Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring Fling Blog Hop! :: "How did you get your idea?"

Although I've lived through a few whirlwind romances in my life and I've been a professional writer for years, I never tried my hand at romance writing--never, that is, until my friend and fellow romance author Danica Winters encouraged me to submit a story for the publishing company's Valentine Romance series.

With about six weeks to write 15,000 words, I jumped right in. (Or, rather, I sat right down at my computer and typed like my fingers were on fire.)

Of course, before I could start all that typing, I had to figure out what my romance was going to be. Sweet? Sexy? Intergalactic?

I came up with a list of romantic premises based on my own experiences, fantasies, and stories friends have told me over the years. Many of these are sure to become future publications--two are already in the works for this summer and fall. But the one idea that kept tugging at my imagination actually came to me in a dream.

I am taking care of a friend's house--someone I haven't seen for a long, long time. Though it's been years and he is far away, I feel connected to him as I live in his space, with his things. I walk though his kitchen and see his shoes by the door. I sit down at his computer and see notes jotted and photos tacked on the wall. I curl up in his twin bed with soft navy blue sheets, and, little by little, find myself falling in love. 

As I thought about writing the dream into a story, the ache of these questions arose:
How can I tell him I love him when I don't know when--or if--he will return?
How can I tell him I love him when we haven't seen each other face-to-face for so long, only communicating over email and phone?
How can I tell him I've fallen in love with the intimate details of his life, when he knows next to nothing about me?
And, finally, what if the person I think I've fallen in love with bears little to no resemblance to the person he actually is?

These questions were far too enticing to ignore, and the answers became the story line for While He's Away. I hope you love the story--and the story behind the story.



1. Please COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST. Leave your name and email address in the comments section (just below the list of hop participants) to be entered for the GRAND PRIZE giveaways, including a Kindle Paperwhite!

2. After you comment, please use this Rafflecopter entry form to enter my giveaway for an gift certificate. I'll hold the Rafflecopter drawing March 12 and notify the winner that day!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

3. Then click the links below to visit other blogs--each hosting its own giveaway! 


  1. It was so cool to see the inspiration behind the story. I love idea the of falling in love with someone by living in their world. (

  2. Insight always seems to give so much more power to a story. I look forward to more.

  3. I loved this story. It was the kind of book where you fall in love with the characters and you morn the end of the book.

  4. Kim at :)

  5. I love Spring. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Mimi Smith

    mimismithblue AT gmail DOT com

  6. I celebrate Spring by beautifying my front porch with all manner of plants, flowers and decorative pots. I finish up with a new cushion for my favorite chair and I'm set for endless days of reading and relaxing.


  7. Thanks for the hop.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  8. I celebrate spring by doing the annual spring cleaning. Out with the old, in with the new!

    jacobsone AT katewwdb DOT com

  9. Thanks for the chance to win!
    I celebrate spring by decorating for it and spending more time outside.
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  10. Wow 5,000 words, sounds nice, you have a lot inspiration :)

  11. It's so wonderful that spring is almost here! Thanks for being on the hop.
    writeforward at yahoo dot com

  12. I celebrate Spring by getting some hyacinths and daffodils in pots all around the house (we don't see them in the garden here, until June!).

  13. I enjoy the warm tempts and taking long walks in the spring, love being outside. I got to take a walk today and loved it.

    quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com
    Virginia H.

  14. I look forward to regrowing my garden in spring. Also, taking daily walks with the kids and swimming.

  15. I love hearing about the story behind the story! I don't know if I'd house sit for a stranger, it's a great story line.

    As far as Spring, I'm in southern CA, it's nice all year long.


  16. Sounds like a fun premise.


  17. I celebrate spring by traveling more, and putting yellow freesias all over the house!


  18. Thank you for sharing your story writing process. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com; Michelle Willms

  19. I think it is interesting to learn about a writers writing process! Thanks for sharing!
    amy bowens
    amybowens34 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  20. It is interesting to hear where your story line came from. The questions are indeed intriguing. I have read the story and loved it. I was ready for another one as soon as I I finished.

  21. Interesting to hear how you came to your story.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

  22. I like spring and I look forward to reading your books. name is robyn donnelly. email: