Friday, April 3, 2015

Oh Ogunquit

Folks have been asking me, "Johnny, what are you working on?" So I thought I'd post a little teaser about where the book will be set. 

Unlike my previous novels that were set in Boston, Providence and Miami, I'm shifting the story just a little north to Ogunquit.

Ogunquit? Maine? Oui, Ogunquit! When I lived in Boston for 10 years, I enjoyed embarking on day trips and the small artsy town of Ogunquit was one of my favorite destinations. Whether it was walking along the cliff walk where the Atlantic beach breezes greeted visitors or passing by the shoulder-to-shoulder small Victorian inns flanked by crushes of pansies, mums and other flowers, this small town was a New England post card come to life.

That's me on the right with my wingman in Ogunquit 
Even munching on a haddock fish sandwich was relaxing in Perkins Cove, the small harbor of lobster shacks, cedar-shingled shops and art stores. I enjoyed leaning against the dock's wood railing to watch the small collection of bobbing sailboats, fishing vessels and row boats. I always imagined, what would it be like to live here so I am setting a fictional story there. 

This book, to be called Six Neckties, centers around Tommy (yes, that Tommy Perez from Boston Boys Club and Beantown Cubans) who is always the best man but never the groom. He lives in Ogunquit where he's a New England-based correspondent for a national magazine. (Hey, it can happen.)  His assignments dispatch him to cover celebrity weddings and writing profiles of ordinary folks doing amazing things. On his down time, he winds up being the best man or giving the toast at his friends' weddings who all seem to be getting hitched since same sex marriage is legal in most states (including Florida!)  The book follows Tommy's search for his own groom.

I was up in Ogunquit recently snapping photos and doing research. I wanted to see how the town compared from my earlier trips in the summer. Two words: BRRRR and BRRRR!  It was a bone-rattling 30 degrees so the town was empty and everything was closed like something out of The Walking Dead but thankfully, no zombies.  As I wandered about, I felt like I had the whole place to myself which was cool and eerie at the same time. For my Dunkin' Donuts fix, I had to head over to the neighboring town of Wells.

Anyway, here are some photos from that trip.





Below, the snow-covered beach behind Perkins Cove.
This was a storefront window sign that caught my eye. You can see my bushy-haired reflection.





























The Front Porch piano bar where my character hangs out













Maine Street, another hangout for my main character


And this below is a from a different road trip I made to Portland