The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Story Behind The Story...

When people ask writers where they get their ideas from, more often than not we have no clue – or is that just me? Having said that, I know where the idea “Getting It Right This Time” came from...a snippet of narrative I heard in my head while ironing – I kid you not.

While watching the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I heard “Her name echoed around the room. The scraping of chairs and the shifting of bodies sounded harsh in the subdued atmosphere as all around her people turned and stared.”


I had no idea what it was all about, but it was enough for me to leave the ironing and grab a notebook. Who said her name? Where was the room? Why was the atmosphere subdued? The questions had started and now it was up to me to answer them.

That’s how a lot of stories start for me. I usually get to hear a tiny piece of narrative or a character’s voice in my head either telling me their problem, or what they want. More often than not it leads to a character wanting to start a new phase of their life.

Storytelling is about a journey, a protagonist’s change as they work through problems and obstacles, and in romance, finding a love that will last the rest of their lives. I love my job and hope I can do it forever.

Excerpt from “Getting It Right This Time” – (Including that first piece of narrative!)

Kate turned away, tears blurring her vision. “But Mark Johnston is not anyone, he’s…”

And then, as though sensing her gaze on him, Mark looked directly at her. “Kate?”

She froze.

With the microphone forgotten in his hand, her name echoed around the room. The scraping of chairs and the shifting of bodies sounded harsh in the subdued atmosphere as all around her people turned and stared.

Her mind raced as Kate stood completely immobile. She didn’t move, even as she watched him put the microphone down on the bar and walk toward her. After a long moment, the onlookers hesitantly struck up conversation or picked up their drinks.

Finally, Kate’s paralysis lifted as panic threatened to engulf her. She looked at Lucy. “God, I’m not ready for this. Do something.”

“What can I do? I…”

Nausea rose in Kate’s throat and her stomach clenched tightly around her fear like a closing fist.


She turned, her feet as heavy as lead. The laughter shining in his eyes when he’d been talking a moment before had been replaced with shock and confusion.

Kate swallowed. “Hello, Mark.”

He squeezed his eyes shut before opening them again. “What are you doing here?” He pressed his thumb and finger to his forehead. “I mean…how did you…when did you…” He stopped. “Are you back?”

His voice shook with what sounded like anger. How dare he be angry with her? Drawing on every ounce of strength, she tilted her chin. “Yes, Mark, I’m back.”


  1. Wow! I want to know where she's been and what's going to happen next. Nice work!

  2. GREAT Post! I love hearing how other authors get their ideas. For me, its an over-active imagination and having Insomnia!

    Wishing you HAPPY Writing Day HUGS, Kari Thomas,

  3. This was an awesome read. She made him sweat a couple of times but the ending was totally worth it.