Like many of author Mary Kay Andrews's readers, I've been following the creation of her very own Breeze Inn on her blog.
For those of you who don't know, Mary Kay Andrews (pen name of author Kathy Hogan Trocheck) writes women's fiction. She's written three that feature the same characters, Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas. In Savannah Breeze, BeBe Loudermilk has lost all her worldly possessions thanks to a bad investment counselor--except for a dumpy motel called the Breeze Inn. For a good chunk of the book, Bebe and her friend Weezie renovate the inn, with a nod to HGTV's Design on a Dime, and stuff from Weezie's second hand shop.
I loved the books, and I was intrigued when Mary Kay bought her "beach house" on Tybee Island. For the past few months she's been chronicling the change from ugly cement block house to her own personal breeze inn, with pink and turquoise paint, wicker furniture, and lots of neat odds and ends.
She put a lot of effort into that renovation, telling readers about the rooms she'd prepared for her son (also known as "Boomerang Boy) and daughter and her husband. About choosing the paint colors, junking all along the East Coast (from Brimfield, MA to Florida) finding just the right items to furnish her home-away-from-home.
And finally, a few weeks ago, she declared her own personal Breeze Inn finished. I imagined her family using the place on weekends, the house being filled with friends, great food, great drinks, great memories.
WRONG! The Breeze Inn is now open for BUSINESS! And you can rent it for chump change -- that is if you happen to be Donald Trump. A week's stay at the Breeze Inn will put you back a mere $2,133!!! (Add $100 a week if you want to bring your pooch. $200 if you bring two pooches.) Of course, part of that cost includes a $30 admin fee (for the people who handle the rentals), $125 housekeeping fee, and a 13% motel/hotel tax.
Odd as it sounds, I felt betrayed. Mary Kay never told her blog readers that the Breeze Inn would be a money-making venture. We came along for the ride thinking that this would be her great escape, where she go to get away from life and work on her novels. (Her latest, The Fixer Upper, comes out on June 23rd.)
I started thinking about Mary Kay and her books and made a stunning realization. Usually authors live vicariously through their characters. Mine own their own bookstores in a quaint New England village and wouldn't I like to do the same? Mary Kay has taken this vicarious living to another level. She not only has a character who owns a motel on Tybee Island, now...so does she, sort of.
So instead of feeling betrayed, I think now I'm just jealous!