|photo from PinkLemonDesigns|
Did it work? Are you awake? Isn't he pretty? Okay, confession time. I've been re-watching WHITE COLLAR and have found myself transfixed, nay, a bit obsessive, over Matt Bomer. But tell me this picture doesn't make you wonder what he's thinking? This is where all of my books start. With an image.
As I head into the first of my Butterfly Harbor books, THE BAD BOY OF BUTTERFLY HARBOR (I SO hope Heartwarming uses my title), I searched for inspiration. As my fellow authors know, there's nothing like the rush of starting a new story. I've had a number of people ask me where I get my ideas and what gets the creative juices flowing. While every writer has their own way of diving into the pages of their new world, I'm visual. I need photos or items around me that keep me "in place" and remind me whose story I'm telling. I've found it's usually my heroes that end up front and center of my writing space (my heroines--that's a different process all together and one that will probably surprise those who don't know me--but that's another blog post, LOL).
Let's face it. We read (and write) romance because we love falling in love. For me, the idea of readers falling in love with the heroes I create makes the long hours sitting at the keyboard worth it. But before I put word one on the page, I take some time and search out the perfect image--that representation that clicks in my head and makes my hero come to life. Sometimes it takes me hours to find "the one", like it did for Lucas Saxon. As a TV and movie junkie, I tend to lean toward famous faces, but no one really "fit". Then the Internet Goddess smiled down on me and presented me with this image:
|photo courtesy of Airows.com|
Bingo! There's a quiet edge to him, and something in those eyes I know Lucas is keeping to himself (can't wait to find out what!). This is a hero with some serious baggage (despite his motorcycle). Lucas is owning up to his past, determined to right wrongs and well, of course fall in love along the way, but don't worry. He'll keep that edge--even as the new town sheriff. Who better than to watch over Butterfly Harbor than the one time bad-boy and trouble maker?
Book two in the series (tentatively titled FLUTTERBY DREAMS) will have an entirely different tone. Jason Corwin's out to prove himself and he's not letting anyone--not even Abby Manning--stand in his way. Charmer to the core, he's gotten by with a wink and a smile, but Abby's not buying it. Or is she? The second I saw this image of Chris Pine <swoon>, Jason was born.
|photo from browneyedbellejulie.blogspot.com|
Huh. Apparently I have a type. Who knew? But there's a distinct difference between the two men. Not only in the clothes they're wearing (and each is exactly as I imagined them arriving in town), but look at their faces, their expressions and stances. There's a completely different attitude in their eyes and for me, that's when the tumbler locks into place and a hero is born.
Here's the ironic part. I'm not a fan of people on my covers (can you see me biting my nails over upcoming cover concepts?). I don't like being told what characters look like, so while these images work for me as far as Lucas and Jason during the creative process, I'm more than happy to let the readers' minds take flight. Once BAD BOY is released, perhaps I'll pop back into this topic and see what you all think or who you see as Lucas Saxon. That might be fun! Let's book it.
In the meantime, is there a particular actor who comes to mind for certain stories? Here's your chance to cast some of your favorite books...and heroes because after all, that's what romance is all about!
Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head.
Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family centric romances with happy endings for her independent heroines for both Harlequin Heartwarming and Berkley. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). Visit Anna online at www.authorannastewart.com.