Monthly Archives: August 2013

Writing Inspiration

Cover

I’m a very visual person.  I need to see something to write a description of it, so while writing my manuscript “Love Redesigned”, I combed the internet and magazines for images that I could use to inspire scenes.  Pinterest quickly became my best friend.  I’ve been a scrapbooker for almost 20 years (good gravy, that long??), so I did what any scrapper does, and put together a scrapbook/storyboard for my novel.  I bought a SmashJournal from Michael’s, got out my tape runner, scrapbook paper, and went to town pasting images into the book.  I let go of my normal strict design tendencies and collaged the entire book with an old world style.

I created tabs for each section: Roman (my hero) and his goals, motivations, conflict;  Genevieve (my heroine) and her GMC; the settings; secondary characters; the wedding (that which brings the H/h together); and the backstory for my hero and heroine.   R&G Paris Genevieve's bedroom

It was great fun putting this storyboard together.  When I had begun the manuscript, a character popped onto the page one day while I was writing – Genevieve’s gay BFF.  I was shocked, because I hadn’t planned for him at all.  Then later, while I was searching for wedding pictures online, I saw a picture of two little flower girls, and voila!  I gave a secondary character twins!

The WeddingSome pictures reminded me of scenes I had already written; other pictures inspired scenes and action that fit into the story.  I started carrying post-it notes (really pretty ones!) to jot down notes throughout the day so I wouldn’t forget when genius ideas struck me.  Then I’d stick them in the storyboard/scrapbook where needed.

I created an entire world for my characters in this scrapbook, one that I wish I could visit in real life.  By piecing together pictures, I furnished a chateau, an 18th century farmhouse, Genevieve’s dream bakery, and the Paris that I want to visit someday.

How about you?  If you’re an author, do you use pictures to inspire your writing?  If you’re not a writer, do you scrapbook, or cut out pictures that inspire dreams?

Genevieve Goals

Review for “Hunting the Hero” by Heather Boyd

I love reading. I have spent the weekend since I got off work Friday afternoon immersed in the Regency world.  One of the best ways to escape the heat of a Texas summer, in my opinion.  Yesterday I read an advanced copy of “Hunting the Hero”, the conclusion to the “Wild Randalls” series by Heather Boyd, which hits ebook shelves on September 1st.  Be sure to add this series to your TBR ‘pile’!   Ms. Boyd is definitely one of my new favorite authors.   Here’s my review of this book.

Cover for 'Hunting the Hero (The Wild Randalls, Book 4)'“Hunting the Hero” is the long-awaited conclusion to the series “The Wild Randalls”.   The author gave me an advance reader copy for reviewing, and I was so excited to read it.  However, I was so impatient for the reunion of sister Rosemary with her three brothers that I wanted to skip to the end, but I settled down to enjoy the ride.

Lord Constantine Grayling has decided it’s time to put aside his mourning for his wife after two years and visits a brothel. Upon his first visit, he is taken by the lovely and enticing Calista, a woman with secrets buried in her brown eyes.  He is so taken with her, he pays for her time to be his exclusively, which comes as a relief to her as she is just as taken with him. But Calista is a realist, forced into her circumstances long ago.

Lord Grayling is so taken with her, he wants her in his future, whether as mistress or as a governess for his three lonely daughters.  But while she refuses, she is unhappy once he cuts off ties with her – she misses him.  Fate steps in in the form of Lady Arabella, a friend to Constantine, and she whisks “Calista” (who assumes her secret name of Meredith again) away as her companion.  With a few minor alterations to her appearance, Melinda appears at Constantine’s house as a governess applicant and hired on the spot.

While the previous three books in the series had the brothers interacting throughout each one, this fourth book did not reunite Rosemary with her brothers until near the end.  This gave us the chance to know Rosemary/Meredith as an adult, long away from her family, and who she became over the years.  Although forced into her current employment by the limited opportunities afforded to women of this era, she still comports herself as a lady, and is able to teach courtesans or young children in the ways of proper behavior.

I was completely drawn into the book from the very beginning.  Quite frankly, I had not intended to finish the whole thing in one sitting, but the story became so real to me I couldn’t help but continue reading to see how it played out.   Heather Boyd’s voice is so strong that I became a fan after the first book.  Each one I read became my favorite, and with this fourth book, I was immersed in the world of Grayling and Meredith.

I very much look forward to reading more from Heather Boyd, and hope she has more in store for readers with a story for Lady Arabella and other secondary characters from this series.

Inspiration for stories

Writers get inspiration for stories from everywhere – books, newspapers, magazines, Pinterest (a big one for me), and everyday life.  Case in point: yesterday I saw a picture on facebook of a baby girl with her four brothers standing behind her, holding signs that spell out “Don’t mess with her”.  BOOM. Instant story idea about a woman with four older over-protective brothers.  Then, of course, each one of them has to have a story of their own!

Another case in point: I left work yesterday (in 110 degree heat, but that’s Texas for you), and passed by a building being renovated (or torn down).  As I passed beneath the scaffolding, a guy was walking out of the building.  I’ve seen some of them working, and they’re all wearing those white Tyvek (Hazmat??) jumpsuits that cover them from head to toe.  But the guy I saw yesterday had his pulled down so it hutattoong around his waist, and he had a white tank top on.  His head was nearly shaved, and he had full tat sleeves on both arms, wrist to shoulder.   Immediately, the writer in me wondered what his story was, and I came up with all kinds of plots.  I don’t ordinarily like tattoo sleeves, but on this guy it worked.  But if I wrote his story I’d have to make him taller.  🙂   I realized later that I appreciated him as a writer with a story to tell than as a woman seeing an attractive man!

I’m beginning to work on my next story, which will lead into a series of Alpha heroes.  The series idea came to me while at the RWA conference.  I’m really excited about these novels, and I can’t wait to begin working on them, tying them all together.

So yes, inspiration comes from so many places, even just ordinary walks in the dawg days of summer!

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