Tuesday, June 9

Inspiration--Who Knew?

You know, it's funny how inspiration for a book happens. Sometimes, it's a long, long process of just thinking...a lot of thinking and trying on ideas and playing with story. I thought that was what happening with the newest Women of Willow Bay book--one that might be a novella, but will probably become a full novel because...well, frankly because I'm so dang wordy. I've been playing with this story idea for a few weeks--really since the writers' retreat at the state park inn, where my fellow writers pitched in with ideas and suggestions at one particular brainstorming session. I thought I knew where this one was headed.

I was wrong. Yesterday, at the winery in town, it finally came to me what this story has to be, how it has to be told. Now, I promise it's not the wine talking because I only had one glass of delicious Riesling. Besides, this idea still feels really right this morning--a sure sign that it's probably going to work.

I confess, it was the guy behind the wine bar who was the inspiration for the story switch--and believe it or not, this is only the second time in my writing career where a person has been the inspiration for a storyline. The first time, interestingly enough, was with this character's father, Liam Reilly in Once More From the Top. Liam came from a conductor I saw in a movie years ago. The guy stuck in my head and finally became a story. This time, it's Jackson Halligan Reilly--the young piano prodigy from that OMFTT--Carrie and Liam's son.

The wine bar guy was adorable and as soon as he smiled, I thought, Oh, my goodness, it's Jack! Early twenties, perfectly tousled auburn hair, dimples that made you want to kiss his face off, and he just oozed intelligence and charm. A tiny bit self-deprecating, which only added to his charm, and such a sweet kid, I just wanted to scoop him up and serve him over ice cream. We chatted and he became more and more Jack the longer we talked. Finally, I got bold and asked him if I could take his picture and told him why I wanted it. Dimples deepening, he said, "Sure!" and then asked me to please let him know when the book comes out.

So now, I know where I'm headed, how the book has to work, and how to begin to tell Jack's story. I'd actually believed that I would never be doing that--writing Jack's story. I write older heroes and heroines, Baby Boomer stuff. I've never tried to write a twenty-something. But he's talking to me now--a lot! He wants his own story out there with the other folks from Willow Bay. I'm hoping my readers will want to know what happens to Jack after he graduates from Julliard, that they'll come along for ride that's going to be completely unexpected...and hopefully, enjoyable.

11 comments:

  1. I'm anxious to see this picture of Jack at lunch today! What a cool way to find him. Makes me think of that one dinner at retreat...

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    1. Yes, it worked. The dimples and the hair did it for me.

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    2. Cute, huh, Liz? Yes, fabulous hair and the dimples are killer... ;-)

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  2. WTG, Nan! Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl! If I can get a few hours away from the day job, I'll be good!

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  3. It sounds like it will be fun, Nan! I'm very into mixing things up, and this just might be your time for a younger man's story. :)

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    1. I hope so, Roben! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I love those "A HA!" moments Yay for inspiration. Can't wait to read this when you get it done :)

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    1. Thank, Margie! I love those moments too!

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  5. Jack needs his own story. He is such a wonderful character. I just finished OMFTT and Sex and the Widow Miles. I got one from the library and then had to purchase them both. Can't wait to read Jack's story.

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    1. Thanks for saying that, Carolyn. Jack has been in my head since I wrote him in OMFTT--he's getting his own story because he's giving me pretty unexpected ideas about how his life should go... So glad you came by, sweetie!

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