Monday Musing

I think this is one of those questions that all writers get from time to time. People seem to be infinitely curious as to where and how we get our ideas. For me, the answer is both extremely simple and infinitely complicated. For me, the answer is: everywhere.

That’s the simple part. They’re everywhere and more often than not, I have more ideas than I know what to do with. It’s not unusual for me to have 4-7 WIPs at any given time. I may only be actively working on one of them, but I have bits and pieces of numerous others poked back in computer files, journals, notebooks, all over the place. At this moment, though I only have one book under contract that I’m currently working on, I have no less than six on my computer in bits and pieces. Mostly, this happens because I get ideas from everywhere. That, and I’m firmly convinced that my personal muse has severe ADHD and is incapable of working on on only one story at the time.

Let me give you some specific examples, and I think this will illustrate how it gets infinitely more complicated at the same time. A related question that people often ask writers is whether or not we base our characters off of people we know. In general, my answer is no. That being said, both of my currently published standalone titles, Playing with Fire and Learning to Live Again are, to a certain extent, exceptions to that rule.

This is the easiest to see with Learning to Live Again. I based both the characters and the situation for this story, to a certain extent, on a former coworker. We worked really closely together, and she often told me about things that went on with her husband and children in her household. Listening to her stories, I wondered how the situation might be different if her husband were a Top/HOH. I wondered what would happen in their household if he decided to step up and take that kind of leadership.

From there, Learning to Live Again was born. Lainie, Grant, Kathleen and Natalie are all based to a certain extent on this family. Are they identical? Absolutely not. Both women and the oldest daughters have similar looks and both women work in education, though in different positions. The men share an occupation. That’s it.

In Playing with Fire, Stacy got her build, eye color, and a bit of her attitude from a friend of mine. Sort of. It’s harder to pin down with Stacy. Some of it is modeled after my friend, but a lot of it also has to do with the fact that I was deliberately trying to make Stacy my alter ego. She is in many ways, my total and complete opposite. She has a boldness and sassiness about her that I’ll never have, but sometimes wish I could.

As for my other characters, they mostly just come to me, often out of the blue. Norah and Caine, in my current WIP, are characters that have been sitting around in bits and pieces on my hard drive for years. Then suddenly, one day not so long ago, as I was eating lunch of all things, they started to talk to me, and within a matter of days I had a synopsis put together. It was as if, after sitting around on my hard drive for several years, something in the collective consciousness just decided their time is now. That’s the complicated part. The part I can’t really explain. The part that just sort of happens.

Where do ideas come from? Depending on the day, the answer might be everywhere, anywhere, or I have absolutely no idea. In my mind, at least, it’s one of the mysteries of life.


 

PS. If you’re interested in checking out how the ideas in Playing with Fire and Learning to Live Again developed into full books. You can find them here.

 

Learning-to-Live-Again-Final-200Tired of increasing chaos in his family life and the distance that is growing between him and his wife, Lainie, Grant Taylor decides the only way to save his marriage is to get back to the domestic discipline lifestyle he grew up with. When he finds Corbin’s Bend on the Internet, he is certain it is the perfect place for them to start over.

Exhausted and tired of juggling everything herself, Lainie reluctantly agrees to her husband’s suggestion. However, she is new to the lifestyle and more than a little uncertain about it. To make matters worse, their 15-year-old daughter Kathleen is convinced they had moved her into some kind of weird spanking cult. She is miserable and not at all shy about letting everybody know it.

Will moving to Corbin’s Bend be their saving grace, or will it be the final straw that tears them apart?

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Stacey Reinhardt is a 22-year-old small town girl – the quintessential rebel. She loves to party and is a serial dater. Most of her relationships, if they can be called that, are one night stands or casual flings. No commitment, no strings. She meets Sheriff’s Deputy Cade Dawson in a bar and is immediately intrigued by him, but Cade wants nothing to do with her. He’s attracted to her, but knows she’s the type of woman he doesn’t need. She’s a flirt and a partier used to a string of one night stands, and he’s an old-fashioned man with old-fashioned ideas. He believes in respecting and protecting women. He demands loyalty and faithfulness, and he spanks. As a joke, he dares Stacey to try dating only one man for a month. She accepts and chooses him.

Much too both their surprise, they quickly find their joke relationship turning into more. Cade makes no bones about the fact that he believes in protecting women and in old-fashioned values and won’t hesitate to enforce his expectations by way of a sound spanking if necessary. At first, Stacey dismisses this as an occasional thing and no big deal, but then her old ways begin to resurface, and she suddenly comes face-to-face with the fact Cades expectations and methods are very real. He will hold her accountable and spank her, and he honestly expects her to change her behavior.

Will the wild child be able to change her ways for an old-fashioned spanking man, or will her rebel spirit and the pressure and rumors of a small town tear them apart?

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