Dear Cousin mine,
If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. A pity that.
Thus begins the first lines of my Regency, THE LETTER. Where does a writer find their inspiration? Everywhere.
I recently read this quote posted on the Aerogramme Writer’s Studio Facebook page. “Everybody walks past a thousand stories every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”
So very true. My inspiration for THE LETTER came from a snippet on the news, yet the story itself is a different thing altogether. One word overheard, a glimpse of a mother in the mall, a mix of sadness and pride in her eyes as her daughter models a possible prom dress, a young couple giddy with happiness as they try on matching wedding rings in a jewelry store…all seeds for a story that when written bear no resemblance to the actual happening.
If I were Stephen King, a month after the purchase of the prom dress, the daughter would put on the gown and frightening things would begin to happen. Unbeknownst to her, the gown is haunted by a girl bent on revenge. Perhaps she had been born to an evil mother and died at the hands of her parent while wearing the dress. Now, her spirit lives on in that silk material and each time the gown comes into the possession of another girl, the dead girl seeks vengeance….
See how that works? Of course, Mr. King would conjure a story much better and a whole lot scarier than mine but as writers, all we have to do is open our eyes to the possibilities and then ask ourselves what if.
After seeing that bit on the news that inspired THE LETTER, the seed took root and about a week later, I awoke one morning with the complete letter in my head that begins the book. It is not a love letter, but one from a man whose evil scheme tore apart two lovers on the eve of their wedding. What if the couple was reunited eleven years later? What if they realized they still had feelings for each other, but had to struggle through the lies and secrets of the past?
The seed for THE TRAINING OF A MARQUESS, another of my books, came from my fascination with pet whisperers. After reading several books about horse whisperers, the “what ifs” started. What if a woman in Regency England was a horse whisperer? What if she wore breeches? What if she fell in love with a man who guarded his heart and vowed never to marry again? What if she used her horse whispering magic on him?
When writing, there is always research no matter the story, more so when writing a Regency. Do I have the clothing right? How much did a gown cost in 1814? What about my words? The word hello didn’t exist at that time, so a Regency writer must find ways for their characters to greet each other that fit the era. I once read a Regency book where the heroine said, okay. Ah…that’s not okay!
Fortunately, research is much easier today with the internet. For the contemporary romance series I’m writing about a group of ex-SEALs, I’ve done so much on-line weapons research that I’m confident I’m on a government watch list or two. If CIA type men wearing suits and dark sunglasses show up at my door some day, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise. I will, however, say, “Mmmm….What if?”
Thank you for inviting me to guest post on Truth Beauty Freedom & Books. I’ve enjoyed it immensely.
The Letter: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1IHMGY
THE LETTER is the story of a betrayal that wasn’t. Even so, it still tore apart two lovers for eleven years.
On the eve of their wedding, Michael Jeffres, Earl of Daventry, found his betrothed— the woman who meant as much to him as the air he breathed—in bed with his cousin, Leo. Diana remembers nothing of that night. All she knows is that she was forced to marry Leo and then spent the next eleven years in hell.
When the two lovers are brought back together by a letter from Leo a year after his death, Michael and Diana must struggle through all the lies and secrets before they can find a love that far surpasses the one of their youth.
Sandra lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Most days, you can find her with her fingers on a keyboard, her mind in the world of her imagination. It's a land where romance and happy endings exist, a land where anything is possible.
When her husband can drag her away from her computer, she likes to travel with her very own hero in their RV, but she always brings her laptop. There are still stories to write, after all.
A few highlights of Sandra's life she fondly recalls are jumping out of a plane, flying upside down in a stunt plane, and riding her Harley in the mountains of Southern California and along the coast of Maine. She's managed a private airport and held the position of General Manager of a Harley-Davidson dealership.
Although those events in her life were great fun, nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction she gets from writing her stories.
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