Working a 1950s Beach Motel into a book



In my home town, there’s a rundown motel right by the boat docks. It’s a temporary home to fishermen, truck drivers, and tourists who are fooled by a attractively misleading webpage. Not even having the cachet for a hotel, it’s a park-outside-your-door motel.

And I’m obsessed by it. Inexplicably.

I’ve been tempted to rent a room at The Gull Motel, just for one night, to indulge my imagination. Sure, I’d check for bedbugs and skip the shower, but it would satisfy my curiosity. What is it about a stacked two-story motel by the river with empty planters outside the rooms and a cracked asphalt parking lot? No idea. But I drive by it almost everyday and wonder about the people who have come and gone through those 1950s era rooms.


Finally giving in to the lure of The Gull Motel, I’m writing it into a book which will probably have the same name. In my book, The Gull is on the gulf coast of Florida. My heroine suddenly inherits the motel and has to turn a profit with it. Instead of tearing it down and building the kind of place with continental breakfasts and reward points, she decides to cash in on the “Old Florida” charm and 1950s throwback nostalgia.

I sure hope it works for her and she finds a little time for the sexy man next door. He knows how to maintain the pool pump and push all her other buttons, too.



Working a 1950s Beach Motel into a book — 4 Comments

  1. Oh having driven up the Florida coastline, I can visualize that little motel so easily. While we didn’t stay in one of them, we stayed in one very similar on a trip to California thirty years back. We’d been driving up the Pacific Coast highway from LA to San Francisco but gotten turned back just south of Carmel due to mudslides. We had to backpack until we got to a road that would take us into the middle to the 405 and back north. By the time we reached Salinas, it was dark and we were exhausted. But we couldn’t find a decent looking hotel that had a vacancy. We ended up pulling into one of these two levels 1950s style motels, that we swore was probably rented mainly by the hour. While I didn’t trust the shower either, it had a king sized bed (and little else)–it was the most comfortable, quiet night we had that entire trip. So I can totally see how you’d be intrigued by your little Gull Motel.

    Write that story!

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