The first question people ask me when I tell them I'm a writer is "do you have anything published?" AND the second question is "where do you get your ideas?"
I absolutely love answering the second question because I think it shows how the mind of a writer is so complicated and well. . .strange!
Here is my response: I get my ideas from anywhere and everywhere. I might overhear a conversation while standing in line at Auntie Anne's Pretzel Shop at the food court in the mall (single mom Liz Day opened a shop in Grandberry Falls just like the owner of Auntie Anne's), I might get a little blip of something off the reality televisions shows I'm addicted to (Honey Boo's mom is a hoot of a character is so is Granny Hazel in Never Tell Your Dreams), and the list can go on and on.
But the magic of writing comes in as I take that one little conversation or the way someone talks and start to add the meat to the story. That is the fun part! My characters start talking to me and they develop their own identities.
There are always stories coming and going in my head. Some of them I will jot down, and some of them I don't. Sometimes I just have to let the idea simmer for a few months and then ready to write the story.
Over the past year, I have been focusing on paranormal mystery and releasing my Magical Cures Series (which there are several more in the series to be released! I love that Madame Torres!). Years ago, I started out writing romance (hence the Grandberry Falls series and Carpe Bead 'em) and a few months ago I got an email from a reader asking me when I was going to release more romance novels. And then more and more emails started to pour in from more readers.
One thing about me. . .I can't write several different novels at once. My characters aren't very nice to each other and we might just have a murder mystery if I did attempt writing two different novels at once. So I keep on a schedule, maybe NOT sooo tight, but pretty close to it.
Here it is for 2013:
November: Color Me A Crime (An Olivia Davis Paranormal Mystery, book two)
December: Strung Out To Die (A Divorced Diva Mystery Novel, book one)
February: A Charming. . .(need title, A Magical Cures Mystery Series, book three)
April/May: Crimped To Death (A Divorced Diva Novel, book two)
July/August: A Magical Cures Mystery Series, book four
November/December: A Divorced Diva Mystery Novel, book three
I'm exhausted thinking about it!!! But that is my tentative schedule on my calendar for 2013...and ZERO romance! I love romance, I do and I do sprinkle a hint of some in all my mystery novels.
Plus I love small towns! So the more emails I got, the more a story started to write itself in my head. But I like quirky characters and I've been waiting for the right moment to put a certain quirky characteristic a friend of my sister has in a book....
My sister's best friend LOVES the movie Gone With The Wind (mind you, they are in their mid-forties with families) and every time Gone With The Wind comes on TV, she dresses up in a ball gown and watches it. Now...that is really funny to me and quirky! Just something I need for one of my characters.
I love Audrey Hepburn....so I put my own spin on a story that has been brewing, that was sparked by those reader emails. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to write a full romance....
I'm always buying short stories for my Kindle Fire because I have three teenage boys who have orthodontics appointments, dermatologist appointments, sports practices, rides to the mall etc...I love to read as well as write. Short stories are perfect for those times I'm waiting on my guys.
When I read novels, I like to have a big chunk of time so I can get right back into the story, unfortunately I don't have BIG CHUNKS OF TIME. So my idea of a short story series continued to come to life. . .in my head. I started to bring the idea to life by talking about it, then the characters joined the conversation. . .
Here is my plan. . .
My readers are the most important part of my writing. How can I give my romance reader what they want and still continue to write the mysteries? Short stories!
They don't take me long to write and I can wrap up a sweet story with meat in under fifty pages in about a weekend.
What if, just what if, I did a series of holiday short stories set in different small fictitious towns across the United States? There would be one for Valentines Day, Easter, Memorial Day. . and so on. . .and you never know, one of these small town stories just might find their way into a full length romance novel.
That is how A NEW TRADITION came about! I'm excited to say it's now available to readers as the first in the SMALL TOWN ROMANCE SHORT STORY SERIES!
And I did fit my sister's friend into the story! Holly Englehardt loves Audrey Hepburn. Every Christmas Eve, Holly and five of her girlfriends dress up in their ball gowns and tiaras just like Breakfast at Tiffany's. One problem. . .due to unforeseen circumstances, Holly is having to make A NEW TRADITION this holiday season and it involves a hunky neighbor!
What do you think? Do you think this is a good idea? Or would you rather have those full length novels all the time?
One lucky comment will win a copy of A NEW TRADITION for your eReader! I'll be posting the winner of this blog post and the Let's Talk Turkey blog post on Thanksgiving!