Authors are constantly asked where they get their ideas from. It’s probably the most commonly asked question. And here in the UK and Ireland Mills & Boon (Harlequin’s UK division) is celebrating it’s Centenary, so we’re seeing a lot more press coverage – hence I’ve been asked this question about a half dozen times in the last week alone.
One of the next things they asked was ‘Do you get your ideas from real life?’ to which I consistently answered with a burst of laughter and ‘I WISH!’
But that’s probably not the real answer. Because the initial spark of inspiration *does* come from real life and the things we see and hear around us every day; a song, a movie we hated the end of, the sight of two people talking in a street café, a photograph that captures a moment we want to know more about. And then a chain reaction begins. The who, what, when, where and why starts to find answers inside our heads – the part of our brain in charge of creativity rubbing its hands with glee and setting to work with gusto! (We hope…)
For many it’s the best part of the job – that magical period when ideas come together and characters are born. It’s the putting it into words that makes it *work*. Add deadlines and sometimes it can even become a chore. But then there are so many jobs out there that lack that initial period of magic, aren’t there? I think that’s what makes it such a great way to make a living and what carries us through the harder stuff…
Well that and the readers of course! Because readers are just as capable of seeing that magic on the page, forming different images in their minds, adding personal experiences and how they felt at a certain point of their life to what they’re reading to create a completely original perception pf each book. And I kinda LOVE that. It’s why my February book for the Harlequin Romance line – Her One And Only Valentine – is dedicated to my Readers; the dream makers.
That’s what they are to me. By reading romance and sustaining the genre the way they do they allow me to do what I love to do. And by allowing themselves to get lost in a place where magic still exists they help celebrate love and hope in a world where it be so very over-shadowed by terrible things. So what is it you enjoy about romance novels? Is it that little touch of hope it leaves you with, the escapism, the way some plots make you think? Or was there a book that particularly touched you or helped you through a difficult period in your life?
Go n-eírí an bóthar leat.