HUGH JACKMAN IS MY NEW NEIGHBOR!
No, really, he is! Or at least he might be soon. Which is probably why Helen invited me to blog, so she could get to know him, too. J
You see, Jackman was in my town recently looking at a waterfront property for sale. Okay, it’s not right next door to me but it’s walking distance. And he was spotted having coffee at my favorite café!
But there’s a downside. What if I ran into Hugh while picking up a quart of milk at the store and I was wearing my baggy track pants? With my hair all frizzy?
Seriously, the whole thing got me thinking about story ideas as I toil on a new set of proposals. (Yes, there is a connection. I’m not just name-dropping.) The setting for my recent trilogy, Summerside Stories, is a small Australian seaside town eerily similar to the town where I live.
So I imagined going to my editor with this idea for a new Summerside story. “Hugh Jackman is living next door to the heroine, see…” (I am, of course, conveniently ignoring the fact that Hugh has a much-loved wife and two kids).
“No, Joan,” my editor would undoubtedly say. “Wouldn’t work. It’s not realistic.”
“Why not?” I whine. “Hugh’s a real person. He’s Australian. He has to live somewhere. Why not in Summerside? Why not next door to my heroine?”
Okay, by now Jackman’s wife and kids are getting in the way of my fantasy. I’m not a home wrecker. And of course I can’t write about real people. I might get sued.
But here’s an interesting coincidence. Hugh Jackman’s wife, lovely Aussie actress Deborra-Lee Furness, is 13 years older than Hugh. My heroine in TWO AGAINST THE ODDS, the third book in the Summerside trilogy, is 12 years older than the hero!
When I began writing TWO AGAINST THE ODDS I thought the age difference would be a major obstacle–in the heroine’s mind, not the hero’s–due to her fears about aging faster than him. But as the story progressed I realized that their lives were out of sync in an even more fundamental way. She desperately wants a baby because her biological clock is ticking. He has plans, things he wants to do with his life. By the time he would be ready to settle down, she would be too old to have a baby. The story ended up evolving in an unexpected way, even to me, who thought I had a rock-solid outline. My hero and heroine (and I) had to work really hard to get to a happy ending.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on older woman/younger man relationships, either in real life or in fiction. Do they work long term, or are they doomed to failure? Does love conquer all, including wrinkles and sagging skin? Is it fair that we don’t bat an eye when the man is ten or more years older but we do when the woman is significantly older?
I’m giving away signed books to three lucky winners; either TWO AGAINST THE ODDS or the other books in the Summerside trilogy. Winner’s choice. Just comment for a chance to win. The books, HER GREAT EXPECTATIONS, IN HIS GOOD HANDS, and TWO AGAINST THE ODDS, stand alone although a subplot runs through them. (For more information on the Summerside Stories, go to www.joankilby.com)
Before I go… I had a little fantasy the other day while grocery shopping, of reaching for a melon and hearing the clash of steel as Wolverine’s claws shoot out and a gravely voice says, “Would you like me to slice that for you?”
It could happen. If Hugh Jackman moves to my town.
Since that flurry of excitement a couple of months ago I haven’t heard whether he bought the house he was looking at. But if I see Hugh at the supermarket I’ll keep you posted.
P.S. By all accounts Hugh (42) and Deborrah-Lee (55) are still deeply in love after fifteen years together. That’s what I call a happy ending! Or maybe a beginning…