Not ten minutes ago, I sent off revisions for my third Heartwarming novel and third in my series, A True North Hero. I've still have a couple rounds left before it's officially a wrap, but I'm already antsy to start my next set of stories. Only, what to do?
I still plan to set my stories in Spirit Lake, a fictional smallish town in Alberta, Canada with a lake not unlike the one in the town I live in:
|From May 2017|
Beyond that, I've let my imagination concoct all kinds of people and scenarios.
The one that has me scribbling madly in my notebooks (yes, I put pen to paper when brainstorming and dealing with gnarled, sticky plot problems and stubborn characters) centers on a radio station. I was inspired by the witty repartee by morning hosts on the local radio station. Hmmm...what if my morning hosts harbored romantic feelings that slipped into their commentary? What if the listening public picked up on their suppressed chemistry and now they're pressured to become a couple? But what's wrong with that? What is keeping them apart? Hmmm....let's see what's going on in their private lives...
My editor and I are bandying about scenarios, but I was intrigued enough to visit a local radio station where I was granted a real feel for what really happens behind the voices. I also think there's a story about a female station manager who butts heads with a jaded exec from head office, and a program director pestered by a musician. Disclaimer: these ideas are not based at all on my visit to the radio station!
That's my top idea. There are a few others percolating....
A Texan visits Alberta for a cattle show. He makes a good-natured joke to his hostess at the local bed & breakfast about Canada's unique multi-colored money. Wrong move. She's uberpatriotic about all things Canadian, a sentiment he can relate to, but she seems inordinately driven and rather hostile to him and his nation. What lies at the heart of her sensitivity? Why is she taking it out on him, an innocent? Or does she know more about him than he thought possible? Hmmm...more scritching in my notebook.
A lifelong overachiever takes up the position of editor at the local weekly rag in Spirit Lake, the last place her sister was at before she went missing. She doesn't know anybody there, except for the name of the man her sister was dating. A mystery and a romance. Am I ready for this challenge?
An ambitious, hard-bitten single mom has built up a hole-in-the-wall restaurant into the most popular hot spot in the touristy town. Her chance to expand is shot to smithereens when the building next to her is bought out by an eccentric urbanite whose main attraction is...weekly poetry readings?
On the other hand, a dog groomer and part-time dogsitter inadvertently precipitates the death of a champion show dog. Its owner is singularly unimpressed.
Which story captures your imagination? What do you want to hear more about it? Do you have your own twist to add to my story prompts?
Next time I'm with you, I'll tell you more about my June release, Building a Family. Connie looks all sweet and innocent in this picture of her, but if you've read A Roof Over Their Heads, you know she has a lifetime of mistakes to make up for.
Available for preorder at all the usual outlets:
Barnes & Noble
And oh, I have some fun pics from my February launch of A Roof Over Their Heads. Come read an excerpt and check it out on my Website.
Happy Weekend, everybody!!