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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Guest Blog: Sandy Loyd

Every once in a while I get asked where I get ideas for my stories. As a writer, I’m always trying to come up with interesting characters and unique situations. That’s not an easy endeavor. Yet one thing I’ve noticed over the eleven years I’ve been writing. My best books have come from everyday happenings that I experience.

For example, I outlined one of my romantic suspense stories while on a plane going on a trip with my son and husband. My son was 15 at the time and was (and still is) an aviation buff. He was excited and talking to his father about taking flying lessons. It’s one thing to fly as a family to a vacation destination. As morose as it sounds, if the plane crashed, I’d at least be with my loved ones. But when the situation is turned around and my only child is talking about soloing in a tiny plane it’s beyond scary. I kept my fears to myself and encouraged him to follow his dream. At the same time, I took the fearful emotions and added them to a story. Of course, I didn’t follow my outline, but at least I had an idea of where to start. From there my characters emerged and so did the story.

I’m definitely a pantser.

I’ll even admit to getting one idea for a romantic suspense from watching the Dr. Phil show about a mother who was a drug addict and turned her life around to be the mother her daughter deserved. I thought that would make an interesting character. Only my character died in the first scene. Another idea came from listening to my son’s friends talk about sex. To some of those kids it’s like eating or exercising. A very different attitude from my generation. I thought it interesting, and ran with the idea.

The idea for the last book I wrote, The Promise of Tomorrow, began during a KOD (Kiss Of Death) tour I took at the Romance Writers of America’s national conference in San Antonio last July. We visited Ft. Sam Houston where the US Army trains their field medics. One medic’s experiences touched me enough to create a story based on a character who suffered a similar experience. I even got to witness a simulated attack that was totally realistic and put it in my first chapter. I believe the story is relevant to some of the issues Vets, and their loved ones, face today when they serve their country. It’s personal for me because my son has just been given a pilot slot in the US Air Force. In two years I will be one of those I wrote about. Who knows? Maybe deep down inside I wrote that book as a way of dealing with future fears. Hmm. I just came up with an idea for a new book featuring a crazy mom.

What about you? Have you had any experiences that might be the beginning of a great story? Or a great character? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an e-copy of The Promise of Tomorrow.

BLURB:
War is hell, especially for those left behind. When an IED explosion devastates the lives of Roberto ‘Cam’ Camareno and Nicole Murphy, both believe their promise of tomorrow has been shattered.

Field medic Cam helplessly watches his fatally wounded friend die in his arms, wishing he could take his place. Cam is the one who should have died, not his friend with a fiancée waiting back home. Instead of getting his wish, Cam promises to watch over Nicole. How on earth can he do that when survivor guilt paralyzes him?

After losing the love of her life and having her future blown away with his death, Nicole fears her broken heart will never heal. Even now, a year later, she still grieves. Then she meets Cam and her life changes for the better. Love has the ability to heal, but only if the heart is open to accepting love.

As these two struggle to come to grips with the past, can they find the promise of tomorrow with each other?
 
Links:
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BIO:
Sandy Loyd is a Western girl through and through. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, she's worked and lived in some fabulous places in the US, including South Florida. She now resides in Kentucky. As much as she loves her current hometown, she misses the mountains and has to go back to her roots to get her mountain and skiing fix at least once a year.

As a former sales rep for a major manufacturer, she’s traveled extensively and has a million stored memories to draw from for her stories. She spent her single years in San Francisco and considers that city one of America's treasures, comparable to no other city in the world. Her California Series, starting out with Winter Interlude, are all set in the Bay Area. The Promise of Tomorrow is the fifth book in the series.

Sandy is now an empty nester and writes full time. With almost two dozen books published in several genres including contemporary romance, romantic suspense, time travel romance and historical romance, she strives to come up with fun characters—people you would love to call friends. And we all know friends have their baggage and when we discover what makes them tick, we come to love them even more. She doesn't skimp on the romance. And because she loves puzzles, she doesn't skimp on intrigue, either. Yet whether romantic suspense, contemporary romance, or historical romance, she always tries to weave a warm love story into her work, while providing enough twists and turns to entertain any reader.


5 comments:

Rose Anderson said...

I was inspired to write one of mine after the midday news made me furious. The real news happened to fit what the Suffragettes went through, and here we were still treating people unfairly 100 years later. Fueled by rage, I wrote that story in a week. lol

Thanks for joining us today, Sandy. Best luck. :)

Cara Marsi said...

Sandy, I love your cover and the premise of your story. I get ideas from things that happen to me or people I know. My very first published book started with a painful memory of my school years. My aunt, who was in theater most of her life, told me about a young woman she knew who'd tried to break into acting and had to go home to take care of her sick mother. She went to her HS reunion and found the love of her life. I used that in a short story I sold to True Love Magazine.

Melissa Keir said...

What a beautiful cover! I love picking up ideas from the world around me as well as my own life. There's so many fun things we hear and see that are perfect for our stories!

jean hart stewart said...

Ideas are out there all around all of us. I read anything I could find about King Arthur and his knights at an early age, and my heroes always show their chivalry sooner or later. Writing really is such fun....

Sandy said...

Thanks for all the responses. I loved reading each and every one. So many ways we can use experiences to our advantages. Sometimes though, truth is stranger than fiction.

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