Archive for realtor

Real Estate and My Novels

sold signOne of my several careers over the years has involved real estate sales and service. It’s hard to believe but sixteen years ago, I considered myself an original “April fool” for jumping into the real estate game—one reason related to my love of reviewing open houses when I was a teenager dreaming of what my house would look like.  That dream probably related to the fact that my dad was in the service and we moved around a lot—always renting since we were rarely in any one place more than two years. In one case, his duty station lasted a mere nine months. I think that was the year I was in one school for 13 days!

Back to the realty gig: like most totally green realtors, I knew nothing when I began, even though I’d taken the requisite pre-licensure course and passed the state-administered test. Each transation thereafter became a learning experience, one that ensured I would seek, and eventually obtain, several advanced designations, the better to know what I was doing and to serve my clients.  As important as that advanced training was, remaining open to the needs of each client—seller or buyer—informed my work.

The stories of other realtors and their experiences with their clients also added to what I knew. And all these encounters—the good, bad, ugly, funny, gruesome, dangerous, and just plain stupid—all became grist for the particular mill in Granddad’s House. Some of the realtors who appear in that story are also found in Just Friends, and in another book called Choices, which won the Grand Prize (http://chantireviews.com/2014/09/23/the-official-list-of-the-chanticleer-2013-grand-prize-winners/) in the Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media Contest for 2013.  It remains to be seen if those same realtors show up again in as-yet-unwritten stories in the series taking place in the fictional town of Evergreen, Washington.

People often ask if I miss my work as a realtor since I retired from that role. Yes and no. I still remain open to answering questions my friends ask, usually for their relatives or acquaintances. But, I don’t miss the often-frustrating actions of banks since the 2007-2010 Recession, whose decisions buyers and sellers still hang on with often too-long bated breath. Requiring that buyers prove they have the money to buy a home has always been wise, something some lenders forgot in the craziness of the period 2002 through 2008. But triple-checking bank accounts and demanding to know about every little thing is going way too far in the direction of total mistrust.  Would that the happy medium is soon achieved.

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The Next Big Thing

A local writer and friend, Pamela Beason, invited me to participate in this online “blog-hop.” This is my first such attempt at this exciting event. I’ll begin with a few questions I’m to answer:

What is the working title of your book? Granddad’s House is my sixth independently-published title, and the second in a series set in Evergreen, Washington. I anticipate that the next title in this series, Just Friends, will come out later this month.

Where did the idea come for the book? I spent 14 years as a realtor and met and assisted many different buyers and sellers. Every such transaction presented unique issues, problems, and solutions. I decided to explore some of those issues.

What genre does your book fall under? Granddad’s House is contemporary women’s fiction with strong romantic elements. It explores what happens when a realtor intent on selling her grandfather’s house–and the place where she spent so much time as a child–even though her late father warned her against doing so. A realtor must bring objectivity to every transaction, and Olivia is too emotionally attached to do so. Making matters worse is her granddad’s request that Olivia find a family, with children, for his house. Unfortunately, the best possible kind of sale–quick close for cash!–comes from a handsome architect who intends to turn Granddad’s house into a B&B!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Selling a relative’s home can become a near-impossible professional and personal complication.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Granddad’s House is self-published under my press name, North Cascades Press. It can be found on Amazon and on Kobobooks.com.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The first draft poured out in about six months. It took me another year to work it into something I wanted to publish.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I read lots of authors, but one of my favorites if JoAnn Ross. She, too, deals with sometimes difficult issues while entwining those elements with romantic opportunities. I especially like her title, One Summer.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? The recommendation of a reader of one of my other stories encouraged me to write a story about a realtor after I shared several funny and/or awkward situations I’d experienced.  I was reluctant to do so, fearing I would be too close to the main character to create a story others would like. But, after I began the story, it became easy to write.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The complications that Olivia experiences–both personal and professional–tie her in knots. Her relationship with her grandfather both soothes and infuriates her when he decides that Beau is the man for her–in spite of Olivia’s insistence that he is SO not her type. When Granddad faces a major health crisis, Beau is there for Olivia, even as she supports him when his younger brother is injured in Afghanistan. The final question is: how can she set aside her guilt and accept what Granddad wants for her?

There you have it: my answers.

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