You’ve heard of The French Connection, yes? Well, Anna’s Secret Legacy has a very strong Saratoga Connection. I have a special fondness for Saratoga Springs, New York and the beautiful Saratoga Race Course there. Thoroughbred race horses play a role in the book, and quite a bit of action takes place at the historic race track there. The vibe of the place—the track and the town—is unlike anywhere else in the world. Once you’ve been, you’re entranced. Like the song of the Sirens, Saratoga wants to become your lover. She calls you back, time and again.
The track, town and horses are all characters in the book–but I can’t tell you any more than that! Those of you who’ve read the book know what happens there—those of you who haven’t, well, you’ll just have to get a copy and find out for yourselves.
I have very fond memories of Saratoga from my time in upstate NY—my Dad loved Thoroughbreds, passionately. He shared his affection for the horses and for Saratoga. I loved going to the track with him—seeing these spectacular horses— my Dad was pretty knowledgeable about this enchanting sport, ‘The Sport of Kings’. These memories are a key reason why I look forward to going back every chance I get. Reliving sweet old times, and creating new memories for the future—that’s what Life’s all about, isn’t it?
In Anna’s Secret Legacy novel, O’Grady, The Irish trainer is also part of the underground résistance and plays an important role in smuggling military secrets out of Germany as he had access to selling and buying thoroughbreds, throughout Europe in 1940-This is the one year The l’Arc De Triomphe, The famous Paris race was cancelled.
(hint, hint his adopted son. O’Grady’s son will play a major role in the sequel! )
(And—hint-hint—it’s no mere coincidence that Saratoga is renowned for the waters- ‘Taking the Bathes’ (as President Roosevelt did) that bubble up from underground, and a major role of the miraculous water in the story.)
I hope to make more Saratoga Memories this summer, during my book tour. We’re working to set up a couple of book signings in town during the racing season. It would be wonderful to meet some fans of Anna’s Secret Legacy in person, and to make new friends. As we discussed in my last blog posting, I wrote the book with the intention of providing a compelling, single story—but also give readers some nuggets that speak of The Big Picture.
I’m fascinated by the fact that every Life on this Earth is made up of a series of small stories—indeed, many people perceive it as being nothing more than small stories—but those little pieces are all part of the bigger whole, The Big Picture. Saratoga, racing and the horses all contribute to the greater picture—they are the fabric of the large story, itself. We could not take them out of the book any more than we could remove the sulfur springs, or World War II—the period of time during which our story unfolds. Like a rich tapestry—which on the front appears as one beautiful, seamless picture—Anna’s Secret Legacy from the back is a mixture of many threads of countless colors. And every thread, every color, is absolutely necessary. Without any one particular color or thread, the story itself would fall apart, be a cacophony of words with no rhyme or reason.
So I’m very excited about revisiting a place of such special importance. Saratoga is a wild, mystical, exotic place—a place that has secrets all her own. Serving as the backdrop for such a meaningful thread in my book, this magical environment will draw you into her heart, under the spell that she weaves in every page dedicated to this part of the story line. I hope to share discussions with each of you when I visit Saratoga this summer: I’m sure we’ll have a lot to discuss! Even first conversations with new friends who’ve read the same book feels like dinner with old allies, and I look forward to meeting each and every one of you when I visit the Spa City in August. J www.annassecretlegacynovel.com Ck out the secret room for historical facts relevant to the book–click on the coins and you will be taken to another historical fact relevant to the novel.