Sunday, February 10, 2008

When Reality Becomes Fantasy... - Christina Hollis

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?
Christina Hollis


Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Christina,

I'm a reader, not a writer, but I
have used life occurrences in
entering various contests offered
by authors. Calling up real life
instances have helped me to win a
number of contests over the years.
In fact, I entered a Valentine's
Day contest today telling about my
favorite gift. The gift: our first
child who was born on February 14!!

Pat Cochran

christina said...

That's a lovely, Pat. So you have a double reason to celebrate every Valentine's Day!

Michelle said...

Hi Christina,

I have to admit, I always think it's funny when my friends think I use them as inspiration for my stories - and it can be very revealing to discover which characters they think they are. But I've never used people I know. Settings, absolutely.

And there's this fabulous little Saturday night quiz show on the ABC and I think I'm going to have to write a story where the quiz host is my heroine.

Michelle Douglas