Hello Passionate readers! Today I have on a guest—author Ryan Jo Summers! She’s talking about what inspires her to write her novels. Read on to learn about the surprising things that trigger her imagination!
Writers are frequently asked where we get the ideas for our stories. I suspect most authors reply back like I do: it all depends on the story. Photographs, overheard comments, buried memories, random sights can all spark a creative wire and start a writer off on some literary tangent.
Take the case of my fifth book, “Chasing the Painted Skies”. In 1988 or 1989 I came upon a photo in a calendar that spoke to me. It was a rocky outcropping and a lake, with a grarled tree. Fog shrouded the scene and many might call it gloomy, gothic or depressing. I called it wonderful.
At the end of the year, I took the page from the calendar, had it matted and framed and it still hangs in my hallway to this day. In 2004 I left my Great Lake home and moved to the mountain locked region of the south. I miss my water of the north. The views here are spectacular and awe-inspiring, but the water is limited to shallow rivers and small ponds. I was homesick for the sweeping grandeur of the Great Lakes.
So on particularly bad days, when I longed to immerse myself in the cold waters of Lake Superior, I’d stand and stare at the calendar photo, reliving the cool breezes and howling wind and sharp bite—all depending on the time of the year. I recalled the spray from riding the bow on the boats and the many stately lighthouses dotting the area. What came out of all that reminiscing was a love story, mystery, treasure hunt and ghost story all wrapped inside the pages of “Chasing the Painted Skies”.
Another example was when I had a wonderful idea for a story. It would be a Christian romance with time travel. Brilliant. I had no clue where the notion came from but I loved it. So I wrote the story. It became ‘Shimmers of Stardust’, my second published novel. When I was nearly finished with the first draft, after a mere four months, I was cleaning out some old papers. One was a story idea that I had one night and scribbled down to write later, word for word of what “Shimmers of Stardust” was about. The paper had been lost and buried in a forgotten file for seventeen years before I wrote the story.
My release of a few weeks ago, “Glimpse Eternity”, was inspired by seeing a rose bouquet lying on the road while driving home Valentine’s evening. Pondering why it was discarded on what should be a romantic night birthed the idea for the novella.
So the answer of where ideas come from is as varied as the ideas themselves. And everyone has ideas. What may seem unimportant now or obscure might turn out to be the catalyst to create a story. My very first story, written at age ten, was my reaction to an event happening in the household and I needed some way to process it. It seemed natural for me to write it down, draw pictures and never realize until later I’d just written my first story. If only I still had that rough copy today.
Doubtlessly the endless sea of books I have read over the years also subconsciously provide fodder, lying dormant until needed. We are taught to write what we know, so it is logical many of our scribblings resemble what we ourselves like to read. As my reading tastes grow and evolve, so does my writing matter. Reading and writing are strongly connected.
We all experience things, hear things, want things. We all live. It’s when we take those pieces that surround us and blend them together with sheer imagination that we create stories. When we add discipline, ambition and invest energy and dare to dream, we might publish a story that people fall in love with. Or at the very least, have a manuscript we can hold in our hands and secretly tell ourselves, “I wrote this! For me.” It might be something of ourselves we can leave behind.
Book Blurb for Chasing the Painted Skies:
Raven Koynes is a woman in hiding. Years ago she escaped to remote Gull Island Light Station, nestled far away in Lake Superior. She has carved out a life of peace and solitude for herself. Until famed nature photographer Sebastian Knight arrives–in the height of a nor’easter storm–to document the beauty of Gull Island. Unsavory treasure hunters also blow in with the storm, determined to find missing cargo from a sunken ship. And they are positive Raven knows where it’s stashed. A power outage from the storm traps everyone at her keeper’s cottage, fellow prisoners of the storm.
Between her attraction to handsome Sebastian and the unwelcome advances and threats of the hunters, Raven is pushed to her limit. Help arrives in the form of a stray German Shepherd Dog, who takes an immediate protective interest in Raven. He becomes her constant shadow and listening ear as she sorts out her growing–and conflicting–feelings for Sebastian.
Meanwhile, Sebastian came to the island looking for treasure as well, in the form of photographs. While he isn’t so sure about missing cargo, he only needs to look at Raven Koynes to know he’s found his own valuable treasure. One he hopes he can hang on to if she learns about his mysterious secret.
Now that Madeline the resident ghost has found out, it’s probably just a matter of time until Raven does too. And with the storm and power outage, no one is going anywhere any time soon.
Buy link for Chasing the Painted Skies:
Book Blurb for Glimpse Eternity:
Kasey Griffin is determined a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis isn’t going to define who she is or limit her. She is dedicated to her sister, pets and bookstore, the daily challenges of MS notwithstanding. Until hunky musician Ben Salem rolls into town and reminds Kasey she is more than a woman with a disease. She is a woman with a heart. And Ben wants it. But will he still want her once he learns the details of her chronic condition?
“Glimpse Eternity” is the very recent release, now available in paperback and ebook formats. Sweet contemporary romance novella.
Buy links for Glimpse Eternity:
Author Bio for Ryan Jo Summers:
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina author who specializes in writing romances with a twist. Love stories blended with inspirational, paranormal, suspense or time travel–or several at once. She also writes non-fiction for regional periodicals. Ryan’s dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so she claims she came by her writing skill honestly. Apparently it’s in the genes.
Her hobbies include bird-watching, houseplants, poetry and yard work. She loves to gather with friends, hike in the forest with her dog, paint ceramics and canvas and work on wiggly word find puzzles. She lives in a 1920 cottage with a menagerie of pets. Living in the mountains, she dreams of the shore and frequently uses the water as scenes for her stories.
More about Ryan Jo can be discovered at her website, Home or her blog http://summersrye.wordpress.com
Extra: “Chasing the Painted Skies” has been nominated for The Romance Reviews Reader’s Choice Award Spring 2016. It has made it to the final round and voting ends April 30th.
Media links for Ryan Jo Summers:
website : http://www.ryanjosummers.com
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS by Stacy Hoff:
AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE (Box set with Stacy Hoff):
AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set with Stacy Hoff):