Today is my stop on the Grace Doll Blog Tour and author Jennifer Laurens has written a guest post discussing finding inspiration in unexpected places. Be sure to leave a comment or question for Jennifer on the guest post before visiting the other stops on the Grace Doll tour.
When my girls were teenagers, they asked me to write romances for them---without sex or language. So I started with stories from their lives. They were both in high school, and came home each day with enough material that I didn't have to look very far for plot lines. I guess what I'm saying is, the writer's rule: write what you know, means your life and experiences don't have to be something extravagant to start somewhere.
One daughter was in Romeo and Juliet---and had a huge crush on a boy in the play. I went to see the show, and, while watching the kids interact together, came up with many of the scenes and "moments" in Falling for Romeo.
The same daughter was a ballroom dancer. Our family attended countless ballroom dance shows one year which gave me plenty of ideas for another of my books.
For Heavenly it was easy to be flush with ideas; our family lives with a child who has autism. Much of that story is ripped from reality. Often times it's the little details that come to mind while writing that come from the unexpected.
One day, I was frustrated with my son's challenge with Asperger's syndrome. I've been frustrated before, but watching the way his younger brother interacted with him--just the act of the younger one helping the older, challenged child, inspired a story that's simmering in my head.
I think it's unfortunate when writers feel they have to look for grand ideas in grand places. There are times for that, and stories that are epic, but writers can find many inspirations in their own lives---and those additions will give a story an authentic feel.
I love my hometown of Palos Verdes, California. It's a lush peninsula oasis as beautiful as any place on earth I've traveled to. On a trip there, I walked the empty halls of my old high school ( it was summer vacation ) and felt like I had never left. Between feeling like I was in high school again, smelling the foggy air, looking at paint-worn lockers, retracing some of my old steps and having memories resurface, I thought, "This is a great place for a student/teacher love story." So I wrote A Season Of Eden - complete with her house on the cliffs, her privileged friends, and the young, enthusiastic new choral teacher she falls in love with.
All because I walked through the halls of my old high school.
It's really not that complicated, I think. Finding inspiration is more about keeping your eyes open and your mind creatively, actively engaged while life happens to you. You never know when the universe will come together and an idea will be born. It's exciting when that happens and your idea has legs.
Thanks for being a part of the blog tour!
Thanks so much Jennifer for stopping by The Happy Booker today! I can't wait to read Grace Doll, it sounds amazing!
Grace Doll had everything a girl could want: Fame. Fortune. Beauty.
Everything except, of course, her freedom. So when a powerful movie producer forces an experimental treatment on Grace--one that's purported to make beauty immortal--she stages her own death to escape him.
With the help of trusted friends, Grace slips into hiding. She's forever flawless, forever young and forever pursued by her past.
But when a stranger arrives on her doorstep, holding the key to a life she thought she'd left behind, Grace must decide between the safety she's known... and embracing the role she was born to play.
I write YA books. Whatever my heart desires, I write. I don't have someone over my shoulder, in some office somewhere telling me what I can and cannot write. Or should and shouldn't write. I listen to my heart, the center of my muse, and trust my instincts.
I've written since junior high school. An only child, I grew up writing big stories about big families. I also write YA under the name of JM Warwick. My hometown of Palos Verdes, California figures in much of my work, as does my current home of Pleasant Grove, Utah and other favorite places. I love to travel.
They say "write what you know" and I do. I am a mother, I have six children, five cats and a huge doberman/dane dog. I have a supportive husband and we've been married 25 years. Our lives, though challenging with a handicapped child who has autism, are centered in our family.
My life experiences have worked into all of my novels. Some more heavily than others, but parts of me are in each story. I love stories rich in family drama, where family members overcome obstacles through love and miracles.
Find Jennifer at:
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