It’s been a rainy and miserable week so far in Scotland, but to to cheer me up, the lovely Donna Figueroa is visiting today to chat about her new release and where the inspiration for one of her main characters came from.
The characters in the Fall Again series are a combination of characters that are well developed figments of my imagination, and others who’ve been inspired by real people who’ve passed through my life. Take it away, Donna 🙂
One of my favorite characters in Fall Again is Lauren’s cousin Robert Phillips, (Robbie.) He introduces Lauren to the performing arts when she was a child growing up in Ohio. He gives her ballet lessons in the basement of her family’s home, and encourages her parents to enroll her in an area dance school. Robbie eventually leaves Ohio and becomes a New York actor. Lauren want to do the same. He promises to help her start her career, beginning with convincing her parents to allow her to attend college in New York where he lives. In a cruel twist of fate, Robbie dies before Lauren arrives in New York.
Robert was inspired my own cousin, Ron Porter. I remember seeing him dance on stage when I four years old. He was amazing, and in my child’s mind, a star.
When I expressed an interest in dance, he gave me six weeks of ballet lessons in the basement of my grandmother’s house. And yes, after the six weeks was over my parents enrolled me in a local dance school.
When he was in college, he spent summers in Atlantic City showrooms working as a backup dancer for some of the biggest performers of the 60’s and 70’s. Names like Dionne Warwick, Lola Falana and Sammy Davis Jr.
Ronnie was twelve years older than I was, so we never had the close relationship that Lauren had with her Robbie. But I prayed that one day he would guide me through the complexities of a career in the performing arts. While he wanted to work in the arts, he pursued a career on the business side of the industry, and eventually became a lawyer.
While my parents did not always support my acting career, Ronnie always did. When I was signed by a major talent Los Angeles talent agency, he was so proud of me
I hoped we’d develop a closer relationship as adults, but in a cruel twist of fate, Ron Porter died.
In Fall Again, maybe Lauren’s relationship with Robbie is the relationship that I wanted with my own cousin so many years ago.
My cousin Ron Porter introduced me to the performing arts and inspired me to become an artist myself. It was only fitting that when I wrote my first novel, that he play an important role in the story.
Ron continues to inspire me. I have a framed photograph of him with Sammy Davis Jr. between shows in Atlantic City. He’s handsome, strong and in my eyes, a star.
I’m thankful that he was a part of my life-and very happy that he’s an important part of the Fall Again series. I think he’d be proud.
Wow, he sounds like an amazing character, and it’s lovely that he’s living on through your novel. I’m sure he would be very proud and thanks so much for sharing your memories of him with us x Now, we’re all definitely intrigued, so let’s have a look at Fall Again:Lost Boy.
Fall Again: Lost Boy
Marc: The Interim Years
When Marc Guiro learns Lauren Phillips is gone, his life shatters.
LOST BOY, the second novel in the FALL AGAIN series begins as Marc frantically returns to New York, only to find that the woman he loves has left New York permanently. Marc is devastated, but struggles to put his life back together, often making choices that drastically alter the course of his life.
With support and encouragement from old and new friends, Marc unknowingly begins a personal odyssey to find himself- an arduous journey that brings Marc personal and professional fulfilment, and eventually leads him back to the woman whose memory refuses to leave him.
If you’d like to stay in touch with Donna and find out more about the Fall Again series, you can find it on social media here: