In my February 2008 Harlequin Presents release, One Night In His Bed, the hero Garett helps Sienna when she gets distracted while making fresh pasta. She gets a whole lot more distracted by his assistance, but that’s another story! I got the idea for their romantic entanglement while I was cooking in company with my children. Making dough is a good way to keep them entertained, and working a pasta machine is really easy. The problems start when both little darlings want to use it at the same time…
Real life situations like this are a constant source of inspiration. The best advice for any of you who like to write, is to keep a notebook and pencil with you at all times. Inspiration can strike in the middle of the night, or when you overhear a conversation while waiting in line at a cash desk. You might think you’ll remember and note it down when you get home, but real life always gets in the way. Half a dozen distractions later, you’ll still be meaning to commit something to paper.
Everyone experiences life differently. You are the world expert on how it feels to comfort your child, roughhouse with your pet or caress your lover. Use this knowledge, along with your hobbies and interests, to inject colour into your fiction. I love cooking and gardening, so I always try and work these passions into my stories somewhere. As the Welsh poet Paul Groves says, if you write from the heart, that’s where it will strike your reader.
I use my own experiences to try and make my fictional detailing as realistic as possible. If I can bring a smile to someone’s face by conjuring up an image they can believe in, then I’m happy.
Have you ever used a real-life situation as inspiration?