Hello, Fresh Fiction readers! I’m honored to join you to talk about the inspiration behind my debut novel, THE FIRST WORD. So far, I’m not one of those authors who can pinpoint one definitive moment when inspiration struck and I was hit with the premise for a book. One day, maybe for my twenty-fifth novel, I’ll be sitting at a rickety café table by the Seine or charging up a Peruvian mountainside—or maybe contemplating life from the ramparts of a Scottish castle—when the muse descends. I’d love to have a whole new world unfold before my eyes, and to have the characters take shape almost of their own accord and start imposing their will upon the page. But, for me, inspiration has always been a much messier thing. THE FIRST WORD started with tears. Lots of tears. If I’m going to be completely honest, it was not a pretty picture. There were red, raw eyes. There was a leaden feeling in my chest. There may have even been snot, and a pile of used tissues, which doesn’t sound terribly romantic, but please hear me out (it ended up plenty romantic, I promise!). This book started out with an emotional truth….