I am thrilled to have Laura Lee Guhrke as today’s Behind the Book guest blogger. Many of her books grace my keeper shelf and her latest <—- is sitting on my bedside taunting me. (I’m saving until after things slow down a bit at work and I can truly savour the special treat of this story).Â If you haven’t checked out Laura’s books, there’s not time like the present! So, without further ado, here’s Laura’s story behind the story:
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Hi, Chicas! Today, I’m going to talk about the question everybody asks writers, the question we writers always dread answering: Where do you get your ideas?
Every writer I know gets asked this question, including me. And whenever I’m asked, I always respond the same way. I first offer the blank stare, then the mumbled reply, I…umm…I don’t um really know. My ideas just sort of…well…come to me. Now, you would think after writing fifteen books, I’d have a better answer to offer, but the truth is that my book ideas come to me from everywhere. And from nowhere. Once in a while, I have a flash of insight and get a book idea which I know at the time really is a book idea. HIS EVERY KISS was one of those. I was in the tire store, watching an interview with William Shatner, and voila! Yes, I hear what you’re saying. You’re saying, William Shatner? Seriously”
But I digress. My point is, most of my ideas do not come flying in with that sort of fanfare and hit me over the head. Usually, they drift in along with the other flotsam that passes through my mind in any given day. I’ve really got to take the dog to the groomer…Gosh, I should write a childhood friends story one of these days…Crap, I’m out of coffee again?… What day is it, Tuesday or Wednesday? Wait, did I just get a book idea for childhood friends maybe I imagined it. I don’t think this is how readers think we writers are supposed to do these things. We are supposed to see our stories as a whole, to think things out before we write, to…to, well, plot, and stuff (my editor thinks I should get my ideas, like, several months before the book is actually due, and plot a series out in advance, but when she suggests this sort of thing, I look over my shoulder to see what author she is talking to). Plot a whole series?
Please, people, I’m lucky if I remember what day it is. So, now that I’ve confessed that I am idea challenged and totally plot-handicapped, let me tell you how I came up with SECRET DESIRES OF A GENTLEMAN, the third book in my Girl-Bachelor Chronicles. The idea…umm…just came to me. I was doing research. Ok, I was eating a brownie. No, seriously, brownies are a great source of inspiration. I was eating a brownie, and I thought I’d like to write a story about a boy and a girl who start out as childhood friends, eating brownies together, and then real life gets in their way and tears them apart. And when they are all grown up, he sees her again and he wants her so bad, but he knows he can never have her because sheâ€™s from the Wrong Sort of People. Did I mention the book has brownies in it? I know, I know, the English donâ€™t have brownies, but hey, it’s my book, and my heroine owns a bakery, so I had her sort of invent the chocolate brownie. I decided to have her own a bakery because I’d just seen the Duchess of Duke Street on PBS, and l was a caterer once, and it all just sort of came together in my head while I was eating a brownie.
If all this sounds awfully haphazard to you, don’t feel bad. It frightens my editor when I talk about my creative process. My favorite words to her are, “Just trust me on this.” I guess she does, because she keeps buying my books. I hope you’ll look for SECRET DESIRES OF A GENTLEMAN, which hits stores this week, and whenever you eat brownies, remember it was my heroine who invented them. At least in Romanceland.
Secret Desires of a Gentleman- read an excerpt here.
Available at Amazon.