The inspiration for Lauren Denton’s first book came from a simple thought: “If I could pick the perfect book to read, what would I read?”
Denton, a Homewood resident and regular contributor to The Homewood Star’s opinion section, said once she picked some of the elements she enjoyed — New Orleans, her hometown near Mobile and the idea of an “eccentric grandmother” — the story “just started coming together.”
The finished product, “The Hideaway,” will be released April 11. The story is told from two viewpoints: a grandmother recounting her life, and her granddaughter returning home to take care of the bed-and-breakfast willed to her after her grandmother’s death. It will be followed by a second book in April 2018 that Denton said is a similar genre but not related to the plot of “The Hideaway.”
The road to becoming a published novelist was not a fast one. Denton said it took about 10 months to write the first draft, followed by six months of revisions and feedback from friends and about eight months of sending query letters to publishers before she got a positive response. Denton said she started writing two stories to keep herself from obsessing over rejection letters. “It took close to three years from when I started writing it to when I signed the contract,” Denton said.
When she found out her book would be published, Denton said she took her daughters to the library and showed them the shelf for authors whose last names start with “D,” where her book will eventually sit. Denton said she’s proud that she kept going through the long process of publication, and now she gets to see the results in paperback.
“It’s been a dream to have a book published, and I really now am so proud to take my daughters to the library,” she said. “This was really hard and I kept at it.”
“The Hideaway” will be available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. There will be a signing at Pale Eddie’s on April 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., with Alabama Booksmith selling copies.