I’m always asked where I find my book ideas. This picture by Jon V Jones was the inspiration for my popular Maiden series so I thought this would be a great place to start. I don’t even remember WHERE I first saw this picture. It was back in early 2004, so it might have even been in a local gallery.
I fell in love with the picture and stood looking at it for quite a while. My mind immediately started playing “What if?” You know…that game we all played when we were little and got in trouble for when we got caught playing it in class and not playing attention?
Or maybe that was just me.
I think the part that fascinated me the most was how the stone was slowly flowing up her body as if she WAS turning to stone.
POOF! My gargoyle warriors were born. Some more “what if” time and it became Stone Maiden, the first book in my Maiden series, about 900 year old female gargoyle warriors who can turn to stone to fight and heal. God created them during the crusades to protect those being downtrodden in God’s name. To date, that is my most popular and asked about series.
Unfortunately, the publisher I started it with, imploded, and my series was orphaned after the second book, Fire Maiden, but I do still plan to write Ice Maiden and Chaos Maiden! So stay tuned!
For my Sisters of Darkness series, my husband and I were watching the History Channel. I don’t even remember the subject of the show, but they said that Lilith, the Demon who in Jewish Folklore was considered Adam’s first wife, made from the same dust of the earth he was. There are other folklore stories saying that she was the one who convinced Eve to eat the apple and then offer it to Adam in the Garden of Eden. For that treachery, that folklore considers her the first succubus.
That was about the same time I was trying to come up with a new series idea for my agent to shop around. So that little snippet fell on fertile ground…aka, my overactive imagination!
I started thinking what pressure that would be to be Lilith. Yes, per the story she convinced Eve to take the apple, but she didn’t MAKE her take it. And she didn’t MAKE Adam eat it, either. Humans were given free will. But Lilith ended up taking all the blame? Sounded like a bum rap to me!
So I started thinking about what a succubus would really do after that black mark on her resume…so to speak. For that matter, if they are immortal like many demons are thought to be, then what would they do with themselves as the world started to become more modernized.
What career path could you really go for when your only skills were temptation and killing men with too much sex? My snarky side first thought, “Lobbyist?” But that wasn’t really helping me with my new series idea. So I figured, if I were in that situation, with those jobs skills….I would probably go find a job at a high priced legal brothel. But then I needed some conflict for my book, so I started thinking that after living that long, they had probably pissed some other beings off. Thus, the Sisters of Darkness were born. The series is about 4 Succubus sisters in Hell’s version of the Witness Relocation Program.
For my Seduction Series, I had never written erotic before, and my friend and fellow critique partner, Brit Blaise, suggested I try my hand at one. My first thought was, what world can I build where it will be easy for my heroine to need lots of sex? After all, I like story with my sex in books, so it HAD to be integral to the story and make sense for my characters to need lots and lots of sex…LOL!
My son came home from school and said they were reading a book in class about how certain words became almost taboo in a culture. I don’t even remember what book they were reading now, but it ignited my imagination. I thought about the words I had issues with – which weren’t many. But I did find one that had always bothered me. In fact I saved that “C” word for the truly evil of the evil.
So, being my smart ass self, I decided to create a race of otherworldly witches whose life force is sexual energy. (Gives them a great reason to have LOTS of sex!). They started as one race on their home planet – they were called the Klatch. One faction called, yep – you guessed it…. the C%@*$, tried to overthrow the King and Queen and when they lost, they were banished to earth. On earth the name of their race became synonymous with evil and betrayer…
I wrote the first three chapters and sent them off to Audrey LaFehr at Kensington. It’s a long story, but she bought a 3-book series off of that 3 chapter partial. She never blinked at my use of that word. I also used that offer to get my agent, Paige Wheeler, who also never blinked at that word.
I kept expecting somewhere along the way for someone to tell me I had to change it. But nope…
In fact, Ceremony of Seduction is in its 2nd printing!! It is my best selling series under either pen name. I think that’s my most outlandish book idea story! And even better, it’s true!
Sleeping With Shadows came about because I was contacted by my first love who had found me on Classmates.com. He was older than me and in the Navy. My grandfather (a Navy SeaBee) had gotten his word that he wouldn’t do anything “dishonorable” with his granddaughter. They shook, and that was it. Anyway, I was too young and the intensity of emotion was too much for me to handle, and I broke up with him. But for a while there, I thought I had found the man I was going to marry. And many times after that as I grew up, got married, had my son, divorced, remarried etc, I thought about him and wondered what he was doing.
When we got back in contact we had a lot of catching up to do. We were both happy with our lives, but were grateful to have found each other again. In fact, he’s one of my oldest friends (no, smartasses – not in age!!) But once we were in touch again we kept in touch, emailing when our kids made some new milestone or we had fun things going on in our lives. My husband never minded me staying in contact, and in fact, when I was in the hospital for all that time just after my brain blowout, he called Phillip to let him know what had happened and so he could talk to me.
But during all those walks down memory lane, he and I did have quite a few discussions about “What if things had gone differently.” Neither of us would want to give up the happy lives we have today, but it was firmly planted in my imagination. Sleeping With Shadows came out of all of that, but, I, of course, had to add a paranormal twist and a bad guy! This book contains some true stories out of my past as well as a whole lot of imagination. It became a reincarnation with a twist story, and yes, I did send him a copy of it when I was done and he said he really enjoyed it 🙂
After my brain blowout in 2010, I was trying to get back into writing, and my wonderful agent, Paige Wheeler, found an opportunity for me to try to break back in. Kensington (who had bought my Seduction series) was looking for authors to be in a futuristic erotic anthology. They had a big name author as an anchor for the anthology, but they were looking for others to fill out the rest. Paige asked if was interested, and I jumped at the chance. I had never written futuristic, but I had read a lot of it and knew my critique group would help me brainstorm something.
My friend a critique partner, Kayla Janz, suggested a space pirate, and that got the imagination firing. But I like to turn things on their head, so rather than having the normal male space pirate, My heroine became the infamous space pirate, Red Death. She spacejacks our hero and takes HIM as her sex slave!!
There’s more to it than that, since she also drags him into a war between two worlds and much more, but that was the main idea. One of my favorite characters to write in that book has both been raved about and panned by different readers and reviewers. The idea came from my friend and critique partner, Brit Blaise. I had Dani (aka Red Death) using a sex toy in one of the early scenes. When Brit critiqued it, she pointed out (rightly so) that in the future, there probably wouldn’t be VIBRATORS….so, the Pleasure Probe was born. And my heroine regretted buying the talking model!!
Needless to say, this thing can also fly, and enjoys taunting all the male characters–especially our sexy hero, to prove they can offer Dani better “equipment” than the probe can…LOL.
I have several other books published and each of those have their own spark of an idea. All book ideas come from somewhere! I have a growing file of book ideas, and I would have to live to be 250 to write all of THOSE!
How about you? Any of you have great book idea stories?