The Way I Write
At book signings I am often asked where I get my ideas from. It is almost impossible to answer, as there are too many things that can trigger a story. Nobody ever asks me what I read. But they should, because that is where many story ideas spring from.
Reading is as important as writing. Since I write mostly contemporary romance, I tend to read a lot of them. I also write historical fiction, not necessarily of the romance variety, set in WWII. This has led me to accumulate a monster library of reference books, online resources and a large collection of novels set in that time period. The series I am currently writing is set in WWII France and there may be there more than three books in the series. As I write, I keep making notes that could give rise to other story ideas.
One thing for certain is I would never write fantasy or science fiction, nor would I write thrillers or crime or mysteries because I do not read much in those genres.
Sometimes my heroines take over the storyline. In others it is more from the hero’s side. My heroes almost always change by the end of the story, whereas the heroines tend to grow into their potential. I do my best not to have stereotypical villains. They usually spend more time off stage, except in my war books.
In romance writing there are proponents of the saying that characters come first – the story is then built around those first two characters. I can’t work that way. When the germ of a story pops into my head and I can see where it will go, I call on my imagination to people the story. In my latest romance, the story spark was a drunk driver causing a fatal accident. Obviously the hero was developed first and was modelled on people I have seen throughout a lifetime. Where I live I don’t have television, or cell phone or radio reception and only a sluggish satellite internet. As a result I do not rely on visual prompts from movies and the like, but I suppose I am influenced by what I see on news websites or videos.
In an earlier novel, my heroine was created first. I am tired of the media portraying First Nations people in a negative light. There are many positive stories that never make the news. My novel featured a young Cree woman who has become a wildlife biologist. I’ll talk about her next time.
In my latest romance Pizza for Two (BWL Publishing) you will meet Piers and Nicole. It will be released in April. Last October saw the release of The Magic of Music (BWL Publishing). Marina is the heroine, but maybe Sophie, who is the hero Trent’s young daughter, captures a good part of the limelight.
Back to work now on Silent Tears, book one of the series All the Silences set in Paris during the Second World War, with a release date of May/June.