Lots of writers get asked where their ideas come from. I am not one of those fortunate writers that get their inspiration from dreams or characters that speak to them until their novel is done. It’s a little disappointing because those types of eureka experiences are so much more creative than my random sparks of inspiration. Those little nuggets don’t always arrive in the most convenient fashion.
Once I was riding in the car listening to an NPR broadcast. Something about the story resonated with me. An idea began to formulate. The electric current of my vision seized me. I couldn’t wait to get home to write the idea down. By the time I arrived it had left as quickly as it had come and I couldn’t remember the content of the broadcast to bring it back. Note to self: always carry a notepad to write the idea down.
Sometimes the ideas happen collectively. The inspiration for my Martini Club 4 novella Runaway happened this way. The genesis of Runaway was a result of a collaboration between me and three of my friends. For some time, we had been meeting at the Martini Lounge for drinks, socializing and to discuss our writing journey. Somewhere along the way, we decided to write novellas set in the 1920’s prohibition era. Soon thereafter, we came up with the concept of four women fleeing England for New York and ending up embroiled in the activities of a local speakeasy. Each of us wrote the story of one of the young ladies from across the pond. My character, Charlotte (Charli) Leighton, is running from an arranged marriage and has dreams of becoming a baker. She is loosely based on my eldest daughter who has a passion for is baking. It was a challenge to keep Charli’s story in synch with the other three characters but it was fun collaborating and creating this world with my friends.
Sometimes my ideas come from simple desperation. When I started writing again, I was told over and over again to write what I know. This comment always happened when I told my friends and family I wanted to write paranormal/science fiction romance. I have always been fascinated by science. Whenever I hear about a new discovery, my mind reals about the possibilities and how that discovery can be applied to my writing. But I am not a scientist. I’m an attorney. More specifically, I am a Guardian Ad Litem who represents abused and neglected children in divorce proceedings. In my cases, the mother and father fight through their children, twist the truth for their children, hurt their children and abandon their children. Not very uplifting stuff. It was part of the reason I started writing again so I could create worlds apart from my day job. I was sure my job contained no backdrop for a romance.
One day it occurred to me the largest frustrations of my job is identifying family dysfunction and having so few resources to help the families into healthy relationships with each other. Counseling was only as useful as the parent’s willingness to change. Court orders only worked if the aggrieved party had the financial resources to enforce them. Wouldn’t it be nice if a Guardian Ad Litem had the ability to heal them and make them better people? Nikki Angelus has that ability in Shadow Dancer. Her power doesn’t come without cost but it wasn’t as hard to write about a Guardian Ad Litem as I originally thought.
Now I’d like to hear from you. What paranormal elements do you think are overdone? What paranormal elements would you like to see in a novel?
That’s all I have for now. Thank you for reading my post.
Runaway: Martini Club 4 the 1920’s available on Amazon
Shadow Dancer coming soon from The Wild Rose Press