Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Christie Craig | Questions I Generally Get Asked
Uncategorized / July 21, 2009

Where do you get your ideas? I sometimes tell people I go to the idea store and rummage through the clearance racks to find a jewel I can make my own. Something a little different. Maybe even a bit like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, something no one else would think about taking home. But I just know if I add the right elements to this discarded idea, I can make it sparkle. Another way I answer this question is to explain that the idea fairy flew by and accidentally dropped something and I found the treasure stuck to the bottom of my tennis shoe like a piece of gum. You know that ABC gum that is so hard to get off? Well, sometimes it’s as if some fallen idea gets stuck in my head, and my first reaction is, “Oh, hell, no way! Get outta here. There’s a reason the idea fairy dropped your butt. You are a complete reject!” But the idea hangs on and on, until I begin to see the value in it. Now, neither of those answers are lies. Because heaven knows that sometimes it feels just like that. But I suppose the answer closest to…

Kate Kingsbury | Summers Past
Uncategorized / January 20, 2009

Many years ago in my distant past, when I was still living on the southeast coast of England, I spent four memorable summers working for my mother in her small seaside hotel. I laid, waited on and cleared dining tables, cleaned rooms, welcomed guests and hauled heavy luggage up two flights of stairs since we had no elevator. It was hard physical work and long hours, made even longer by my mother’s insistence that I entertain the guests on the piano when all the chores were finally done. All I received for my pains were room and board, and tips that were few and far between. A poor return for the efforts I put in. At least, that’s how it seemed at the time, when I was stumbling exhausted to my bed, only to rise a few hours later and do it all over again. Looking back on that experience much later in my life, I realized it had given me so much more. I made some wonderful friends, met some bizarre characters, and had adventures that would have made my mother’s hair curl if she had ever found out. Life back then was unpredictable, exciting and fun!More than twenty…

Margay Leah Justice | From Conception to Birth, Or One Book’s Journey to Publication
Uncategorized / January 6, 2009

Ah, the first blush of romance. The first time you see the idea, sitting there in the corner of your mind, trying to get your attention in that inconspicuous manner these ideas sometimes adopt. You look away, convinced that there is no way this idea could possibly go anywhere. It’s just a fluke, a fling. Surely, you’ll forget it by morning. But when you look back, the idea is still there, sitting in the corner, flirting with you. So what’s a harmless little flirtation? You approach the idea cautiously, in a manner you hope is suave and sophisticated, but as you get closer, your excitement rises. Your heart begins to race. You lick your lips in anticipation. It’s even more exciting up close. So you flirt with it, spend the night with it, take it home with you. In the morning, you’re surprised that it’s still with you. After two months, you begin to believe this idea has a future. So you cultivate it, give up sleep for it, nurture it as it grows within you. Soon, what began as a nugget of an idea in your mind blossoms into a full-blown creature. It grows within you, like a fetus…

Anne McAllister | Where do you get your ideas?
Uncategorized / December 15, 2008

The most common question writers are asked is: Where do you get your ideas? Generally the people asking it are perplexed because they can’t quite fathom how such ideas come or how they are different from other ideas or what writers can possibly do with them when they do turn up. Usually I say, “Ideas are everywhere.” But that doesn’t really help. So in case you’re wondering how things come together, let me just illustrate with my January Harlequin Presents, Antonides’ Forbidden Wife. It certainly didn’t come as a full-blown story. No IDEA (in capital letters) popped up in my head. In fact, it wasn’t supposed to be a story at all — because PJ Antonides is not what is commonly considered “a Presents hero.” He was a surfer, for heaven’s sake! He made an appearance in an earlier book. As the younger brother of the uptight, determined, severely responsible hero, PJ was by turns annoying, misunderstood, breezy and charming. Pretty much everything his brother was not. He also didn’t own any multi-national corporations on the side. He was also, in that book, called Peter because that’s my husband’s name and I called him that because I wanted a name…

Lori Handeland | Where do you get your ideas?
Uncategorized / November 21, 2008

By far the question I’m asked most often is “Where do you get your ideas?” Not only by interviewers but by readers and by friends and family. I get the impression that those who know me best can’t believe I come up with all the creepy, violent “weird” stuff without some help. Which I guess is a compliment. I get my ideas in several ways. For instance, from something I’ve read. The concept for Any Given Doomsday came to me several years ago when I was researching another book and came across the legend of the Grigori, and it fascinated me. How the Grigori, or fallen angels, came to earth to watch the humans, then mated with the daughters of men and produced a supernatural race known as the Nephilim. I bought a bunch of books on prophesy, Revelation, angels, demons and read them whenever I had the chance and an idea started to nag at me—one of those ideas that captures an author and won’t let go. In the world of The Phoenix Chronicles, the Nephilim have been here since the beginning of time, wearing human faces, but beneath they are the monsters of legend—vampires, shape shifters and more….

Bella Andre | The Idea Bank
Romance / September 15, 2008

Have you ever read a really great book and asked yourself, “How’d she come up with that fantastic idea?” I know I have. Which is why I thought it’d be fun to ask myself the same question. Here goes: TAKE ME (in which a full-figured heroine gets the guy in Italy): I had a dream about a woman who had lusted after a guy her whole life, but he’d never noticed her. And then one day, the tables turned completely, and he had to chase her. Once he caught her, while in a very passionate embrace, he said, “You’re mine, all mine.” MINE, ALL MINE was the working title of the book – and the title I sold with. The dream gave me the theme. From there I had to figure out characters and plot. TEMPT ME, TASTE ME, TOUCH ME (three women on a road trip to the Wine Country find love with three local men): I had just finished watching the move “Sideways” with my husband when I turned to him and said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to flip that movie on its ear and make it a girl’s road trip through the wine country instead?” RED HOT…

Uncategorized / September 12, 2008

Any writer, I’m sure, has had the experience of a great idea striking them while engaged in an activity that had nothing to do with writing and nothing to do with whatever plot their minds were currently worrying at—like being at your child’s ballet recital and noticing the teacher’s son, pressed into doubling as the sound engineer, hustling back and forth trying to weed that static out of the speaker precariously mounted stage right…suppose this were a ballet competition and not just a chance for parents to see why they’ve been writing checks all year…a particularly competitive stage parent might get very upset over a break in their kid’s music quality…maybe even kill…. Or you’ll be teaching your daughter to knit, guiding her little fingers over the pointy edge of the needle and you realize what a good murder weapon it would be…knitting isn’t as common as it once was but what if there were a group of knitters, a club…easily concealed, innocuous in a normal setting…untraceable? Do knitting needles have serial numbers? Or just as you are writing the scene where Dudley runs his rival down in the street and wonders how to conceal the damage to his car,…

Cathy Lamb | Deadlines
Uncategorized / September 11, 2008

I have 15 days to go. Fifteen days until my deadline for my next book, Henry’s Sisters. This means that – except for a short jaunt to drop a kid off at school on the east coast – I will spend most of my other days muttering to myself, half-crazed, almost sleepless, and teetering on desperate. I will talk to my characters out loud. They will talk back. They will throw things in my mind and screech and use poor language and make me laugh. I will laugh out loud at inappropriate times at my characters. I will try to avoid this inappropriate laughter during church. It is most likely I will be in pajamas until 4:00. I won’t wash my hair much and I’ll probably smell stale. I will eat too much and gain weight, that is a given. I will be edgy and mentally hyperventilating. This is typical for deadline time and I am almost used to this rollicking insanity. When the book is turned in I will go and drink. No, not bottles of rum, you silly. We’re talkin’ decaffeinated mochas with piled up whip cream. I love to write and I love to read. If my…

T. Lynn Ocean | Putting Your Subconscious Mind To Work For You
Uncategorized / September 5, 2008

People often ask authors where they get their ideas. The answer for me is, I’m not sure. But I do know that I’d never have a writing career if it weren’t for my subconscious mind (SM). Everyone has this amazing tool at their disposal. Scientists still don’t understand quite how it works, but they do know that we all have a duality of minds: your consciously thinking mind, and your subconscious mind. Whether you are creating a character that people will want to read, composing a song, or trying to solve a dilemma at the office, your SM can do the work for you. It’s true! Ever been with friends discussing a movie or a song, and you can’t remember the name of the lead actor? “It’s on the tip of my tongue!” you might say. Finally, you give up. The next morning it hits you. You remember the name. Well, folks, that is your SM at work. It’s a very simple example, but proof that your mind can problem-solve while you are not consciously thinking about the problem. There are two basic things to remember about your SM. First, it never sleeps. It’s always working, regardless of what you…

Allison Brennan | Where do you get your ideas?
Uncategorized / June 2, 2008

That’s the single most common question I receive when I speak to reading groups. The thing is, it’s not an easy question to answer. There’s not one repository of ideas, nor can I point to one source of inspiration. My stories come from multiple sources–snippets of ideas, views, sounds, articles–that simmer in the slow cooker of my muse. Then wham! I have the story beginning and I start writing.Take my current trilogy. “An earthquake at San Quentin Prison precipitates the escape of several death row inmates.” Sounds easy, right? Well . . . it took me weeks to come up with the premise. The only thing I knew when I started KILLING FEAR (Feb 08) was that Detective Will Hooper, the partner of my heroine in SPEAK NO EVIL (Feb 07) was the hero. An article I read mentioned some California legislators talking about selling San Quentin–437 acres of prime real estate on the San Francisco Bay. I remembered that in SPEAK NO EVIL, I’d had Will testify at an appeal hearing against Theodore Glenn, a killer on death row who Will had put away seven years before for murdering four strippers. I re-read the scene where Will tells Carina…