I remember stumbling on a link to Jon V Jones‘ website on My Space – yup – it was that long ago…LOL! My first book, Into a Dangerous Mind had just been published and my mind was wide open for new book ideas. And then I clicked on the link which would change my life! 🙂
This picture captured my imagination and this beautiful woman with large black wings who was slowly turning to stone became Ariel in Stone Maiden. I started thinking about women who turned to stone. What world would that be, why would this happen….and my writer brain kicked in from there.
From this picture came a race of female gargoyle warriors created by God during the Crusades to protect those who were being unjustly persecuted in Her name. Now it’s modern day and these 4 are the last gargoyles left of a large army. So what do 4 women who have fought and protected people for 900 years do in modern day Texas?? They hire themselves out as body guards!!
But when the Angel Gabriel asks them to protect a country music songwriter who is being targeted by all the local paranormal beasties they find themselves embroiled in prophesy and using their cunning and fighting skills once again. That simple spark of an idea from that beautiful picture became The Maiden Series. So I owe that series idea to Jon V Jones!
I was recently looking for the picture above – Coveted Dreams and couldn’t find it on his site since it’s an older one. I contacted him and asked him about it and he dug out the link and sent it to me. He’s a REALLY nice guy and I sent him Stone Maiden and Fire Maiden and when I eventually get to write Ice Maiden and Chaos Maiden I told him I’d send those too. And now I have a beautiful copy of Coveted Dreams to frame and hang up! 🙂 I’m mesmerized by his art and I’m sure there are more great book ideas lurking in there!!
For The Sister of Darkness Series I wrote for Berkley, that idea spark came from the history channel. I don’t remember the name of the show but it was talking about how they think Lilith was considered the original succubus. I had written succubus characters before in the Maiden Series and had a Succubus serial killer in Vortex Blues, so I was already sort of fascinated by that species. And really, let’s be honest, if you’re writing a paranormal erotic – what better character could you have than several succubus? Talk about motivation to have lots of sex – uh….you die if you don’t have it? Yup – great characters for an erotic. Throw in some Archangels some demons and the 3 horsemen of the apocalypse and you have a story about 4 Succubus in Hell’s Version of the Witness Relocation Program. Berkley only picked up the first two books, Seducing the Succubus and The Demon & The Succubus, but as I get time in between paying projects I’ll write the last two in this series too.
My Seduction Series started because I wanted to try my hand at writing erotic. Before that my work was purely sensual. My buddy and the lady who started my critique group, The Butterscotch Martini Girls, Brit Blaise was already writing erotics and doing quite well. Multi published and kick ass in her genre. So when I said I wanted to try it out she was more than happy to help me. So I searched for an idea that would give my characters plenty of motivation to have sex. After all, I like plot with my sex, not just mindless sex. If a hero and heroine are being chased by bad guys and stop to have sex, they deserve to die a horrible death. That makes them what we call TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) lol…
So after watching a show on the Salem Witch Trials, followed by Practical Magic, my twisted mind came up with a race of otherworldly witches whose life force is sexual energy. LOTS of motivation for my characters to have LOTS of sex!!
I wrote the first chapter and gave it to Brit Blaise to critique and her feedback was that I needed to have the heroine masturbate in that first chapter to get the story moving…LOL! I laughed at that but took her advice! And the first book in that series, Ceremony of Seduction went into a second printing and is my best selling book of all time. 🙂 So I owe my Cassie Ryan success to Brit Blaise!! Thanks, girl 🙂
Take It Off was actually written for an anthology with 3 other authors that never happened so it was published as a standalone book. At that time it was the hottest Tina Gerow book (it was pre-Cassie Ryan) It was just a fun idea that came to me after watching some episodes of Cat House on HBO 🙂
A woman and a man have a hot one night stand but feel a definite connection and promise to “call.” Her mother has a health emergency and calls her daughter back to run the family’s legal Nevada brothel while her mother recovers. He goes to a bachelor party at that same legal Nevada brothel and assumptions abound on both sides.:) That was VERY fun to write!
Vortex Blues was sparked by a simple weekend trip to Sedona. Sedona is known for its energy vortexes, which lends itself very well to paranormal. So add in a Succubus Serial killer a Cop who isn’t warm and fuzzy with “paranormals” and a sexy Succubus who has to help him track down the killer and you have a really fun story! 🙂
My latest Tina Gerow release, Sleeping With Shadows, was sparked when I was contacted out of the blue by my first boyfriend, Phillip. Oddly enough we met when I filled in for the Sun City orchestra pit for Guys & Dolls. Their clarinet player was out and they called my high school band director who suggested me to fill in. Phillip and I literally clicked at first sight. And believe it or not I was 14 and he was 19. He was in the Navy and my grandfather, who was a SeaBee in the Navy, got Phillip’s word of honor that he wouldn’t do anything he shouldn’t with me 🙂 And he didn’t. Although I did get my first kiss and some great memories from Phillip.
Life happened and after dating for a year or so I didn’t see him again until I was in college and 21. We clicked again with that strong connection snapping back into place, but I was already moving to Texas to be a band director and moving in with my first husband (well, he wasn’t my husband yet…) Although I admit I was extremely tempted to scrap those plans and explore things with Phillip. We had always had this unexplainable connection and I think it scared both of us a little. So once again we drifted apart. Then one day out of the blue I got an email from him. He had found me on Classmates. I was married to my current hubby, Jon, and back in Phoenix. He came to Arizona often to see his grandma and once again we both felt that electric connection but were both happily married to others, so nothing came of it but a renewed friendship. Anyway – that ignited my writer’s brain and it became Sleeping With Shadows, a reincarnation with a twist story. Which explores that intense connection and the idea of soul mates and finding them in our many lifetimes. I think that’s the best book I’ve ever written and is my only self published book.
There are more books and ideas, but you get the idea. Book idea sparks come from everywhere, and writer’s brain will have me writing until my last breath 🙂 Have I mentioned how much I love my job???