Ideas: Where do they come from?
N. J. Walters
I’ve been writing for a few years now and one of the questions readers ask the most is, “Where do your ideas come from?” I’ve given the same answer every time I’m asked. “They come from everywhere.”
Now, I’m not being flippant or dismissive of their question. It’s the truth. Ideas are everywhere you look—books, magazines, television, songs, the news, the mall, real life… The list is endless. Most authors see the same things everyone else does on a day-to-day basis, but authors ask that all-important question: What if?
Harker’s Journey, the first book in my Dalakis Passion vampire series, started in just that way. I’d been thinking about writing a vampire story and, of course, that got me thinking about the grandfather of all vampire books, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I pondered about the original characters and asked that all-important question: What if? What if a descendant of Jonathan Harker had to retrace his steps and go to Transylvania to meet with a mysterious client? What if that descendant was female? Thus Johanna Harker was born. And who was her mysterious client? He was none other than Cristofor Dalakis, the eldest of the three Dalakis vampires. The story of their romance unfolded from there.
Now we’ve all seen the women’s magazines while we’re waiting in line at the checkout at the grocery store. The headlines blare: “How to drive your man crazy in bed? Seven sex tips, etc…) I started asking myself the question: What if the heroine was reading an article about how to seduce a man— Seven Sex Positions That Will Drive You Both Wild—and trying to hide it from her brothers? And what if the man she’d had a crush on for years returns home for the summer? That’s the premise for Erin’s Fancy and let’s just say things got steamy from there.
I’ve used retail settings in my books quite often. Why? Because I worked in retail for about twenty years. I know it well. As for songs, I use them for inspiration. Nickelback’s “Never Again” helped inspire the beginning scene in Craving Candy. Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” and Annie Lennox’s “Love Song for a Vampire” set the tone for the story of vampire Stefan Dalakis in Stefan’s Salvation.
Talking with a romance chat group online inspired my story “Sunshine for a Vampire” in the Ellora’s Cavemen: Seasons of Seduction III anthology. We were chatting about how vampires always seem to be tall, dark and brooding. I wondered: What if a female vampire was short, plump and blonde? How would that affect her relationship with other vampires? Would she be an outcast? Thus, my Cinderella-style vampire romance story was born.
Now, I love the Washington Irving story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and wanted to base a book around it. I decided my heroine would be an academic researching legend in literature and it brings her to Sleepy Hollow at Halloween. Add in an immortal shadow warrior and a headless horseman who may or may not be real and Out of Shadows took off from there.
BLURB: OUT OF SHADOWS
Dovina Horne has arrived in Sleepy Hollow to study the legend of the horseman. She believes it’s only a myth until she’s threatened by a horse and rider while walking on a deserted trail in the woods. Only the sudden appearance of a warrior saves her from the horseman’s sword. She feels an instant connection, both sexual and emotional, to this protective stranger.
An immortal warrior of the Shadow Realm, Hadeon’s mission is to protect Dovina at all costs. He knows the horseman is not what he seems, but something more powerful and sinister in disguise. The longer Hadeon spends with Dovina, the more he wants her. He finds his way into her bed and her heart, but their relationship is doomed. He is an immortal from the shadows and she is a human filled with light. But when the final battle comes, they must use all that is between them if they hope to survive.
As you can plainly see, ideas come from everywhere. Writers find inspiration everywhere. So if you see us at a café somewhere staring off into space, remember we’re not daydreaming, we’re busy asking that all-important question and plotting our next book.
N.J. has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
Check out all my books at http://www.njwalters.com
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