Every writer gets inspiration from somewhere, a muse that shouts (or whispers) in their ear, asking for a book. Often, I find mine in songs or from a phrase in a conversation.
I wrote the paranormal, erotic romance, The Man of Her Dreams (soon-to-be republished), based on a song I heard while out driving. The song was Wish You Were Here. It was about a man who had gone away for business and sent his wife a postcard talking about how beautiful the place was. He ended with “Wish you were here!” He died on the way home, and she received the card after his death. In The Man of Her Dreams, the heroine receives a strange card from her husband and then he dies on the way home. Her card ends in mystery and intrigue. I am enjoying re-reading this book as I update it for a publication this summer!
As Anne Krist, I wrote Burning Bridges based on a news report of a mailman who wanted to take the afternoon off, so he went home, shoved his mailbag in the shed in his backyard, and left it there. Decades later, his family was cleaning out the shed and returned the bags to the post office, who then attempted to deliver the mail. In Burning Bridges, I had three lost letters delivered to the heroine, Sara Richards. The letters were from a sailor who had left for the Vietnam War after declaring his love…and she never heard from him again. Until that day. Trouble is, the letters were numbered, and the three she receives were not the first he wrote. What happened to the others? That’s a question that reveals years of lies and betrayal, that Sara has to find a way through.
Another book inspired by a song (Hey, Cinderella by Suzy Bogguss) and also a sociological theory put forth in the 1970s, is the erotic romance, The Cinderella Curse (also soon-to-be republished). I was inspired to write about a woman named Charlotte, searching for her Prince Charming, wanting it all, and not knowing how to get there. Her fairy godfather is one of my favorite heroes, a magazine photographer. With a camera instead of a wand, Cooper accepts the challenge of making Charlotte over for a magazine piece. He also agrees—reluctantly to teach her about how to catch the attention of the man Charlotte believes is her prince, the owner of the magazine where she and Cooper work. It’s a story of learning what makes a prince. It’s a story all women have wondered about, and I love it!
Finally, this is the hardest book to explain. I was inspired by a comment about nuns and how they aren’t like they used to be. It reminded me of nuns of my childhood, imposing figures in black habits and veils, with a rosary always present in some way. They seemed so mysterious and special. I wanted to write a book about a nun who looked like the others but felt something missing in her life.
As Jenna Stewart, who writes shapeshifters and ménage, I created Seducing Their Nun—not the title I wanted, but I lost the discussion. I’m thinking of rewriting this book with the title I do want. Anyway, my heroine is a nun in the 1950s. She was raised in the convent and going in just seemed like a natural step. She didn’t know anything else. But then she does. Her mother dies and she returns to Oregon to find why she was sent to the convent, why she was so protected—even isolated. She falls in love—with two men. In my mind, it’s a lovely story, and the comments I’ve received reflect the same. It’s just the cover and title that I think keeps people afraid of reading it.
As you can see, for me inspiration comes from all sides. As writers, we just have to be open and receive it when it taps on our shoulders.
About Dee S. Knight
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.
After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website (www.nomadauthors.com). Fortunately, Dee’s high school sweetheart is the love of her life and husband to all three ladies! Once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity.