I often get asked where my ideas come from. A lot of the time I actually don’t know as I can’t pinpoint what exactly triggered it, or what made me chose that direction. Loosely, a conversation with my kids about what mazes could be made out of triggered the Court of Annwyn series. Yeah…not exactly an obvious connection to an entire alternate world ruled by fairies.
So an idea for a story usually starts with a character. They wander in to my mind and away I go.
Sometimes that character is inspired by a picture, other times a news article, most often I have no idea…I think I have a green room in my mind where characters sit around and chat just waiting for the right moment to make their entrance. For the Annwyn series it was the maze that opened the door.
Once I have one character I have to go looking for the other (in takes two to make a romance). I go looking by working out who the hero is exactly and what kind of world he lives in. Depending on what I’m working on this could take a couple of hours of brainstorming (I love giving myself a few days off to do nothing but plot a new series) or days of random scribbling, as I work on another project, as the idea slowly comes together.
Because I like to plot I start putting everything down on my worksheets (I made myself worksheets that capture the character and world building information so that I could nail down an idea even if I wasn’t going to work on it immediately).
At some point research has to happen. Maybe I need a location (THE OUTCAST PRINCE had no real world setting for much of the first draft as I talked with my editor about the best place to set it in the US. All the details I had to weave in later), or I need to hunt down some myths. The best part of research is that it inspires more ideas and the story really starts coming to life…this is often where ideas for a series appear and I have to note down other characters and how they all link together as well as the overall series arc, while still making sure each book can stand alone.
A lot of the time I’m just going on gut instinct about what feels right for the story and character. The ‘what if’ question is very important as is throwing obstacles at characters to see how they react.
Once I know what they fear I will make them face it.
What would they never do? They will have done it by the end of the book.
Part of the fun of writing is taking the character through hell so that when they get their happily ever after they really do deserve it…or maybe that’s just me. I often wonder if I’m too mean to my characters. Then I remember they volunteered by stepping up. 🙂
About TO LOVE A KING
He’s Trying to Reclaim His Past
To keep the balance between good and evil at the court of Annwyn, Prince Felan ap Gwyn has two weeks to marry and take the crown. But he wants more than just power—he wants love; a love he once had but was too stubborn to hold on to.
She’s Struggling to Face the Future
It took years for Jacqueline Ara to put her life back together after Felan abandoned her. She’s moved on, even if her heart still burns for him. But with war in Annwyn looming and death bleeding into the mortal world, Felan and Jacquie will need to heal old wounds and rekindle the passion that once welled between them…or face losing everything.
About Shona Husk
A civil designer by day and an author by night, Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Drawing on history, myth, and imagination, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have hearts of gold—sometimes literally. She is the author of the Shadowlands series and the Court of Annwyn series. You can find more information about Shona and her edgy romances at her website or follow her on Twitter, @ShonaHusk.