Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Multi-Tasking Muse

    People often ask me where I find inspiration or where my ideas come from and it's often the same answer across the board. The characters come to me in the form of a conversation played out in my head or even as simple as visualizing a passionate kiss. 
    After I've started writing the story, I like to play around with how I see the characters as though they were already on the covers of the novels which will eventually tell their story. 
There's a long gap between initial concept of a story and when that tale appears between the pages of a book (or e-book where my novels are concerned), so I like to use a little visual creativity to keep my muse flowing as a story progresses. 
    I've even made a page on this blog to share some of those muses in the form of book covers. I've found that making them calms me and helps strengthen the bond I already have with each character I write.
    Sharing the characters and a little blurb about their story may even help others understand what goes through an authors mind, well this authors mind anyway, long before they actually get to read what I've written. 

A serial killer is on the loose targeting young female singers in Houston.
The special victim’s task force has a lead, but the next singer they believe to be on the killer’s list, refuses protection.
Undercover detective, Scott Diamond, is the only one who can get close enough to keep Ronnie Layne safe without alerting the killer.
Forced to hide out at Scott’s grandparent’s farm, will he be able to keep her out of harm’s way, or will Ronnie’s stubborn streak lead her straight into the path of certain death.
When protecting your heart is just as dangerous as protecting a life!!

This one came to me from the point of view of the hero, Scott Diamond. 
Often, the first scene in the book is actually how the story begins in my head and this one is a prime example of that. 
10,000 words into it, this cover keeps the fire alive and helps me focus on the direction I want to go. So far so good. 

Family Ties: 
The concept of this one is so new and fresh I haven't even written a blurb for it yet. Another prime example of how differently each story manifests itself and how my muse interprets it. 
I can share with you a little bit of the scene that presented itself in the imaginary world where all my stories are born:
Crouched on the floor between two dry-rotted pews, Tegan Blaid protectively clutched her stomach and kept a fearful watch of the old church doors. The relentless tightening of her stomach muscles only confirmed what she already knew. Her baby was coming soon, no matter how many wolves gathered outside, sniffing at the doors.
“Just a little while longer.” She massaged the hardened bulge extending from just under her ribcage. “You’re a fighter just like your daddy, aren’t you?” Licking dried, cracked lips, she tried to swallow away the ball of air lodged in the back of her throat.
Crying wasn’t an option. Not now. Not ever.
The pack just outside the door wouldn’t kill her, they wouldn’t dare, but they wouldn’t rest until they brought her home either. Their alpha, Aiden, had made that quite clear. Tegan was to be returned to the pack unharmed. Nothing was to get in their way and that included the father of her unborn child.
She drew in a deep breath and bit back a whimper as the pain intensified with a gripping contraction. “Hurry, Tucker,” she begged under her breath.
Tegan peered through the broken stained-glass window above the dilapidated altar. Escaping under the cover of darkness would be her only advantage. Time was running out and if she didn’t get help soon, her baby would be born in the middle of a battle she couldn’t fight alone.

    As you can see, for me, there is no set formula. 
    Next is another example and once again, the concept, genre and setting are nothing like any other I've written. In fact, this one will be my first "cougar" type story, something new my muse latched onto and refuses let go. 
    The characters first appeared in my head as the heroine peered out a kitchen window, trying to convince herself that she could never have the man standing behind her, mostly because of the ten year gap in their ages... the hero, however, had other plans... 

“You really shouldn’t be here. Someone may get the wrong idea.” Kate grabbed her teacup from the table then turned away and placed it in the sink. The nerves at the nape of her neck tingled. She knew he was watching her every move.
“Everyone’s gone to the square for the fireworks,” Vander replied in a hushed almost whispering tone.
The security light from the Gibb’s Body Shop across the street, shone bright through the small kitchen window above the sink. The setting sun cast an eerie yet peaceful glow across the evening sky and Kate held her breath as his footsteps moved nearer. “Have you set-up and prepped for later?”
Hot breath filtered down her back as Vander leaned over her shoulder. “I’ve done everything you’ve asked me to do, Kate.”
Kate’s heart pounded louder, to a near deafening level. “Please?” Her body ached for his touch, defying everything she knew was right. “You really shouldn’t be here like…like this.”
“There’s no other way I can be here, Kate. I’m done with pretending.”
She gripped the counter and squeezed her eyes shut. If only she could wish him away. If only she could make him see how impossible all of this really was. The threat of tears burned her eyes. Why won’t he just stop?

And finally, my muse not only stirred up a story that leaped across my genre field, it's forced me to drag out and dust off my never before used pseudonym, Tyler Robbins.
 Just so readers won't be confused, this alter ego will be able to have her own moment in the sun and so will the genre she plans to tackle... Male/Male romance. 
SHOCKED? Join the club. 
To tell the truth, the initial idea behind this story wasn't my own. 
Although I enjoy M/M romance and joke quite often that I love boys who love boys, I hadn't planned to tackle the genre so early in my career. However, that all changed a few months back shortly after the withdrawal of the U.S. Military's policy of "Don't ask, Don't tell", when I was approached my the parent's of my youngest daughter's best friend.
They (a heterosexual couple, just in case you're wondering) happened to mention that they would love to see a story written "after" the policy was no longer in practice... sort of a reality of it all type story.
I've played around with the premise and have even started writing it, but trust me...THIS one will be written with the utmost respect for our Nation's Military and those brave men and women of all religions, race, sexual orientation and the like. 
The primary message my heart wants to relay is that no matter our differences, we all love our country and all have a right to protect it.  
Will I lose readers? Maybe, but the way I see it, if I lose readers because I believe in equality for all, then they probably weren't reading my books in the first place. 
If you follow my blog or have read my books, then you probably already have an idea of how I think... everyone has the right to love...even shapeshifters and vampires!! LOL!

“Hey, um, where are you from anyway?” Jared’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down.
“Texas,” Michael replied. “Near Houston.”
A crooked smile spread across Jared’s lips, those oh so kissable lips. “Dallas,” he snorted. His shoulders shrank and his blue eyes darkened as the mood in their hideaway took on a solemn air. “It’s nice to know there’s another Texan around. You know? Someone who understands the way we think. The way we were raised here in the south…”
Michael wasn’t sure what Jared meant. “I’m not following.”
Jared’s cheeks flushed bright red. “You know, someone from up north or the west coast may get the wrong idea, the two of us in this stall… at night…alone…”
Michael squared his shoulders, suddenly feeling two feet taller than he had when he first walked into the bathroom with the much larger man. He leaned into Jared’s neck area and purposefully inhaled slow and deep, subtly inching Jared against the wall behind them. “Anyone with brains would know right away what this is, Corporal.”
Jared’s eyes widened and all color drained from his cheeks. “And wha—what is that?”
Michael eased even closer, placing his mouth millimeters from Jared’s ear. “Two grown-ass men having a smoke.” Michael gave the wall a quick pound and pushed open the stall door.
Halfway across the room, he heard Jared exclaim, “Shit!”
Michael smiled, knowing full well that just because Jared Prophet may have swung his bat on the down-low, didn’t mean he and Michael weren’t playing for the same team. Sweet.

Well, there you have it. Another peek into the strange and sometimes twisted mind of a romance author. 
What I've learned over the last couple of years is that although there is no sure fire method to my madness, the final product is what counts, the journey just makes the story all the sweeter. 
If you don't believe me, just check out some of my already published works. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts of how you think they turned out.
You can download them by clicking their links on the sidebars. I may not have been the cover artist for those titles, but my publisher certainly did a great job translating the way I pictured them in my head. 

**NOTE** To anyone who wants to leave a comment: I am having serious issues with blogger, so although you can leave a comment, I unfortunately cannot reply. 
Sad, but true!!
I am reading them though, and appreciate you taking the time share your thoughts and opinions. 

1 comment:

  1. That's cool that you make the covers early as inspiration. I'd love to do that if I had any knowledge of photoshop.