Sunday, April 01, 2007

Seeds of ideas

A question many authors are asked is where do you get your ideas from?

The answer is really it depends. However for my April Mills and Boon Historical release, I have a ready answer -- Kate Walker.

What happened was this. Kate gave a very lovely workshop in October 2005 for the Romantic Novelists Association. I happened to catch a lift with her and she began to explain about her latest revisions. She got about as far as the heroine has to marry to save her father from gaol and I will admit to stopping listening. the wheels in my brain were churning and the light bulbs popping. I believe I nodded my head and looked interested. I could not shake the idea from my brain and with Kate's blessing, I decided to write my story.

Anyway, several months later, Kate very kindly sent me a copy of The Antonakos Marriage. I realised when I read it that I totally misheard her and the manuscript I was working on bore very little resemblance to her story -- except for one important fact -- the Beauty and the Beast theme -- a heroine sacrificing herself to save her father.

I am very partial to Antonakos Marriage for another reason. I read the book while I was waiting for my first cataract operation. I suffered from early onset cataracts. Anyway, I hadn't finished the book. The next morning, when I went back to it -- suddenly I could see the cityscape where it had all been a blur before. The book has remained a firm favourite ever since.

BTW my editor knows the story of my seed. She swears that it is coincidence that my cover (that has very little to do with the book) and the North America cover of the Antonakos Marriage bear a certain similarity. My editor also has a wicked sense of humour.

In celebration of Sold and Seduced's publication, I am running a contest. The prize is signed copies of both Sold and Seduced and The Antonakos Marriage (the UK edition). I have three sets to giveaway.

You need to email me with the answer to the question what is playing on my myspace page?

My myspace page can be found at:

I will be drawing the winners on 14 April. If you enter, I will send you an invite to join my newsletter but that is all.


Lee Hyat said...

I love the cover of your book and Kate's cover is gorgeous too. I think you both hit the jackpot! I'm off to check out your page at Myspace!

Michelle Styles said...

Oh I think we both hit the jackpot with the covers.

I was perplexed about why that particular picture was chosen as my hero and heroine are never in a pond together. Myeditor said that she thought it really captured the mood of the book -- which it does.

THEN, I was writing about how I got my idea and took a look at Kate Walker's page. It was the first time I had seen the North American cover of Antonakos. The penny dropped. My editor still swears she had NO idea. But...I choose to believe otherwise.

Interestingly I am positive they used the same artist for my Taken by the Viking cover as I reconised the white nightie. The prototype I have seen on that one is beautiful.

Mona said...

Hi Michelle,

I liked your book cover too. The book sounds very interesting. Also the title was a very good choice, it's new and attractive.

Cherie said...

Hi Michelle! Welcome! Great book covers! I am someone who is always fascinated at learning where an author gets ideas for books so I enjoyed reading your post.

Cherie Japp

deseng said...

Hi Michelle!

Ooo.....your book sounds fantastic! I will have to go pick me up a copy to read. The cover is sensational!

Attractive book covers are always the first thing to attract me to a book.

Have a great week!

Michelle Styles said...

Mona, Cherie and Michele -- thanks for leaving a comment.

Like Cherie -- I love knowing how authors get their ideas. Many times, authors can't say because the ideas come from all over the place. I know with S&S because the controlling idea would not let go. It also enabled me to combine several other things -- a dangerous hero, a Roman wedding and the Aventine.

What I would say is that if any writer has the chance to hear Kate Walker speak -- do. She is wonderfully inspiring...even when she is complaining about revisions.

ChristyJan said...

I too think that the covers for both books are wonderful.
It's was interesting hearing about how your book came to be.

liz said...


Hehe, you can count me too as one of the readers who like the covers. Also, the summary for them sounds like it is going to be quite an interesting story.


diane said...

Youe cover is beautiful. Very appealing and title is special too. All the best.

sharon said...

Great covers and wonderful books.

pearl said...

Cover is striking and love it.

bamabelle said...

Both covers are lovely! I also loved The Antonakos Marriage. Kate is rather brilliant!