Very few people know how authors Lucette Bloomgarden and Lois Heller met.
The two longtime Great Neck residents have told people they were roommates in the hospital while their children were being born and have been able to convince some that they were secret CIA agents.
The mysterious duo recently put their imagination to the test and published “Stone Cold,” a mystery novel now available as an e-book and as a paperback through Amazon.
The creation came about when Bloomgarden, who works as a wedding planner, realized she had a “ripe imagination,” but had problems with setting down and writing a book.
Having Heller by her side, Bloomgarden said, they were both able to keep each other focused and “bounce ideas,” off the other.
“We motivate each other and keep each other on course,” she said.
Heller, who works as a freelance journalist, said the advantage of having two writers work on the same project was that even if one wasn’t focused, the other could help to keep the project going.
“When you work with a partner you always get up to speed; You don’t get writers block at the same time,” she said.
The process took about two years, including putting together a submission to the publisher, Bloomgarden said.
Many of the book’s aspects are inspired by Great Neck with both Bloomgarden and Heller have lived in for more than 40 years.
“The book takes place in an area much like Great Neck,” Bloomgarden said, adding the book also has scenes in Cuba, Manhattan and Vietnam.
In addition to the location, many of the people in the book are inspired by people in Great Neck both authors have run into, Heller said.
“The characters are an amalgamation of people we may know. We used the names of people we do know [husbands, children and family friends] for minor characters,” she said.
Both authors have been on a promoting tour for the book in the past few weeks and last week visited the Main Branch of the Great Neck library.
The stop was a “natural,” one, Bloomgarden said.
Their attendance at the talk/signing was much bigger than they expected it to be, Heller said.
The authors are in the process of writing their second mystery, Bloomgarden said.