ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 2

I decided to go back in my memory and try to remember all of the inspiring moments in my own life that helped bring this book to life. I published Part 1 last Monday, so you can check it out to gather more insight into the book. Anyway, here’s some more stuff…

Maria LaParilla: Maria as far as I can remember isn’t based on any one person. But if I’d have to say she’s like anyone I know, it would have to be my friend Maria. She has several posts written about her on Phicklephilly, and is actually the inspiration for me wanting to write this blog. But sadly, Maria LaParilla is a totally fictitious person, and all of the fun stuff that happens between Maria and Christian are completely made up.

Jeeves: He’s the English Chauffeur that drives the limo to enhance Christian’s date with Maria. His name is a poke at the internet search engine, Ask Jeeves that was on AOL in the 90’s. He’s completely made up. But I really like him. The classic, cool English driver. Maybe I’ll bring him back in the sequel, Angel Rising... (Did I just say that out loud?)

Answering Machines: Before the advent of cellular phones, everybody had an answering machine at their house. Unlike today, when everybody has access to everybody else instantly 24/7, that never existed back in the 90’s. If somebody called your home number, you had to wait until you got home that night to listen to the message they left you on a little cassette tape in a machine. It was a slower time back then, but kind of a pain. The only way anybody could reach you immediately, would have to be on your work phone, if they even had that number.

The Finance Company: Andy, Christian’s boss is based on a real guy who was my boss when I worked at a finance company in the early 90’s. He was exactly like the Andy in the book. Christian’s co-worker Paul was also a real guy I worked with in the Turnersville, NJ office. (And all of that horrible stuff really happened to the poor guy) The last I heard he was sober, and making music in Ohio. I hope he’s doing well. The story about the Banker Broker license really happened. The way it happened in the book is how it really happened to me. I did exactly what Christian did, so I loved writing that bit. Unlike Christian, I didn’t just quit with no other job lined up. I had already secured a better job as a branch manager at First Union Bank in Philadelphia for $10k more a year!

Brenda the Waitress: Brenda was a real girl who worked at Charlie Brown’s. She was my favorite waitress when I would go there with my friend. The real Brenda was exactly like the one in the book. Cute, sweet, and excellent hospitality. We loved her!

The Carousel and Sarah Turner: The Carousel is based on The Carnival Book store in Bellmawr, New Jersey. I remember I dated a girl who worked there back in the early 2000’s. I was on a rebound from a toxic relationship, and rebound girl was 20 years my junior. She was also toxic but I kept her at a distance. I remember she used to tell me all of these wild stories about working in that hell hole. Little did I know that it would be great fodder for this book years later. Is Sarah Turner based on her? Not at all. Sarah is just a character that was created for the story.

Here’s some pics I found online:

I love the scene when Christian first encounters Karl Itzky in that parking lot on that fateful rainy night!

LA stories about Celebrities: The tales Christian shares at Honest Files about his encounters with famous people in Los Angeles in the early 80’s are all mine. It’s all true, because it happened to me when I lived and worked in Santa Monica from 1982-1984.

Christian’s Family: The family Christian describes when he’s telling Jill about his life, is my life. I have 3 sisters and I just changed the names and let him describe them to her. But that’s all me.

Jill Adams: Jill is based on another girl I met at Gloucester County College back in the 90’s. We were both taking a psychology course. She was an attractive 22 year old who was engaged to be married. I developed a crush on her, and we ended up at Charlie Brown’s one night. After several drinks we closed the evening by making out in her car. (That’s were the mint game came from.) That’s all that happened that night, and I didn’t see her again. I sort of carried the torch for her for five years after that.

I was working as a manager at Commerce Bank back then and we reconnected when she called the branch. After 5 years of marriage, she was getting divorced from her husband. But, she had two young sons. I was already divorced by 2001, and we started dating. I ended up moving her and her kids into my house in Woodbury. What I didn’t know is that the real Jill had severe bi-polar disorder. If you know anything about that mental disorder, it’s only good in one room of the house, and it’s not the kitchen. Being with Jill was probably some of the best sex I’ve ever had, and I have the video to prove it.

I showered her with gifts, clothes and jewelry. I even sold my Woodbury house because she didn’t want to live in the house my ex-wife and I had bought together. Jill was crazy as a shit house rat. I paid her credit cards, bought her a GMC Yukon Denali, and had a house built in a brand new development in West Deptford, NJ. Jill was unable to hold a job and actually attempted suicide one afternoon while her sons were down for their nap.

After 3 months in the new house she started cheating on me with some scumbag she met at the local gym. Jill couldn’t hold down a job because of her mental illness, so she had a lot of free time on her hands. Idle hands…

I told her if she didn’t want to be with me she was free to go. She moved out and lived somewhere for a short period of time before moving back in with her father and his second wife. She ended up giving custody of her sons over to her ex-husband, and ran around with the scumbag guy for awhile I’m assuming.  Last I heard she had married another guy, who had two kids of his own, and I think she may have had a daughter with him. The real Jill turned out to be a terrible, selfish, wicked person. Mental illness, especially bi-polar disorder is an insidious monster.

I should write about the whole sad saga of my brief life with the real Jill, but this blog has been about my life here in Philly, not Dirty Jersey.  I may tell the story at some point but it’s a dark, shameful part of my past and I kind of want it to stay there.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of a sequel to Angel with a Broken Wing. I was thinking about calling it, Angel Rising, and having Jill in the story mirror the real Jill. Of course my man Christian would have to divorce her, or maybe I just have her killed off.

I ran the idea by my daughter. She said, kill the bitch.

Thoughts, dear readers?

 

More to come next Monday!

 

You can buy Angel with a Broken Wing right here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Advertisements

Sariah – Unveiled

“The editor represents the needs of the company to an author, and the author’s needs to the company, while lying to each about the good intentions of the other.”

I was sitting in my favorite bar Square 1682 on a Monday night. I had just hung out with a friend who had to go, and I figured I’d have one more glass of wine. This attractive Dominican lady came up and asked if the seat next to me was taken.

“Only by you.” I  said.

We start chatting and she says she’s a book editor. Of course this gets my immediate attention because I’d love to turn Phicklephilly into a book and then a TV series. Sort of Sex in the City from the perspective of a gentleman.

The bulk of her industry experience was gathered as an editor at Simon & Schuster and, most recently, a senior editor at Other Press.  Her training began with internships at Penguin and Avalon Books, followed by the Vigliano Literary Agency and Kensington Books.  She’s acquired and edited literary and genre fiction, narrative nonfiction, and books in translation, many of which have become national and international bestsellers and critically acclaimed award winners.  She taught the Editorial Process course for the City College of New York’s Publishing Certificate Program and Simon & Schuster’s Publishing 101 Lecture Series. She has a B.A. and M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and is bilingual in English and Spanish.

I’m impressed and start to tell her about this blog. Her eyes light up as I tell her a few of the experiences I’ve had and she tells me she’d love to read it. I promise to send her the link and we continue to talk.

Sariah is passionate about books. You have to be if you decide on a career in publishing. She’s not doing what she’s doing for the often joked about low salaries. Her story is the same across the board: She comes to publishing with a love of reading, a love of stories and their power to change people’s minds and, through this, (hopefully) the world.  People in the industry are idealists. But her idealist heart eventually beat up against the reality that publishing is a business, and then she has to learn to live in the intersection of art and commerce. Like everything else in life, that intersection can sometimes be unpretty and other times it’s absolutely beautiful.  She spent twelve years in that place and has seen publishing take many twists and turns.

When she was an editorial assistant at Kensington, one the best bosses she’d ever had, the late Kate Duffy, Editorial Director of the Brava imprint, described, somewhat jokingly, an editor’s role as the following:  “The editor represents the needs of the company to an author, and the author’s needs to the company, while lying to each about the good intentions of the other.”  Kate told me there were two ways of going about the job. You’re either a company’s editor or a writer’s editor, and God help you if you’re a writer’s editor. Editors love their books and strive to keep the peace, but the fact that they are salaried employees is never far from their thoughts. She already knew that Sariah would be a writer’s editor.

This leads her to why she became an editor in the first place. Her parents came to New York from the Dominican Republic many years ago, and she is a born and bred New Yorker. She learned Spanish first and spoke it exclusively at home and learned English in school.  In the conclave of Washington Heights, her parents never really learned to speak English, and in many ways she became their eyes, ears, and mouths. She translated everything for them. As an editor, she is responsible for helping writers say what they really need and want to say. She helps authors translate their thoughts for the reading world and she does this by respectfully prodding and questioning, with the understanding that she is temporarily inhabiting someone else’s world. And even though she has an emotional connection to a story, she does her best to remain objective in her comments. Her job is to help refine the writer’s voice, to help the writer clearly and effectively express his or her ideas. The relationship between an editor and a writer cannot be described as purely professional. How could it be? It starts off with Sariah falling in love with a manuscript and knowing she can make it even better.  As many authors will attest, their editors often become their friends, staying in touch long after the books are finished.

After more than twelve years working for publishers, She created her own company because she’d rather work for the writer. My simple truth is that helping people say what they need to say makes me happy. So whether your goal is to be published by a company or to self-publish, she can promise she will do for you what she’s been doing for a long time–Sariah will help you tell your story.

So I’m really excited I met this lovely lady. She may help get me published! I also got a vibe that she was kind of into me. She said she was going to Underground Arts with a friend and maybe I should join them. I was tired and really didn’t feel like going at that point. Being home watching Netflix and smoking a cig sounded like a better idea to me. I felt it better if I emailed her the link to this blog and take it from there.

Who knows? Maybe this could be a serendipity step to publication.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly