Where do you get your ideas?
Surely the most frequently asked question of every writer, whether they write romance or not. But I for one, think ideas for romance writers are easier to find than most. Why? Because love and relationships are all around us, all the time.
Every movie or book (whether promoted as romance or not) will have a romantic relationship in there somewhere. Think of horror movies and books, there is likely some sort of romantic relationship woven within the blood and guts. The hero is protecting the heroine, or the heroine is in a dangerous situation because she’s trying to get to the hero. Think of a mad-cap comedy, like Dumb and Dumber – not a classic romance in any shape or form but Lloyd is so desperately in love with Mary Swanson, it’s quite disturbing, LOL!
Each of my book ideas came to me from a conversation or a TV program that while watching I started thinking how I would write the scenario differently. For example:
Novel Number 1 – my husband is adopted and he asked me if I thought his biological mother ever thought about him. Of course she does! But it got me thinking what her reaction would be if she were to learn he was in danger…
Novel Number 2 – There was a drama on TV where a woman witnessed a murder of someone in her community but was only able to give the police very sketchy details. I put myself in her shoes – how distressing would that be? What would I do?
Novel Number 3 – Now, this book was an exception to the rule in that Hannah (the heroine) came to me fully-formed and in complete stressed out mode. I was in the bath and she was screaming at someone that they’d broken her heart and was dressed in medieval costume. She spoke in modern language so I knew the story was contemporary. When I sat down to write, the novel wrote itself – my fastest written book, EVER.
Novel Number 4 – My first historical. This started when I visited a stately home, near to where I live in South West England. I stepped into the drawing room in Lucknam Park and knew I’d stepped into my new hero’s home. First question…what type of man lives here? What does he want? And on it goes…
Novel Number 5 – My latest release came from my youngest daughter. She came to me one night, snuggled up to me in her pajamas and asked me what I would do to ‘fix her’ if daddy died. Heartbreaking. I couldn’t get the question out of mind for days afterwards and the result was a heroine who would do anything to ‘fix’ her little girl. Getting It Right This Time is available now from Lyrical Press.
She’s back, but this time she’s a mother…intent on protecting her young.
Two years after her husband’s death, Kate Marshall returns home seeking security and stability for her three-year-old daughter. But when her path crosses with ‘the one who got away’…her husband’s best friend, she has to fight the desire to be with him for the sake of further heartbreak for her and her daughter.
A tough, straight talking theatrical agent, Mark Johnston is dangerously handsome, exceedingly rich, irresistibly charming – and branded by the tabloids as one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors. So even though Mark lost the girl of his dreams to his best friend, he finds no hardship in being single. Or so he thought.
Determined not to lose her a second time, Mark has to find a way to convince her they can work. But can Kate cope with the media interest and ruthless, money-hungry clients surrounding him, being anywhere near her daughter? Or accept that Mark Johnston is really the family man he claims to be?
Kate pushed open the door on the salon and cursed the jingling bell announcing her arrival. No doubt Jo was ready to kill her. She took three steps inside when Jo shot out the back room, lunged forward with the panache of an Olympic gymnast and grabbed Kate’s upper arms.
“He came back!” she cried.
“What? Who?” Kate stared at her, completely bewildered by the look of pure ecstasy on her assistant’s face.
“Sexy Mark Johnston.”
A rush of heat surged over Kate’s body–only to be replaced with ice-cold perspiration bursting onto her upper lip. “What? Why?”
Jo squealed and clapped her hands together. “He brought you something.”
Kate’s echo died on her lips when Jo dragged her over to the payment counter. “Look!”
Pale pink ribbons were tied around the handles of the biscuit-colored picnic basket and a wide pink and white gingham ribbon circled its center. Both of the dual lids were ajar, one revealing a dozen pink carnations, the other a bottle of white wine so chilled the perspiration slid in occasional rivulets down its neck.
“Why would he do this?” Kate whispered, taking another step closer as a smile tugged at her lips.
She smoothed her hand over the surface of one of the handles and inhaled the aroma of freshly baked bread seeping from inside. Her stolen Weightwatcher lunch groaned inside her stomach.
“Open it. Open it,” Jo said, bouncing from one foot to the other.
“Oh, for goodness sake,” Kate huffed, yet dismally failing to curb her stupidly insistent grin.
Sighing theatrically, she lifted one of the lids and her breath caught. He’d bought her favorite granary bread, along with delicate slices of Parma ham and a thick wedge of creamy brie. Tears stung at her eyes, and she swallowed the ball of emotion in her throat.
“Oh, Mark.” She said the words on an exhalation as she carefully lifted a crisp white napkin to reveal two of the most delectable mini strawberry and fresh cream tarts she’d ever seen. Her absolute weakness.
She slowly closed the lid and re-arranged her expression into what she hoped was careless nonchalance before turning around. “When did he leave?”
“About ten minutes ago,” Jo said breathlessly. “Can you believe this? Isn’t it lovely?”
“What did he say?”
Her assistant frowned. “Aren’t you happy? Don’t you think it’s romantic?”
“Jo, focus. What did he say?”
Her blue eyes clouded, clearly displaying her disproval of Kate’s seemingly unappreciative response to such a thoughtful gesture. Kate smiled inwardly, knowing full well she’d be the topic of conversation between Jo and her friends at the wine bar later. Finally averting her gaze, Jo feigned interest in the bottles of lotion lining the shelves behind the counter.
“He said he was sorry he’d missed you and put that basket on the counter and then asked if he could borrow a pen and some paper.”
Kate stared at her turned back. “What for?”
She swiveled round. “To write you a note. The guy is obviously love-struck and you’re standing there as though he looks like Shrek after a mud-bath.”
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