When Inspiration Strikes
Inspiration is sometimes a writer's fickle friend. One can never depend on when it will strike, or whether it will show up at all.
I've been inspired by the strangest happenings, by the most unlikely characters, and at the most unexpected times. Most often, it's when I'm down on my knees pulling weeds, with no pencil or notebook handy on which to jot notes. For me, I need to be otherwise engaged for inspiration to visit me. Perhaps it's a left-brain, right-brain things, something I've never tried to master.
Another place new ideas come to me is when I'm standing over a steaming iron. The perfect bit of dialogue comes to me at the most unlikely times, sometimes in completes scenes or conversations, at other times only one perfect line.
These examples differ from the environmental inspirations I get for novels, like the boarded up house I drove by in Mission Hills that inspired Decisive Moments, my dark novel being released by Desert Breeze Publish in time for Halloween. Why was a house boarded up in that upscale neighborhood? I wondered. I saw no evidence of fire and, except for those ugly boards covering the windows, the house appeared in good repair.
I tucked the incident away in the back of the mind, only to have it come back to puzzle me at odd times. I began to wonder what if. What if a photographer wanted to photograph the inside of that house. Would that be permitted? Why not? Does the owner have a good reason for keeping that house closed? Is he hiding something from his past? Is it a secret? Something damning from his past? If so, my novel will need to be dark. What is the owner like? Is he reclusive? A successful business man with a secret?
See how quickly a story is born? I have an affinity for houses. My first published novel, Law Breakers and Love Makers was inspired by a hostess' new house. Her party was memorable, her home forever memorialized in my novel. While enjoying her delicious buffet I envisioned bad guys climbing over her lower wall and later asked if I might use her unusual rural home for the setting of a book. Amused by the idea, she readily agreed.
Zoe and Jon’s situation would be funny if the two of them were not so darn scared. Ten years earlier Zoe’s father, a judge, secretly forced Jon out of her life. Now a deputy sheriff for the County of San Diego, his response to a tripped security alarm brings his high school sweetheart back into his life. A rash of home invasions, foiled burglary attempts, and a homicide keep the couple on their toes, but Jon’s prompt responses to her calls for help give Zoe time to resolve the mystery of their forced separation and rekindle their romance.
A personable young man I once interviewed and hired for a temporary job in the accounting department inspired Temp to Permanent, my June 1st release. The applicant had great skill, an accounting degree, and the self-confidence to ignore all the female employees panting after him. I paired the temp in my novel with a struggling business owner desperate to meet deadlines despite the unexpected illness of her secretary. She does not need the distraction of a heart-stopping man. His resume leaves a lot out, but she soon discovers he has all the needed skills. And more. Writing Temp to Permanent brought back all the hours spent in an office, some of them boring, most of them fun.
Visit Desert Breeze Publishing's Web site to download the book and find out what happens next. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com
And visit Toni at her web site: http://www.toninoelauthor.com