Readers often ask writers where they get their story ideas. I like to tell people my story ideas often come from one person I know, have met, have seen on television, or have read about. For example:
I once asked my assistant what her biggest frustration was in dating and she told me autocorrect. Her stories about texting faux pas led to the plot line of Always A Bridesmaid. What happens if co-workers who are attracted to one another continue to have a series of autocorrect misunderstandings? Comedy gold, that's what.
The reaction of one family member to her mother’s will led me to the plot line in Love, Special Delivery. What happens if a grandfather’s deathbed wish is assumed by his children to have legal precedence over the man’s will? Conflict, that's what!
Of course, I didn’t make my assistant my heroine or my family member a villain in either book. But I used them as a springboard to bring the book to life.
The backstory of Support Your Local Sheriff also came to me from someone near to me. Many years ago, my brother dated a woman who discovered she had breast cancer. She went through chemotherapy and fell into early menopause. The doctors didn’t know if she’d ever ovulate again. Well, she did, but it was while she and my brother were breaking up (and not using birth control). Months later, she was terrified because she didn’t feel well. Turns out, she was pregnant. What a complicated way to get to a secret baby idea! My niece is a beautiful young woman today, btw.
But it's not all easy-peasy even with backstory gold. Support Your Local Sheriff is Book 10 in my Harmony Valley series. Sheriff Nate had been mentioned in several books prior to this one. Nate had a conversation with Mae, the retired dress shop owner in town. She was grilling him about his romantic past and guessed that he’d left someone at the altar. Cue time to write Nate’s book. Cue author head scratch.
How does one properly motivate a man to leave his bride at that altar on their wedding day without making him seem like a royal jerk?
Several head thunks later…
I wondered if Nate could have been in love with the bride’s sister, but for some reason he didn’t want to marry her. And then I remembered my brother’s baby mama. I was off to the races after that! You’ll have to read Support Your Local Sheriff to find out how I tied all the pieces together and made Julie my heroine.
Writers have different ways of coming up with story ideas and every book needs many ideas to keep it a full and rich reading experience for readers. Don’t ever think writers are tired of being asked questions. So, here's your chance to ask an author...well, not quite anything...but pretty much anything. Ask away!
Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author of over 40 romances. She writes sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming (who published Support Your Local Sheriff), sweet romantic comedies (her latest is Rumor Has It in Christmas Falls, a full-length novel) and sexy contemporary sports romances. You can receive free samples of her writing by signing up for her mailing list at www.MelindaCurtis.net.