Welcome to the Contemporary Romance Café! I love contemporary romance, both as an author and a reader, so it’s wonderful to find a place celebrating the subgenre! I’m looking forward to reading future posts, and they’re bound to be inspiring.
Inspiration is a wonderful, fickle thing. It’s the spark that ignites our passion for a story and, when it strikes, it’s a rush that we ride as long as we can (usually until the dreaded story middle). But unlike other tools necessary for our trade—grammar, craft, conflicts, and the like—inspiration isn’t something we can study and hone.
I’ve talked before about the inspiration for the first book in the Kowalski series, Exclusively Yours. I wanted to read a fun romance filled with all the things I love, like camping and family and four-wheelers and mud and s’mores, and there wasn’t one. I wrote it for me.
A strong inspiration trigger for me is people watching. I’m not very good at interacting with people I don’t know, but I love to do the visual version of eavesdropping at restaurants, malls, and anywhere people gather. It was one of my dad’s favorite activities and I have childhood memories of sitting on a bench with him, making up stories for the people passing by. The way a man looks at a woman as he passes by. The laughter of a child. For me it’s more about the emotion of the scene, rather than the actual visual. Recently, I read a local news story about all the guys in an autobody shop working together for hours to save baby ducks stuck in a storm drain. Those are the kinds of guys that make stories pop into my head.
Music is another trigger for inspiration, and I’m definitely not alone in that. If you roam around the social media of romance authors (and presumably any author), you’ll see a lot of talk about songs. Some use them to set the mood for writing love scenes. Others to evoke the emotion of the story.
I’m working on the seventh Kowalski book right now (Liz!) and my playlist is a weird blend of songs that probably only make sense to me. “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes. “Crying On A Suitcase” by Casey James. “Just A Fool” by Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton. Eric Church’s “Springsteen” and “Wildflower” by The JaneDear Girls. As I head toward the black moment, more songs will added.
What inspires you? And, if you’re a writer, do you have a song inspiring you right now? Share! (I’m always on the lookout for romance novel-inspiring music.)
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. She can also be found blogging (almost) daily on her website, www.ShannonStacey.com and is often spotted running amok on Twitter and Facebook.