Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Rania Battany | Using Location as Inspiration for Writing
Author Guest / July 15, 2019

While I was writing my first book, I started running around the lake five minutes away from my home to expel energy. The lake is my ‘happy place’—the place I go to unwind and relax, to rejuvenate and to generate ideas. Sometimes, when I wasn’t running, I would sit and watch the hub of activity occurring around me. Birds swept the sky and huddled together on the water. People drifted idly in canoes and kayaks, families picnicked on the lawn, kids played at the playground. It always stirred such intense emotion within me—I wanted to write about it. Before starting my second book, FLEETING MOMENTS, the only idea I had was to write about a woman whose boyfriend had left her, but that was it. While running around the lake one afternoon, the sun beating against my face, I saw a personal trainer taking a group class on the lawn not far from the water. Looking at him, an idea floated past me. What if my main character, Maya, met a personal trainer at the lake? As I continued to run, more ideas flashed through my mind. There were lovers seated on the bench seat by the pier, water birds…

Tara Johnson | The Inspiration Behind Where Dandelions Bloom
Author Guest , Giveaways / July 1, 2019

Inspiration can come from the most unusual places. As I began to lay the foundation for my latest novel, Where Dandelions Bloom, several factors were easy. I already knew I wanted to base the heroine on the story of real-life Civil War hero and spy Sarah “Emma” Edmonds. Cassie Kendrick was birthed from Emma’s struggles . . . running from an abusive, alcoholic father determined to marry her off to an even more abusive man. To escape a fate that seemed worse than death, Cassie dons the uniform of a soldier and enlists in the Union Army. The hero, Gabriel Avery, was completely fictitious but inspired by Civil War photographers like Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, whose work completely changed how war was reported to the public. Gabriel is running from the darkness of his past by trying to find his worth in recognition. I came up with the idea for young, precocious Jonah Pfifer when I stumbled across some fascinating research. The youngest soldier in the American Civil War was only nine years old! Most people assume children were only used as drummer boys and buglers, but as the war dragged on, and casualties increased by alarming numbers, recruitment offices became desperate….