Diners, Introductions and Debuts by Rebecca E. Neely

Greetings! Since this is my first blog with Soul Mate Publishing, I’d like to introduce myself, but not by telling you about my years of writing experience, my likes, etc.—that’s covered in my bio.

Instead, I thought I’d share a little bit about myself, by sharing with you some background about the setting in my debut novella, A MIGHTY GOOD MAN—a contemporary romance with a punch of suspense. Diner

A lot of the action takes place in a fictional, cool, retro Mom and Pop diner joint, Mighty Ricky’s, named for its signature sandwich. Okay, I have a thing for diners—I haunt the one located conveniently within walking distance from where I live, I love Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, a.k.a. Triple D, on the Food Network, and anytime I travel, they’re always at the top of my list.

I’ve come by that love honestly.

I grew up in my family’s restaurant business, an actual, cool, Mom and Pop style diner. Only at the time, it wasn’t yet retro! In true 1970s fashion, it sported lots of brown and Crayola orange, from the countertops to the paneled walls, to the vinyl covered booths. Design crimes and all, it’s a place that’s part of my soul, and though long gone, lives on graciously in my memory, and now, I’m thrilled to say, in my novella.

What a privilege to grow up in such a place! From the time I was about ten, my brother and I worked alongside my parents, aunt and uncle, cousins and the help, making, on a large scale, tantalizing, from scratch fare, such as spaghetti sauce, (you have to use pork bones), wedding soup, and bread stuffing. Lots of Saturdays, starting at 7am, we did heavy prep, mixing up ingredients in Rubbermaid tubs; pounds of butter, ground meat, celery, onions. We cooked in cast iron and stainless steel cauldrons half my height, stirred with wooden paddles that could’ve doubled as oars. I learned how to work the grill, make salads, and turn last night’s chicken special into today’s soup du jour.

And that was just the food.

The people who worked there were larger than life too, and also live on, fondly, in my memory. Cooks, waitresses, busboys, dishwashers; men, women, young, old, and in between—they ran the gamut from high school student to retiree, from vagabond to workhorse. Some came and never left, some worked one shift and never bothered to return—characters, all of them. coffee mug

I remember hanging out at the counter with my Dad for hours, while he drank coffee and talked with customers. I would sit, fascinated, by the adult conversation, and the things I heard, and shouldn’t have heard. A unique and well-rounded education was mine for the taking on topics as varied as the economy, the local steel mill, sports, hunting, the president, politics, family, and religion. Regulars inhabited the space, claiming it as their own; they made it a hub in the community, not just as a place to eat great food, but as a place to connect, to complain, to celebrate, and to come together.

The food, the people, the work, the experience—it was delicious, joyous, exhilarating, exhausting, crazy, colorful, strange, and maddening, but above all, unique; so much so, we would often laugh and say we could write a book.

Well, I did.

A MIGHTY GOOD MAN, Fall 2014

Find me: www.rebeccaeneely.com

Facebook | Twitter

This entry was posted in Blogstopping For Beckie!, Soul Mate Publishing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Diners, Introductions and Debuts by Rebecca E. Neely

  1. C.D. Hersh says:

    We love the old dinners and have had favorites over the year. We even had one where we did a lot of writing on our book “The Promised One” first in our “Turning Stone Series” of shape shifters. Interesting that today in Cincinnati, OH is the anniversary of a local favorite Frisch’s Big Boy. Very interesting post and book. Looking forward to reading. 🙂

    • neelyr says:

      Hello! Thank you for your comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, diners are a kick aren’t they? And you had the opportunity to write at one? Cool! Enjoying this writing journey, every day. Have a good one!

  2. lynncahoon says:

    We had a Big Boy in Boise when I was growing up. I always wanted to visit. Then they turned it into the Galaxy – retro diner – I LOVED their potato soup. In my Tourist Trap series, Diamond Lille’s is the town’s one and only diner. So of course, everyone shows up there one time or the other.
    neelry – I love Triple D too!

    • neelyr says:

      Thanks for your comment! Isn’t it funny how you can remember those tasty dishes, years later? Have to check out the Tourist Trap series – sounds like my kind of book 🙂

  3. Deanna Adams says:

    Sounds like yet another Soul Mate book I want to read! Great post!

    • neelyr says:

      Hello! Thanks for your comment – so glad you enjoyed my blog 🙂 So excited for the book to come out!

  4. I love Triple D. My husband bought a couple of his books and whenever we travel, we check to see if there is a restaurant he’s been to. I also love going to diners when I visit my son in New Jersey. I look forward to reading your book.

    • neelyr says:

      Hi Tina! Thanks so much for your comment. I have a few Triple D books too! I’m excited about the book!

  5. How cool to grow up with that. I love diners as well, that is a great setting! Enjoyed your post and look forward to your book.

    • neelyr says:

      Thanks Maureen! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post – yep, that place will forever be a part of me 🙂 Thanks for your comment !

  6. neelyr says:

    Reblogged this on .

  7. alinakfield says:

    Love this post, Rebecca! I can’t think of a better setting for a contemporary romance than a local diner–except maybe a local watering hole! LOL!

  8. neelyr says:

    Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it…and the idea of a local watering hole is very appealing! LOL 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s