Friday, May 20, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Karen Witemeyer

Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?


One of the most common questions readers ask authors is, "Where do you get your ideas?" As a creative person, I long to say that my ideas sprout naturally from the fertile soil of my imagination. But alas, I cannot make that claim with a clean conscience. So I'm going to share with you the deep dark secret hiding in my authorial closet . . .

I get my inspiration from other writers. Gasp!

I know, I know. I've completely disillusioned you, haven't I? Well, do not fear. I'm sure there are many successful authors out there who are creative geniuses, who produce unique plots and original characters with a simple flip of a neural switch in their mind. You may admire them all you like. But, me? Well, I'm like one of those chemical reactions you studied back in high school that needs a catalyst to get things started.

Now, I'm not talking about plagiarism or stealing someone's idea. Those are crimes deserving of flogging to my way of thinking. What I'm talking about is the spark that ignites when you read a passage or watch a scene in a movie that sets the creative fires burning in new and exciting directions.

For example, in my current work in progress, tentatively titled Short-Straw Bride, my inspiration came from the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. My story has four brothers instead of seven, and the men don't sing and dance while they do their chores. However the spark came when I thought about this movie and then asked, what if? What if instead of having the heroine agree to a marriage of convenience at the beginning of the story, the brothers drew straws to see who would marry her when a good deed goes awry? And what if instead of all the brothers being named in alphabetical order after Bible characters, my four brothers were named for heroes from the Alamo? The what if game continued until I ended up with a story that in no way resembled the musical. Yet if you look carefully, you can find a few similarities left over from the catalyst that started the creativity reaction in the first place.

My first book, A Tailor-Made Bride, which is up for a RITA award, has a heroine who was inspired by one of Deeanne Gist's characters and contains a subplot inspired by reality television. After reading Deep in the Heart of Trouble where Dee had a bicycle-riding heroine, I got the idea of having a heroine who was a 19th century fitness maven and seamstress who worked her "extreme makeover" magic on the hero's sister. The spark for Head in the Clouds was the classic novel, Jane Eyre. And in my latest release, To Win Her Heart, my catalyst was . . . drum roll please . . .the Bible.

OK, not the entire Bible, just a little piece from Luke 15. You've already recognized it, haven't you? Yep, the parable of the Prodigal Son. And I know what you're thinking. Lots of stories have used this parable as a foundation for a spiritual thread or character arc, so how in the world could this catalyst end up making anything original? The trick is in the what if. What if instead of ending my story with the hero repenting and returning to God, I started it there?

Have you ever wished there was an epilogue to this famous parable? I have. I wanted to know what life was like for the young man after the fatted calf was consumed and the party was over. How did he relate to his bitter older brother or the servants and townspeople who were only too aware of his past arrogance and wild living? I decided to explore these questions in a new setting—1880s Texas.

First, I needed a prodigal. Enter my hero, Levi Grant. Raised by godly parents, he turns his back on his faith and the blacksmithing trade of his father to prove his manhood and earn easy money through the wild life of a bare-knuckle brawler. Until the day something goes terribly wrong and he ends up in Huntsville state prison serving a two-year sentence. Through the traumatic abuse he suffers in the labor camps combined with the compassion he receives from the prison chaplain, Levi repents and rededicates his life to the Lord.

Our heroine, Eden Spencer, fulfills the role of the parable's older brother character. She has been disappointed by men in the past and has little tolerance of those who don't meet her high standards. She cannot abide violence of any kind and believes that elevating young minds through education and exposure to literature will help create a more civilized society. To this purpose, she opens a lending library in her home.

In an effort to make a clean start, Levi hides his past and Eden believes she has finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, our tarnished hero must fight to win back the librarian's affections.

So for those of you who have pulled your hair out in frustration when editors say they want something fresh and original while in the same breath insisting they need something that fits their established line, perhaps my strategy will keep you from going bald. Take a piece from something proven to be successful, then turn it on its head and stir it around until you have something completely new.

Oh, and speaking of trying something new, I'm test driving a new marketing endeavor that you might be interested in. I'm hosting a fan fiction contest, inviting any interested readers and writers to pen an epilogue for two of my secondary characters in To Win Her Heart. The contest runs through June 30th, and the winner will receive a $40 Amazon gift card, her epilogue published on my website, and an autographed copy of any one of my three books. I'd love to have you enter. You can find the guidelines here: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/contest.php

Have you ever needed a catalyst to spark your creativity? What did you find most inspiring? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of To Win Her Heart.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. Her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, is a finalist in the Best First Book categories for both the prestigious RITA® award and the National Reader's Choice Award. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three kids who are a constant source of inspiration.

67 comments :

  1. Short-Straw Bride sounds sooooo cute. When can I read it? Hahaha. I love where you get your ideas. I must say that if I ever were to take pen to paper it would probably be because I was inspired by a book or movie since I always like to think up what happens after "The End."

    Please don't enter me I've already read the amazing To Win Her Heart! :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this, and congrats!!

    From 5th generation Texan, now calling Tennessee home... :)

    May at maythek9spy dot com

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  3. "Seven Brides" is one of my all time favorite movies! Love the idea for Short-Straw Bride. The title has a very nice ring.

    Thanks for posting. A project I'm working on needs a little originality. It never occurred to me that unique ideas could be inspired by observing other stories, but it makes sense. Next time I read, watch, or hear another story, I'll ask myself "What if?" :)

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  4. Glad you found a system that works for you Karen!
    Since I write historical fiction, I can usually get going on the littlest tidbit of history.

    TGIF everyone :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  6. If you don't win To Win her Heart, buy it.

    That's all I have to say about that.

    PS Bless your beautiful hides, wherever you may be! :)

    Gotta get back to my edits!

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  7. Short straw bride! Love it!

    I started To Win Her Heart today! My sister brought over books. Tailor Made Bride and Head in the Clouds were also in that stack.

    Loving TWHH already!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

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  8. That's a great technique, Karen. How can we help but being inspired by a great story. I love to turn it on its tails and come up with a new slant. Even gleaning a nugget from a good plot can help prompt new ideas. Have fun with your fan fiction contest!
    Looking forward to reading Short-Straw Bride - just the title gets me interested!

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  9. I'm new to the writing community and had secretly wondered if this was how everyone else came up with their stories. I considered up there with the forbidden questions like "How old are you?" or "When is your baby due?"

    The story of Joseph was my inspiration for Chasing the Lion, remixed with elements of Cinderella and Spartacus. So I hear you loud on clear on the end result being original but at the same time too, having a familiar frame.

    I'm going to eagerly participate in your fan fiction contest, thank you so much for offering that.

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  10. Dont enter me I have this book in my order still slowly winging its way here (I know they say up to six weeks but cant they surprise me just once!)
    Karen love what you wrote and the new take on seven brides for seven brothers sounds cool (especially the alamo element) I also cant wait to read your last one too. The prodigal story sounds good to as there are so many stories that could follow. I have felt like the one who was home all the time when it comes to my brother. I was the one left to look after mum carry the weight so to speak and he would come home and then be treated like the prodigal son with mum doing everything for him and then would complain about being so tired and then when she needed him to help do things he never did it all still fell to me. So I can understand the older brother how he could feel put out. there is also the other side when maybe the older brother gets over the feeling and loves having the brother back.

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  11. Karen,

    I was first introduced to your name when a Bethany House editor sat at my table at ACFW in Indy last year and was singing your praises. :)

    The way you develop a story line is very interesting. I know some writers won't read in their genre while working on their books. What about you?

    I find just reading other authors' scenes and plot development gives me ideas.

    Would you mind giving us thumbnail sketch of your writing journey? How did you start writing, develop the craft, and how long before you got "the call?"

    Thanks and I'd love to win the book.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

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  12. We really need to start a Seven Brides fan club where we can bless each other's beautiful hides.

    I love your mix of sources for ideas and I'd like to be in the drawing, Karen. Congratulations on all the success with this series-- word of mouth advertising says it's a winner.
    Debraemarvin (at) yahoooooo

    Thanks Mary.
    I don't care for the cold of winter but I do miss the writing and browsing time it affords. I miss Seekerville-time in my mornings

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  13. Welcome to Seekerville, Karen! Congratulations on A Tailor-Made Bride's double Rita final!! I have the book on my TBR stack. I'm way behind with my reading, but after your post, I'm intrigued and want to read all of your books.

    Thanks for sharing where you get your inspiration and your "what if" process as you twist the plot to make it your own. Fun to crawl into your mind. :-)

    I brought bagels and cream cheese from Panera this morning, expecting coffee. Ah, Helen, where are you? :-) Never fear, Seekerville! The coffee's on.

    Janet

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  14. Karen,

    Thanks for sharing where your inspiration comes from for all your wonderful stories. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one whose ideas aren't delivered in a blinding light from Heaven. :o) I, too, find inspiration from other stories, both fiction and non-fiction, and even a line from a song.

    Short-Straw Bride sounds wonderful! And I can see I'm not alone in my love for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing. To Win Her Heart is waiting on my Kindle.

    --Kirsten

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  15. Hi Karen,

    I love your idea for an "epilogue" of the Prodigal Son parable! I've always felt that there are a limited number of stories in the world, but an infinite number of ways to tell them.

    I like to get my ideas from genealogy - Ancestry.com is one of my favorite sources, along with copies of old family pictures.

    And on a personal note - one of the many places we've lived in the last 30 years was Abilene, TX! Loved the people, the history, the scenery...hated the hot summers! Our third child was born there!

    Please enter me for the drawing!

    jandrex(at)juno(dot)com

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  16. Karen, WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, and I gotta tell ya, I was GLUED to this post because it is SO true and SO fun to read how another author gets her "inspiration"!! I LOVE how your mind thinks, girl, AND I LOVE Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. :)

    For my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure, I was kind of young and naive when I started it (age 12 after reading Gone With the Wind), so I shot for the moon and drew my inspiration from Margaret Mitchell's classic. I knew I wanted an Irish family during a war, but didn't have the audacity to attempt the Civil War after Margaret upped the stakes, so I settled for WWI. I also liked the idea of a love triangle between a good and bad girl and a bad boy ... thus the seeds of my first novel took root, and as you know all too well -- the fertile mind is off and running ...

    SUCH a great blog today, and Short-Straw Bride sounds WONDERFUL and a definite TBR must. Thanks for making our Friday here in Seekerville so fun, Karen!

    Happy weekend, all!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  17. Loved, loved, loved Tailor Made Bride but really fell in love with To Win Her Heart. No need to put me in the drawing.

    A big Seven Brides fan myself so count me in the club. I can watch that dance scene at the barn raising a gazillion times in a row!

    Peace, Julie

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  18. Karen, thanks so much for being with us today. I loved this post! Now I'm inspired to go brainstorm some new ideas!!! :)

    Your story sounds amazing. I'm heading to buy it now.

    BTW, I love the contest idea! You'll have to let us know how it turns out.

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  19. One of the standard questions to an author is 'where do you get your ideas.'
    Rather than roll your eyes and think, 'Such a cliche question' I advise you to have an answer ready.
    I mean c'mon, you had to get your ideas from SOMEWHERE. and it's a fun topic.

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  20. Hi, Karen! Congrats on the Rita and the NRCA finals! Your books sound really fun and intriguing!

    Ideas come from all over the place. You start out with an idea, then you ask the What if questions, get ideas from other places, and before you know it, you hardly know where the story came from! That's how it is with me. I got the idea for The Healer's Apprentice from watching Sleeping Beauty with my daughters. And my second book, The Merchant's Daughter, came from Beauty and the Beast but some reviewers have said they didn't even recognize The Healer's Apprentice as a Sleeping Beauty story! And they may say the same thing about The Merchant's Daughter, but I like getting inspiration from fairy tales. And I've noticed a lot of movies lately are fairy tale retellings.

    I am thinking about writing a Regency, inspired by Jane Austen's books. A lot of people seem to be inspired by Jane Austen! There may not be any original ideas, but each writer brings his or her own spin to things, which keeps us all reading! And writing!

    Glad to see you here, Karen!

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  21. I'm trying to think what the spark was for my ideas.
    Montana Rose is easy....Love Comes Softly. Wrangler in Petticoats came from a conversation I had with an old friend who is now an artist. Listening to her talk about painting is really fascinating. She uses odd language and talks about visual things in a particularly passionate way.
    A lot of Sharpshooter in Petticoats comes from Louis L'Amour and his feud between the Sacketts and .... I can't remember the other family. Culpeppers maybe?

    Deep Trouble, some of it is inspired by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...the search and obsession with the Holy Grail.

    The book coming in August, Out of Control was inspired by a long ago visit to Carlsbad Cavern. What a spooky, dangerous, beautiful place.

    I got a really cool idea from an email that went through the ACFW loop the other day. I probably won't ever write it though.

    And I got a REALLY cool idea from an online chat I did for the ACFW Book club. Murder mystery. I'd love it if that ever panned out, but how do I include a chat room in a historical western, huh?

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  22. I've said before, I've got lots of ideas, from all sorts of places... The Bible, my husband's sermons, Johnny Cash.

    My problem is getting my bottom in the chair long enough to get any of them on paper, or at least on the computer.

    As a reader, I love hearing where story ideas start. As a writer, I get a kick out of telling people where I get mine. I'm with Mary, have a ready answer because people have a lot of fun with this topic.

    I've wanted to read Tailor Made Bride since I read about it on Melissa Jagears' blog. Now she's recommending To Win Her Heart. When she say's "buy it," that's high praise indeed (she's very thrifty). But I haven't bought either of them yet. You can bet I will if I don't win it.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

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  23. Hey Karen,

    Wonderful post! I get my ideas from tidbits of things put together.

    One was from a newspaper article about a whole family that was murdered, all except for one little girl. And I thought what would her life be like if she found out about this tragedy when she was grown up?

    The 'what if' game works really well!

    Don't enter me for the contest, because I broke down and ordered your two books the other day. (Already have Tailor-Made Bride which I LOVED!)

    Keep those great ideas coming! And best of luck in the Rita!

    Cheers,
    Sue

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  24. Andrea - get your butt in that chair young lady!

    Er, right ;).

    I'm gonna come sit and stare at you and make you write if you're not careful. Next time hubby goes fishing, we'll make my hubby watch your kiddo with my kiddos and hit Panera together =D.

    Plan?

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  25. I love this cover, Karen! Tailor Made Bride was also one of my favorite all time book covers, with his toe on the hem of her dress.

    You have fabulous story ideas!

    Thanks for visiting us today.
    Cheryl

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  26. Karen,

    Welcome. I would like to think my stories come from my imagination as well. And at times they may. But I find inspiration in many places too.

    I suppose it could be said that the biggest catalyst for any story is merely a writer asking what if and why not?

    Thanks for sharing

    Tina
    tpins313(at)gmail.com

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  27. I'm sorry to be arriving so late to the party. My son was getting an award at his elementary school, so I had to do the proud mama thing.

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments. You gals are the best. And hooray for all the Seven Brides fans! I always loved the Sobbin Women song right before the gang goes out to kidnap their brides. Poor Millie had no idea what her book reading would inspire in those fertile male minds.

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  28. Eva - History is a wonderful source of inspiration, too. You are so right. In fact, I came acros a wonderful tidbit about the Texas State Capitol building burning down and being rebuilt that became a key piece to my setting and plot in To Win Her Heart.

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  29. Nancy - So glad to get a taker in my fan fiction contest! I can't wait to see what you come up with.

    Cathy - What a fun ACFW connection! I definitely read in my genre. In fact I hardly read anything else. Of course, I was a historical romance addict before I started writing, so it's always been my genre of choice. I do read both Christian and general market books, so I work in a little variety that way. I believe that reading in your genre is the best way to learn your market.

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  30. Janet - Thanks for bringing the bagels. Hope I'm not to late to get one. You Seekerville gals are always such wonderful hostesses.

    Mary - Thanks for the invite today. And you're right. It's so much more fun to have a quirky answer ready for those "where do you get your ideas" questions that just giving a big sigh and quietly swallowing a moan. I loved getting a peek into some of your inspirations. Thanks for sharing.

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  31. Jan - How fun to chat with someone who knows Abilene. Yay! My husband and I both work for ACU (we are alumni, too). And what a great idea about using old pictures and geneological records for inspiration!

    Julie - Thanks so much for having me here today. I love that your first novel was inspired by Gone With The Wind. What a romance classic.

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  32. Melanie - I love using fairy tales as inspiration. Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite, and you'll probably find hints of it in every book of mine. It's definitely in Tailor-Made Bride and To Win Her Heart. Head in the Clouds is a little more Cinderella-ish.

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  33. Karen, are you going to RWA? I'm nominated for a Rita too.
    I'm going. I've NEVER gone before. But Tina and Missy and Janet and Cara? you're going right?
    And we're still working on Pammy. She's nominated for a Golden Heart.
    And Ruthy WAS going but last I heard she's chickened out.
    So, if you're not going, you want me to accept when you win the Rita? I'll warn you now, that I'm going to only talk about MY BOOK!!!

    And I'll include that Karen wanted to thank Mary Connealy for making it all possible.

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  34. Mary, you are too funny! Davie Long volunteered to accept for me, but you have my permission to tackle him on the way up the stairs and give your version of my speech. People would be sure to remember us that way. Win - Win.

    I wish I could go to RWA. I attended last year for the first time and really enjoyed it. It's very different from ACFW, but they give away a ton of free books, and my cheap soul loves that. LOL. The timing and expense of going to New York are working against me this time.

    I'll be watching the tabloids for your editor-tackling shenanigans.

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  35. KAREN!!!!!

    So nice to see you in Seekerville! I have to say that you totally relieved my mind about getting ideas from other writers. Whew! What a relief to know that such an awesome writer is in the same boat as me. :D Not that my level of writing compares to yours, but I too get sparks from reading what others write. And it works tremendously well for you, so don't stop what you're doing.

    I'm still brainstorming on the epilogue thing. I'm not a historical writer, so I'm not sure I could do it justice. Especially considering the Irish involved. :D I'll keep thinking about it, though.

    Please include me in the drawing. I'd LOVE an autographed copy! :D

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  36. C'mon, Lynnette. Give the fan fiction contest a try. Don't worry about Duncan's brogue. I'm more interested in how you bring he and Chloe together.

    I'll let you in on a little secret...as of today, I have only received one entry, so your chances of winning are huge!

    Might as well throw your hat into the ring.

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  37. I have an entry in my inbox waiting to be critiqued. Am waiting till my first draft is written before I do though ;). I think it's such a fun idea!!

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  38. ROFL!!! Karen! NOW you'll get all kinds of entry just because you challenged me and I won't stand a chance. :D Okay. I'll give it a try. ;-)

    ~Linnette

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  39. And if you want to know MORE about Melanie's inspiration, GO READ MY BLOG interview with her! ;-)

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  40. Missy, ALL Karen's stories are amazing! I'm telling you! I don't know how she does it. She's a fresh, uncliched writer! Anybody who knows anything about my writer's reviews and star rating knows I'm a tough critique! :D

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  41. Yay, Lynnette! I'll be looking for your entry. (Ha. No pressure!)

    And Carol - I'm so excited about seeing what you've put together. So fun!

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  42. i love your novels, karen :)
    thanks for the chance to read your latest!

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  43. I just finished "To Win Her Heart" and loved it!

    I can't wait for "Short-straw Bride" sounds great! I really like "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," so I'm really excited!

    Please don't enter me, I'm already a winner.

    Great post Karen!

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  44. Davie Long? We're supposed to call him Davie?

    Okay

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  45. Karen~ I just picked up A Tailor-Made Bride on Amazon the other day and read it in about 24 hours! It was great! For me, the initial ideas for a story spark from almost everything around me...documentaries, movies, people-watching...it's the following through with all of the details (and research) that's hard for me. I was watching PBS last night and was so inspired by the story of the Freedom Riders. I thought, wouldn't it be neat to write a story about two people meeting on a bus during that time? Anyway :), I'd LOVE to try and win a copy of your book!! Blessings, Stacey
    travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  46. Davie? Oh, no. The dreaded typo has struck again. I can just picture you sitting across the table from DAVE at the RITA awards and calling him Davie. Then I'd get blamed for starting the nickname rumor, and he'd be so fed up that he'd refuse to give my acceptance speech, so instead of tackling him, you'd just saunter up those steps as pretty as you please to thank yourself on my behalf. That'd be too tame for the tabloids, Mary. I want the tackling!

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  47. Someone else at RWA PLEASE take pics of Mary tacking 'Davie'! Video would be better!

    Karen - I'm a bit intimidated by the brogue as well. But once I finish [a bit over halfway through now - I know who Chloe is ;)], I'll see what I can figure out.

    I know you've got at least one more entry in the wings [unless she entered it already and didn't mention it or I missed it], but I didn't want to CP it before getting my rough draft down - I know me - I'd either give up completely b/c I know how good she is or get fixated on what she'd done and not be able to come up with an idea of my own.

    Hmm....

    So a few weeks ago, Peg Brantley was doing a contest on her blog. I had to write an entry following certain guidelines. In trying to come up with a story, I did what you do. A friend wrote about a castle. I didn't have a castle, I had a princess. Etc. Several people encouraged me to turn it into a full length deal. Then it would have a castle ;).

    So I guess at least sometimes I use sort of the same process? Makes me feel legit =D.

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  48. Thanks for sharing, Karen! What a great technique you have for creating ideas--and your stories sound fascinating. (Especially SHORT-STRAW BRIDE - - and I LOVE that title!). ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

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  49. I would love to be entered for this book.....I read Head in the Clouds and loved it!! Thanks.

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  50. Karen,

    Your story sounds delightful, and so is the cover!

    Love your enthusiasm too. And your marketing contest. All so, so good.

    Glad you're with us in Seekerville today.

    I get ideas from TV news and the newspaper. Lots of crime that fits into suspense stories.

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  51. Bob Meyer, who co-wrote with Jennifer Crusie, says don't re-invent the wheel. He suggests that if a story has been written about a topic you're adding to your book, then read the published story and see how that author developed the plot. Not to use the author's words or voice, but to learn what worked.

    Haven't done it yet, but his point is well taken.

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  52. Debby & Karen, I'm laughing at how extremely effective the contest as a marketing tool is. I had no idea, until I realized that I already went on my lunch break today to the B&N to buy it so I could participate in the contest.

    I will file that away for future reference lol. I'm looking forward to a good read and submitting an entry.

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  53. Nancy and Karen,
    Same kind of thing. I bought it from Amazon same day I found out about the contest. :D It helped that I KNEW I'd love the book!

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  54. This may sound strange, but I once heard that the parable of the about to be fired servant is the sequel to the Prodigal Son. Don't know if that's true, but I thought it interesting.

    wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  55. Karen- I read A Tailor-Made Bride and loved it! It was a great story. I would love to read your next one so enter me for the drawing...pick me, pick me. LOL

    Sometimes I get my inspiration from other writers, but other things have inspired me too. Once I plotted and wrote a synopsis based on a billboard I read while my husband drove. I haven't gotten to write that story yet, but I have the idea tucked away to use later.

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  56. I love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!!!

    Great ideas here Karen!!

    Thank you for being our guest today!!!

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  57. I have Tailor Made Bride on my Kindle and am very much looking forward to reading it on the way to NY next week.

    And I look forward to stopping by your table at the RWA Literacy and saying hello!!

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  58. Short-Straw Bride sounds like a blast. It’ll be on my “to read” list. I LOVE Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I thought it was common knowledge that authors got their inspiration from other books and movies/tv shows. Sure, some tidbits come from the newspaper, conversations overheard, our friends, but I don’t think they influence us in the same way.

    Please enter for a chance to win your book.

    road_to_avonlea_17(at)yahoo(dot)com

    -Whitney

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  59. Please enter ME, that is. ;)

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  60. Eavesdropping..big one, I agree, Whitney. LOL. No one is safe!!!

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  61. Loved hearing how you get your ideas, Karen!

    I wonder if writers are the only ones who play what if when they hear, feel, see, smell, or even TASTE something!!! lol

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  62. Karen has the most beautiful covers to go with her awesome books!

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  63. I'm not going to RWA.

    There.

    I've said it publicly, so it must be so.

    WaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyYY!!!

    Sniff, sniff.

    I'm okay now.

    I can't go because my BOOK releases JULY 1ST, the same day of the RITA and Golden Heart awards.

    Isn't that kinda cool?

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  64. It's very cool Pam. I'm so thrilled for you =)

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  65. Awesome post! I think it's awesome where you get your ideas. My current WIP is a female version of the Prodigal Son story. But the funny part is I didn't realize it until I read your post. Thank you for enlightening me! :)

    I would love to be entered to win a copy of To Win Her Heart. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  66. I find the people around me to be most inspiring. They give me so much inspiration and influence most of what I do. Thank you for the opportunity to win your book.

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