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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anniversary Blogfest: Ann Montclair

Summer Memories

Ann Montclair

Summer Vacation. How many essays boasting that title did you write each fall semester? I’d listen enviously as kids bragged about trips to Disney, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, even Switzerland. As if being blond haired, blue eyed, and Swedish weren’t enough, one girl went to Switzerland every summer!

Where did I go? Nowhere. My dad worked every day except Mondays, and my mom had every kind of phobia imaginable, the biggest one being the fear of leaving your house for summer vacation. So my parents compensated me with a built in swimming pool. I recall the hot summer day they bulldozed the brick wall, tore out the lemon and plum trees, and started digging the hole. Within a few months, we had a huge pool.

I spent most summers flat on my back on the hot concrete competing for “woman with the most wrinkles when grown.” I’m sure I won. I was an only child, but my mom did peer through the screen door every once in a while and make sure I was alive. I had friends over occasionally, too, but it seemed like my popularity soared only when the temperature did, and I avoided fair-weather friends. Still do.
I can’t complain about anything, really. But summer vacation was long, even tedious, and I anticipated returning to school long before we cooked hot dogs to celebrate Labor Day.

As an adult, my family vacations often. We’ve taken trips to many of the national parks, visited the world’s best beaches, stayed in mountain chalets and five star hotels, camped under soaring Redwoods and under star spangled skies—vacation is always something new, something adventurous.

My parents sold their house a few years ago, and I miss the pool most of all. Come to find out, the long, hot days spent alone beside the shimmer of chlorinated water made me the writer I am. I’d spend those long hours imagining my future life, the lives of others, and the stories I’d write someday.

It isn’t a coincidence that One Wet Summer is set poolside at a resort in sultry Savannah, Georgia. The setting is a thank you and a love letter to my parents—who cared enough to give me all they could and certainly much better than they ever had.

About the Author: Ann Montclair writes contemporary and historical fiction. She was born in Los Angeles, California, where her parents and grown daughter now reside. Ann currently lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York with her husband, son, and a pile of dogs and cats. She enjoys listening to live music, hiking, cycling, cooking, and gardening. Her biggest wish is that each of her readers will be inspired to believe in and find their own happily-ever-after. Ann has three published contemporary romance novels: The Billionaire’s Bauble, One Wet Summer, and Good Things Come in Tall Packages. Coming winter 2012 is a Tudor historical romance titled Lady in Deed.


Debby said...

We had an above ground pool and we were very popular. Now the pool is gone and so are some of those friends.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Linda Swift said...

I enjoyed this interview. Your poolside summers sound lovely. And I can relate to daydreaming as a young girl contributing to my later writing talent. I spent some time in California living in San Diego and LA and loved the state.

MomJane said...

It sounds as though you have made up for the lack of vacations as a child.

Ingeborg said...

Sometimes you can have a lovely vacation just staying at home. Many people go on vacation and come back so tired they need a vacation.

Ann Montclair said...

Thank you for your comments. :)

You're right, Ingeborg--staying home can be the best way to vacation, especially when one is surrounded by comfort and love. :)

Karen H in NC said...

As a child, my family never took too many vacations. I can only remember 3. Mom and dad both worked as did my 2 older brothers. As the youngest of 3 kids, I spent my summers pretty much alone since my school friends didn't live close by and I didn't see them again until school started. Reading was very important to me because it also before TV in our house. We're talking the early 50's here people! So now as a retiree, most of my time is spent reading and watching TV and movies (on TV...Netflix is my favorite website). I like to travel but it's not tops on list of favorite things to do.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Toni said...

Summer vacations were not for me when I was growing up. I tried when my boys were younger, but they got bored too easy. I do believe they are regretting it now that they are in college. Now it's Momma time!!


Rhea Rhodan said...

Your post made me grin more than once and I love the way it tied in with your book (which sounds really hot).

Nancy DiMauro said...

We had an above-ground pool until a winter blizzard flattened it. I remember that pool fondly. Im glad you were able to turn your poolside summers into a story. Love the book.