Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ideas. Wherefore Art Thou, Ideas??

I've been busy plotting away today...okay plotting, yes. But "away"? Umm, not so much. It's slow going. To stir my creative pot, so to speak, I called one of my critique partners, Jessica Lee, and we started talking about story ideas and where they come from. For instance, the idea for the third book in her Ariel Estates series--which she just sold to her editor at Resplendence Publishing!!--came to her while she was eating a taco at Moe's. Apparently that "Welcome to Moe's!" really got those ideas in her head cooking--pun totally intended. The idea for Slave to Fashion by Debra Glass, my other critique partner, came to her while watching the fashion makeover show "What Not to Wear".

I've read where several authors have notebooks and notebooks full of ideas for future books. Can I just get one of those pages? Because my ideas are like my kids in school--smiley faces one day, straight faces the next. Totally unpredictable. And unfortunately, I can't bitch 'n complain to my imagination about "doing right". Stories come from the most unlikeliest places and at the oddest times. Like tonight, while trying to plot a romantic suspense, I had this really cool idea for a contemporary romance while watching The Voice. I started picturing this Jude/Tommy/night-and-day romance like on "Instant Star". Hey. Don't judge! It was a great show! Anyway, my heart started racing with excitement. And all because I saw Usher waltz with this contestant as he taught her to sing to the melody by dancing with her. I thought it was beautiful! And it had my love-o-meter chiming!

I don't think I can really beat out the Moe's restaurant for oddest times and places, but one of the weirdest places--or most inappropriate, depending which side of the fence you're on-- an idea came to me was during bible study. My pastor was teaching about the kinsman redeemer out of the book of Ruth. And suddenly...ding! If I'd been in a comic strip, I would've had a light bulb blinking over my head! What if Ruth was this Boudica-type heroine that followed Naomi back to her homeland and caught the eye of the king? That one's still in my "Story Idea" file waiting to be fleshed out but I thought it was so cool! Who knows when or if I'll write the story one day but I loved the idea... I did end up telling my pastor about it, and he wants me to make sure I spell his name right in the Acknowledgments...

My complete, undying adoration for Donnie Wahlburg inspired my second book, Love and Protect. One day I was going through my daughter's closet searching for a shoe that she "Couldn't find annyywheeere!" and found an old folder with all these pictures and articles I'd clipped out and saved from those old teen magazines. You remember them! Tiger Beat and Bop! God, I'm old... Anyway, I found this story I'd written when I was fourteen about him and me, how we met and fell in love. How he chose me over all those other groupies, I mean, girls. Sigh. It was awesome. And the idea for the rock star hero just formed...

Speaking of Love and Protect... *Cue Dolemite music here* It is available in print today at Ellora's Cave! Whoo-hoo!

Ex-DEA agent Erin Montgomery is reluctantly back on the job, posing as the sex-kitten groupie girlfriend of rock star Sean Ledger. She’ll be joining his band’s tour to try to catch an obsessed, dangerous fan. Tormented by nightmares of her failed last assignment, Erin’s not exactly eager to be drawn back into the fray. But once she meets Sean, all rocker, all man and dripping with raw sex appeal, she knows she’s right where she belongs.

Sean is reluctant to have someone investigating his crew, but when he meets Erin, his objections fly out the window. The beautiful, hard-bitten agent turns him on like no other woman ever has. Sean’s caught glimpses of the fiery passion lurking under Erin’s cool front and he’s determined to break through her hard exterior and make her his.

But Sean’s stalker is still at large and she’s made it clear that she’s willing to stop at nothing—even murder—to get him.
Check it out here!

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