Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One question that friends and readers alike love to ask me is, “How do you come up with all those story ideas?” I have a pat answer to this question—from reading the newspaper and magazines. You see, I often get the kernel of an idea from a story about a woman in peril or a dignitary visiting the United States from some exotic land.

But when I thought about my latest release (my first from Ellora’s Cave), I realized there was no way I got the idea of a woman ending up on a tropical beach with two handsome bodyguards, the premise for the story. So I started thinking about where the spark for the idea came from. I couldn’t come up with a single clue. Regardless of how creative someone is, all story ideas originate somewhere. Anywhere.

Even from distractions. My two biggest distractions are my secret guilty pleasures—playing Scrabble on my computer and watching an occasional mindless reality show. Far as I know, I’ve never plucked a story premise from Scrabble. But one of my earlier books, Falling Star is about a grown up child star who is forced to accept a gig as star of her own reality show. So yeah, I might have gotten that idea from television.

The more I thought about my viewing habits, it hit me. The inspiration for Tropical Exposure was one of those movie star/socialites you see on the entertainment channels with a million flashes greeting them every time they leave a restaurant or go to the gym. I wondered how annoying that would be.

Hence the distraction yields inspiration. Check out the blurb for Tropical Exposure:

Megastar Marin Shay disappears from the radar a few weeks a year for a vacation from the pressures of Hollywood. This time, though, instead of the usual bodyguards she gets stuck with—beefy middle-aged men with bad breath and even worse comb-overs—she lucks into some scorching-hot eye candy.

Tony and Josh share the same objective—taking care if Marin in every way possible. And when she proposes they indulge her fantasy of a ménage a trois, both men are definitely eager to please.

There’s only one problem—one of them is really a tabloid reporter who could ruin everything.

Are you reminded of a certain pop princess? Okay, so honestly, only the character’s phenomenal celebrity is reminiscent of said princess. But that’s all it takes. This author takes the inspiring spark and runs with it. Did I mention when I was growing up all my dolls had back-stories? Even the stuffed animals had sordid lives. Perhaps my head has just always been filled with stories. Might explain why I daydreamed my way through school!

Okay—maybe I’m just weird.

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