Saturday, November 12, 2011
Several years ago I was thrilled to create a coffee table book, Hotels to Remember, that featured not only my writing but also my art and my photographs. Most of the photographs for this book were taken not with a book in mind but for the joy of recording a time and place we were visiting. Eventually, I realized that because I loved so many of the hotels I was documenting, perhaps I actually had a book.
When I pitched a romance novel I was writing to an agent at a conference, I also mentioned my idea for a "hotels" book. To my delight, the agent called back several weeks later and asked me to write the book that eventually became Hotels to Remember. I included my favorite hotels, most of them historic from many different locations, and highlighted each section with original paintings of the hotels. To make the book more interesting, I wrote articles about side trips associated with the areas. This book became not an ordinary travel manual but an art book. Eventually, we decided that the book might become too big if I used every hotel I wanted to include. Although I already had paintings, photos, and stories, I removed my Hawaiian destinations, a few Caribbean hotels, and several from the States. My intention was to create a second book, More Hotels to Remember. That book has not yet come to fruition.
Not long after publication of Hotels to Remember, I began to realize how quickly hotel properties can change. Before the ink was dry on my book, one of the hotels had expanded to double its original size. Another hotel had reconstructed its exterior, so the front entrance was gone, replaced by a restaurant. Others had switched from one hotel chain to another. I was upset.
Then, I came to realize that to be viable hotels must change. What I had written about them and the photographs I had taken were only a snapshot in time. But they were wonderful snapshots that depicted a special time and place.
You can imagine my excitement when a few months ago my publisher decided to take some of the hotels from my coffee table book and create the "Snapshot in Time" series. The Jefferson Hotel is the first of this series. A hard cover book focusing on only one hotel, this little book is perfect for libraries and gift shops.
My publisher describes these new books as break out books. For me, they are breaking out from the coffee table into a wider arena. I love the concept.