In a short time I will be releasing what was one of the most challenging writing projects of my career.
Novelists find story ideas in a variety of places.
It isn’t always What If…?
Dream. In 1999, while on a business trip, I dreamt an entire novel, beginning to end.
It’s in the queue.
The dream was incredibly vivid, the type where you feel you are not just watching but are participating.
Yet I was not one of the characters.
Upon waking I grabbed my laptop and captured every detail. I tucked it away for the right time.
Dances with Wolves remained on a shelf gathering dust for several years before being produced.
See. In 2007, I walked into my bedroom and saw two characters in my mind’s eye. Initially startled, I soon realized I was looking at a book in the making. I stood and watched them, taking in appearance, body language, and how they were with each other. Hint: Awkward.
I began considering reasons these two would find themselves in such a situation. The result of that exercise is Silicon Valley Hangover.
Life. As a psychic who regularly encounters ghosts, I’ve borrowed from my own experiences upon occasion to provide in-depth knowledge, exaggerating, yet keeping it real.
These are just a few of the ways I am creatively inspired.
When it came time for the Awakening series, I had the overall plot of four women, four gifts, one summer. What I needed were supporting characters, not the least of which were heroes.
I took each book on its own merit, creating a supporting cast for each female. When it came time to begin book two, Awakening the Lover, I was startled by the hero who presented himself. He didn’t stroll in, he rolled in.
In a wheelchair.
Just as I had with SVH, I spent time just observing this character. I slid my lead female into the scene with him to see how it felt.
Hint: It felt right.
Even as I knew this would truly challenge me as a writer, I was intrigued.
It had never occurred to me to write a hero who was in a wheelchair, but from the moment I saw the two characters together I knew it was perfect. He was perfect.
I began to consider backstory but he was having none of it. He wanted me to really know him, to understand what he brought to the story. How he came to be in a wheelchair was irrelevant compared to the kind of leading man he would make.
Not to mention the kind of lover.
Several times I had to stop writing and simply contemplate this incredibly complex, totally likable character. Over the course of the book I gained confidence. It helped that I had some experience to draw from.
Many moons ago I spent time in a wheelchair facing the possibility I would never walk again.
A fiction character is special to a writer. It was important to me that I do him justice.
I believe I succeeded.
Not only did this hero help me grow as a writer, he enabled me to take intimacy between two characters in a direction I’d not gone before.
I’m really excited that The Lover, Book 2 in The Awakening Series will be available soon.