terrific kids. I was blessed with awesome parents, and the best brother and sister anyone could ask for. Then, there are their children and so forth. I have a fantastic family and I hope you are blessed with any equally wonderful family.

I have roof over my head, food in my kitchen, and some really great friends.  My first book was published this year, Loving Lydia, with a second one due out soon, Pure is the Heart.

I am sure I have a lot more to be thankful for but they are not coming to me at the moment.  What about you? What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Is it one of the seven above, or something else entirely different?

If you are around tomorrow, join me at where I will be interviewing Mike Simpson, owner and founder of Second Wind Publishing.


Filed under writing

Unexpected Dialogue

 When I take time to sit and watch previously recorded shows with my husband it is to let my mind go and simply be entertained.  However, on a past episode of Warehouse 13, Breakdown, which aired 9/8/09 on SYFI, one piece of dialogue stuck with me.

 “John Adams was a farmer. Abraham Lincoln was a small town lawyer. Plato, Socrates were teachers. Jesus was a carpenter.  To equate judgment and wisdom with occupation is at best, insulting.”

I don’t know why but this one piece of dialogue really stuck with me.  And, I realize I may be the only person who made a point of remembering this because I loved it.  

 Have you ever been surprised by something someone says, or learn something from an unexpected source?  Is there a piece of dialogue from a book you just love or inspired you?


Filed under writing

Trick or Treat! Let the Game Begin!

haunted house               The ghosts have been at play again.  Your job is to put everything back in the books before the doors of the Simpson Haunted Mansion open for business. 
                The library is still toasty.  Not from the fireplace — from an antiquated devise in the corner. The heavy scent of white tropical flowers lingers in the air and you are drawn to the intricate double wedding ring on the chaise lounge.  A piece of paper lay in the center. What you see sends a chill up your spine. 
               Wind gusts through the room and knocks a framed picture to the floor. Now you know why it had been hung in that spot. Curious, you take a peek and wonder if your luck has just changed. Something soft and fuzzy brushes the back of your hand. You jerk back and wish they wouldn’t have gotten that out to play with. 
                Woman’s laughter draws your attention and a couple materialize before your very eyes and look as if they stepped off the set of Gone with the Wind. The man reaches into the books and pulls out an exquisite bauble.   She turns her back to admire her gift in the candlelight.  The man retrieves a silken item from another book.  “You should have never betrayed me,” he drawls.
                The woman’s eyes go wide.  Her hands reach up but she is unable to scream.  The two vanish. 
                The nightly event is over, but a mess is left behind.  You look over the books and remember who has the one item you need to gather up what doesn’t belong.  With a smile, you enjoy the magic and reach into the book to get what you need. 

  1. What is the antiquated heating device?
  2. What is the white, tropical flower?
  3. What is the intricate double wedding ring?
  4. What is on the piece of paper?
  5. What is behind the picture?
  6. What makes you think your luck has just changed?
  7. What is soft and fuzzy?
  8. What is the exquisite bauble?
  9. What is the silken item?
  10. What can be used to gather up items?

 Bonus:  What did he do to her?

To find the clues to the questions, click on the photo of the haunted house. Once you have reached your destination — the Second Wind Publishing Clue Game — click on the windows.  Each window link will take you to an excerpt from a Second Wind novel, and there you will find a clue to one of the questions. When you have found the answers to all of the questions, send your responses to The winner will receive a print copy of the soon-to-be-released mystery anthology from Second Wind Publishing, Murder in the Wind. If more than one person submits the correct answers, one entry will be chosen at random.

If you are not a winner, do not despair. You are still eligible for the free mystery sampler from Second Wind Publishing! To download your free ebook, click here.

Let the game begin!

The winner will be announced on November 2, 2009

Game created by Amy De Trempe
Haunted House photo alteration by Pat Bertram
Image mapping and Clue Game page design by JJ Dare


Filed under fun, writing

Writing, the Old Fashioned Way

            Becoming Jane was on television the other night. I caught bits and pieces of it because I was doing other things and not really paying attention.  But, I did see a scene where she was writing a portion of one of her novels. She dipped the quill in ink and began writing on parchment. She paced about the room a bit, as if contemplating a scene or dialogue, and went back to writing.  She then crossed out some lines. That is when it hit me.  All of her novels started off in longhand and before being sent to the publisher were edited and rewritten in longhand again. I wonder how many revisions the novels went through before it was perfect, or how much parchment and ink. 

            I’ve written in longhand before and gone on to type it into the computer. I considered the typing the second draft.  But, I cannot imagine all drafts and finals being in longhand.  Goodness, I am not sure an editor would be able to read my handwriting past chapter 2. I tend to start off neat, but the more I write, the more it becomes indecipherable. 

            Have you ever written an entire novel in longhand? Have you written partial manuscripts?  If we did not live in the day of computers, would you give up writing because of writer’s cramp?


Amy De Trempe is the author of Loving Lydia and the soon to be released novel Pure is the Heart.


Filed under writing