About Me

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I love being a mom and a wife. I've married to a man I would do anything for, and we have three beautiful children. I see so much of myself in both of them that it sometimes brings me to tears (happy ones).

I also love writing. Romance to be specific. I love the happily ever after that I believe everyone deserves. My stories aren't 'stop and smell the roses' type romances. While I believe everyone deserves happiness and true love, I know that sometimes you have to walk a hard road to find it. Those are the types of stories I like to write. The happily ever after that wasn't found, but earned. I work to earn mine on a daily basis and so do my characters. 

I am also working on a children's picture book series. Inspired (of course) by my kiddos. :)

On the non-writing front, I play acoustic guitar, sing, read like I get paid for it, ride horses, hike, paint rocks, and support a rather obsessive addiction to Pinterest.

I love to cook, which combined with my pinning addiction, leads to many experiments foisted on my unsuspecting husband and kids, mostly with good results. But sometimes, the dogs gets what the family refuses to eat. And they never complain. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Where do I get my ideas? - Thursdays with the Author

Last night I had my first book signing at my local library. We did a Q&A time with the readers and they had some really great questions for me. Here's one of them:

Question: Where do you get the ideas for these stories?

Answer: Honestly I get ideas from just about anything. The spark for Dark Mountains started in my creative writing class my senior year in high school. The teacher gave as an assignment to write a story based on a plant (tree, bush, flower, etc) and I picked the common bluebell. I wrote a very short story about two young children, best friends, that picked the flowers to give to their mothers. 

A year later, while I was on bed rest with my first child, I was bored out of my mind and got out my writing folder from that class. I found the story and read through it. Ideas about how those two children became best friends, their lives together as they grew up, etc, started popping into my head. So I began to write. Dark Mountains would be published eight years later. 

The rest of the ideas for Dark Mountains came from so many different places. Cole (the hero) decided to become a soldier after 9/11. I was a junior in high school at the time and I remember vividly what happened that day. Many of my classmates and school friends joined the military as a result of that day so it was very easy to inject that into the story line. I also interviewed and read blogs from soldiers that served in Iraq and really tried to understand what it was like fighting over there. I wanted to be able to use all of the senses when describing scenes so the reader wasn't just reading about what someone was going through, but experiencing it themselves.

Libby (the heroine) came from an abusive family life. Part of the inspiration for that story line came from my own childhood, growing up with a verbally abusive and alcoholic father. Of course, Jackson (the villain) was way worse than anything I'd ever experienced so I had to do a lot of research on abuse and the scars they leave on families that live with it. Reading personal testimonies from abuse victims was very tough but I used the emotions they described and tried to put myself in their shoes while I wrote the scenes.

In Irish Strength the inspiration, again, came from multiple sources. I was researching taking a trip to Ireland for our 10th wedding anniversary and stumbled on a website that contained some Celtic mythology. I started reading and found the myth about the four treasures from the cities of light. I started writing ideas right away, mixing a few different Celtic myths in to make the story really flow.

I've had dialogue ideas and story lines come into my head while over-hearing conversations, on vacation at the beach, listening to a song on the radio, even taking my kids to the zoo. For a writer, inspiration is everywhere

My advice: no matter where you are, when an idea pops into your head, no matter how ridiculous it might seem, WRITE IT DOWN. You never know where you'll be able to use it or what kind of story it could make.