Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter

Inspiration at the Drive-In: the genesis of "Coming Attractions"

I was looking for something else entirely when I stumbled across this article, which went up on LiveJournal way back in 2012--not long after I finished writing Coming Attractions. I'd entered a writing competition back then, and put up the novel for voting. It made it through the first round, then ... that was it.

The manuscript at the time was much, much different from what ended up being published--in fact, some parts are totally changed. Better, I hope! But the article’s interesting, especially when compared to one I wrote just a few days ago, before I remembered this one. Maybe I’ll post that newer one later, when I’ve forgotten this one again:

When I tell people about my new novel, Coming Attractions, one of the first things they ask is how I came up with the idea of a romantic comedy about a drive-in movie theater.

The answer is not how, but where: At the drive-in, of course.

Just as I came up with Storm Chaser by looking to the skies, I came up with Coming Attractions by looking to the screen – the silver screen. But this book isn’t brand new: I came up with the concept years ago, when I started taking my kids to the Auburn-Garrett drive-in. Sadly, that’s the only one left anywhere near my home, although when I was a kid the Hi-Vue was closer.
There was a third near the limits of a reasonable drive, but toward the end it started showing X-rated flicks, back at a time when you couldn’t get them at the video store … back before the internet made that all passé.

At the time (this would be decades ago) the Hi-Vue where where you would go for family friendly fare: Their screen faced the highway, so they couldn’t show R rated stuff. The Auburn-Garrett sometimes showed racier movies, but the Hi-Vue was closer and I was a kid, so you can guess where I ended up.
But by the time I had kids of my own, the Auburn-Garrett was the only game around. I was a single father, the drive-in was cheap, and we all loved movies, so I introduced my girls to one of my best childhood memories.

If you wanted a good spot, you got there early. (The good spot is in the middle, near the restrooms.) So I pulled out a notebook, and while we waited for the sun to set, my daughters and I brainstormed the idea for a new novel – an idea that was as close as the big screen before us.

Of course, the story isn’t really about a drive-in, any more than a story is about a tornado, or an airplane, or a war. Stories are about people. Over time Charis and Jillian, with the help of a laptop, notebook, and various reference books we bought along, helped invent the characters, the plot, and … well, the atmosphere kind of took care of itself.

Don’t forget you can order Coming Attractions, and all our other books, on Amazon at

Not to mention everything but our newest book is up at, and Coming Attractions will be there soon, too … or just search for “Mark R Hunter books” on that newfangled interwebs thingy. No, I don’t run Molson Coors Brewing Company.

Tags: books, coming attractions, drive-ins, family, movies, publishing, romance writing, romantic comedy, writing

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