Story Inspiration...


The single most common question authors get asked by readers and interviewers is where we get our inspiration. This is such a difficult question to answer without leaving the person who asked the question no more informed than they were before speaking with you!

Inspiration is everywhere…snippets of conversation, news articles, TV programmes and movies, your experiences/others experiences, places, history. I could go on and on J

Let’s start with one aspect at a time…

Setting

This is where the majority of my stories begin taking shape in my imagination. I love visiting new and old places when looking for a new story idea. I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Wiltshire is rich with history, phenomenal countryside and beautiful villages. Plus, I am just a thirty minute drive from the famous Georgian City of Bath.

There are so many places to inspire me from the churches and cathedrals, to the tiny hamlets hidden away which are bound to hold secrets. I love wandering around Bath and thinking of the many, many generations of people who have lived in this wonderful city and the struggles they faced and conquered. Look around and ask yourself, “Who lived here?” “Who fought here?” “Who fell in love here?” “Who lost a loved one here?” And then ask yourself, “Why?” “Who?” “How?”

Soon, you’ll have the start of an idea…

Characters

This is a difficult one for me – many writers start their stories with the character, especially in romance. This rarely happens for me. Occasionally, I hear a voice or a line of dialogue and have to find out who said that and why. It usually turns out to be the hero or heroine––although, other times it has been a secondary character shouting to be heard.

I start finding my characters by trawling the Internet for pictures of famous actors or models. Usually one of the faces catches my eye and ‘speaks’ to me. I’ve found my character. After that, I complete a full character sketch looking for their story. The sketches usually produce the characters’ Goal, Motivation and Conflict. After that, I have to start plotting…

Plot

Once an author has the hero and heroine’s (also villain’s if you have one) GMC, the plotting begins to formulate. I try to make the hero and heroine’s goals conflict provide solid obstacles for them to overcome during their journey and romance. The most important element of any storytelling, and the thing that must run throughout the book, is the characters’ internal conflict/their biggest fear or point of pain. Once you’ve established this and know it will be difficult for the characters to get past whatever it is inside them that’s holding them back, you have your plot. Everything revolves around finding a way for these characters to grow and change. That is your plot. Everything else is used to colour your story.



My latest release is CHRISTMAS AT PENNINGTON'S! Here's the blurb & buy links - enjoy...

Gripping drama as Pennington's department store prepares for a glittering Christmas in 1911, but a killer stalks the women of Bath.
Christmas sees Pennington's at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights. It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.
For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.
For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington's is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard. But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph's first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.
For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past. But can it ever be laid to rest?







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