Other times, life hands us the spark of the story and our imaginations use it as a launching pad.
Such was the case with my first novella, Bluegrass Easter, released this March in Love Inspired’s Easter Promises. Sure, it’s the final story in my Kentucky Corners series, and it’s special for that, but there’s another reason it captures my heart: the real-life spark of the story. An avid knitter, I’d been getting regular updates from a yarn shop and sheep farm in my area. One email chronicled the story of a particularly…shall we say…romantic male sheep and the surprise population explosion he brought to the ewes at the farm.
I ask you, how could a romance novelist–let alone one who knits–pass up a courtship like that?
Any writer worth her salt (or in this case her fleece) wouldn’t leave it at just a bunch of surprise sheep pregnancies. I had to find ways for this “bumper crop” of lambs to take librarian Audrey Lupine to her emotional edge. It’s cruel, I know, to take a control freak and send her beyond her coping, but the payoff is so very sweet when she overcomes her challenges. That has a lot to do with the charm and compassion of veterinarian Paul Sycamore and his precocious little daughter. And like every good hero, he has a lot of growing to do himself. And so we get to watch them “stretch into each other” as I like to put it. Change and grow as a result of how life through them together. That’s the trick we authors must master–to take something everyday (or even just a little ordinary) and raise the stakes for maximum emotional impact. While most of us will never have to face more lambs than we were counting on, every one of has had life push us beyond our abilities. I know I’ve had more than my share in the past year.
Which is why I knit. It’s my stress release, my non-writing creative outlet (I believe every writer must have another creative outlet besides words). Simply put, knitting is my passion. If I found a $50 bill in a parking lot with a note attached saying “you have the next two hours free to spend this,” I’d make a bee-line for the yarn store (okay, I might stop at Starbuck’s on the way). It’s why Bluegrass Easter was such fun for me–I got to combine my passion for storytelling with my obsession with yarn. I’d like to think that fun comes through in the story. Tell me, what are your passions? Do you read (or write) books about them, or are your fiction cravings drawn in other directions?
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