Wednesday, March 23, 2011

FINDING IDEAS

My guest today is romantic suspense author, Stacey Joy Netzel. She writes about rugged heroes, resilient heroines, and heartwarming romance. Her latest book is part of her Colorado Trust Series.

Her topic is something I think every reader has asked an author; where do you find your ideas? Stacey shares where she found ideas for several of her books.

This is an often-asked question of many writers, so I thought I’d share how some of my books came to be. Ideas can come from anywhere…a bad situation, a good day with family, and an overheard conversation at the next table while at the coffee shop. Writers are notorious for people watching and listening.

My Christmas novella, Dragonfly Dreams, was born after a conversation that I participated in at one of my parents’ rummage sales. A man told us about when he was a kid; he’d been paid for some yard work for an older woman with an old rifle of her late-husband’s. He in turn took the rifle to a pawnshop and was thrilled to get an awesome price. (I vaguely recall it being around $100-150). Not long after, he and his family read in the paper that the pawnshop owner had sold a mint-condition WWI rifle for over $200,000.00. I took the idea of the story, of how losing that much money could affect someone in a desperate situation, but changed the details by using an antique broach and then added different historical twist.

This next book came about a bit backwards. I heard the Milwaukee area country band Chasin’ Mason and thought it’d be a great title for a book. All I had to do is figure out who Mason was, and why was someone chasin’ him? I then dedicated the book to the band. Someday, I’ll even get a copy to them.

For another book, I drew upon personal experience. Almost fifteen years ago, on my first (and only) international trip, I was left on the side of the road in Italy by my traveling companions…my brother and sister. See, I was busy with my new video camera, and they were more concerned about getting to our hotel. They finally came back after more than twenty nerve-wracking minutes (remember-first time out of the USA and I didn’t speak Italian), and I had a story to tell for life. People still can’t believe they just drove off without me and it took them over ten minutes to realize I wasn’t in the back seat. You might think it was revenge for something I’d done when we were kids *grin*, but really, my sister was crying when they got back, because she was afraid they’d dragged me as I was trying to get into the car. Nope, I was still filming swans on the lake as they zoomed off into traffic. The book isn’t published yet, so I won’t go into detail except to say the heroine had a much more exciting adventure than me. She’s kidnapped by a movie star and her family is held for ransom by the real bad guys. Tentative title: Lost in Italy.

Trust in the Lawe is a sequel written to my very first romance, so nothing too exciting there other than wanting to stay connected to my ‘friends’, Joel and Britt. But the characters in the next book, Shattered Trust, were partly shaped by a work negotiation training that I participated in for my day job as a Travel Agent. I learned different power techniques during negotiations that can give people an edge, so I made sure that my heroine applied them when the hero unjustly fired her and then had to go back to apologize and offer her job back.

If Tombstones Could Talk, a paranormal novella, came about from me seeing a local event in the newspaper about a cemetery walking tour, and most recently, I heard about one of those strange laws in a local town that when you hear it you think, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!” It gave me an idea for the beginning of the story, and though I’m still working out the details, I plan to get writing soon!

Ideas abound in just about anything we see, do, hear, and even dream. This is a great thing; it means the well should never go dry. But on the other hand, sometimes I get so many ideas I don’t even bother writing them down because I know I’ll never have the time to write them all. The ones that really catch linger in my mind get written in a notebook. Someday I will get to them.

Question: If you're a writer, where do you get your ideas? Readers, have you ever had an idea you'd love to see written as a book or movie?

Stacy has to work today but she will be stopping by once she's finished.


Trust in The Lawe Blurb

Kendra Zelner has three brothers: Eight-year old Noah she's determined to protect, Joel who has no clue she exists, and Robert who wants her dead.

With reason to be distrustful of cops, she takes Noah and flees their Manhattan home for Joel's ranch in Colorado. Under the pretense of needing a job, she plans to hide out until her twenty-fifth birthday, when she'll inherit her trust fund and legally gain custody of Noah away from Robert's greedy hands. Unfortunately, her brother's sexy, infuriating ranch manager insists on demolishing her defenses and digging into her past.

Colton Lawe has good reason to suspect Joel's beautiful, long-lost sister isn't what she seems—the little liar stole from him! He silently vows to expose her secrets, but long hours together on the ranch fosters a closeness and fiery attraction neither of them expects. Can Kendra trust Colton with the full truth before Robert finds them? Excerpt and  Night Owl Top Pick Review.

Buy: Amazon. Barnes and Noble


Wisconsin native Stacey Joy Netzel fell in love with books at a young age, so for her it seemed only natural to graduate to writing them. A member of Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers (WisRWA), she credits her parents for encouraging her dreams of becoming a published author, as well as the very talented friends she’s made in WisRWA since joining in 2004. TRUST IN THE LAWE is the first release in her ColoradoTrust Series. Next up is Shattered Trust (print available now, ebook available Mar. 30th) and Shadowed Trust, release date TBA. She also has two e-book novellas available online: If Tombstones Could Talk and Dragonfly Dreams. Her three full-length books include: Welcome to Redemption, Chasin' Mason, and Mistletoe Rules. Set in Pulaski, WI, Mistletoe Rules took first place in WisRWA's 2010 Write Touch Readers' Award.

An avid reader and lover of movies with happy endings, Stacey still lives in WI, with her husband and three children, a couple horses and some barn cats. In her limited free time she enjoys gardening and canning, and visiting her parents up north at the cabin on the lake with the whole family.

You can keep up with Stacey and her writing: Facebook and Website.

13 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Welcome to Over Coffee, Stacey!enjoy and nice cup of coffee before you head out to work. I have homemade cinnamon buns and other homemade goodies so feel free to grab something.

I was easily able to convert TRUST IN THE LAWE from PDF to Kindle format. Looking forward to reading Lawe.

VA said...

Inspiration for writings? Hmmmm...psychotic dreams. Okay, only some of the time. The rest is completely normal. I swear. Really.

Jo said...

Glenda Larke often talks about inspirations, its interesting where ideas come from. As you say, writers take note of everything around them and use them in stories.

"Brooch" by the way, broach is an entirely different word.

Mason Canyon said...

Stacey, I always enjoy learning the background on books. It's fun to know that some have a little connection to real life. Your books all sound intriguing, but I think I'll check on Chasin' Mason first. :)

Sia, you have me adding more books to my already overflowing stack. Thanks for the introduction to Stacey.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Rachael said...

As strictly a reader, I often come across books that I would love to see as movies. I go so far as to begin casting them in my head.

Stacey, your books sound interesting. I'll be checking them out!

Kat Sheridan said...

Hi, Stacey! Great article! I love hearing where a writer's ideas come from! So far as I can tell, my ideas just come wandering in out of the ether. I do know the characters appear long before their story does. And I've come up with several character names—believe it or not—from freeway exit signs! I drive most of I-75 four times a year, and some of the combinations are intriguing! T

~Sia McKye~ said...

Rachael, I've thought of actors that would be good for the characters I've read but it sounds like you take it a bit further. But like you, I've read books I thought would make fabulous movies.

Funny, one book I thought would be a great movie but the story was very layered and with twists and subtleties I thought might not make the transition without losing too much story, was The Bourne Identity. They didn't do a bad job although they did have to lose some chunks here and there, plus they made some changes not in the book.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Sorry I couldn't visit this morning and enjoy the coffee and cinnamon buns, (my Favorite!), but with the blizzard that dumped 17+ inches on Northeast WI the past 36 hrs, my travel agent day job had me hopping!

Sia--I'm glad the PDF file converted easily for your Kindle.

VA--I believe your dreams are normal. All us writers do.

Cute story--just this morning my 7yr old son announced as I was getting ready for work, "Now I know what to do if robots attack us." I replied, "How's that?" He says, "I had a dream--we just need to go into your bedroom because it's bigger and the door locks." Good to know, I figure. Dream on! lol

Jo--thanks! That'll teach me to edit better! I'll have to check Glenda out.

Mason--*grin* imagine that book catching your eye. Hey, if you happen to like country music, you might want to check out the band, too. Hope you enjoy the book. :)

Rachel--I do LOTS of casting in my head. Then I have one of those normal dreams where I'm on set while they're filming, and while we're at it, I might as well star as the female lead, too.

Kat--that's very interesting about the freeway signs giving you ideas for character names. I'll have to pay better attention while I'm driving.

Sia, too funny you bring up The Bourne Identity. With the snow day, my 17yr old was looking for a movie to watch and he chose that one. Makes me want to watch it again now.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Sorry to be missing in action, Stacey. Tiny Celtic Sprite, aka, my grand niece went through her second round of surgery to repair her elbow break. Might have to do a thirds. So I've been gone most of the day. Wiped.

I started your book. I see why you got *top-pick*. :-)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Hey, grand niece is WAY more important! Sincere prayers that she doesn't need the thirds, poor girl.

Glad you're enjoying the book so far. Thanks!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Heading to bed--thanks to all who stopped by!

Thank you, Sia for having me on your blog. :)

Elle J Rossi said...

Sia,

Long time no see from me! Life's been crazy but I'll try not to be a stranger. Hope all is well, pretty lady!

Stacey,

I've actually seen the band Chasin' Mason! They're really fantastic. Doesn't hurt that I LOVE country music. Knowing they inspired a book makes me want to find myself a copy.

Thanks for sharing the stories behind your stories!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Elle, I've enjoyed Chasin' Mason each time I've seen them, too. I have two of their CD's and wish they were playing Country USA in Oshkosh this summer. Either that or I should go to Summerfest in Milwaukee. :)