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Monday, July 19, 2010

The Story Behind The Story

I saw a question over the weekend asking authors about what inspired them to write their latest release. What is the story behind the story?

In All She Ever Wanted, I happened to be standing at the stove, making one of my favorite meals (beef strogganoff) when all of a sudden, I heard in my head the following scene:

“This is only for one meal, Marc, so don’t get all bent out of shape.” Amber kept her concentration on the stove.

Roger and June gaped at her. Marc drew himself up to his full six foot, three inch height, reaching Amber in two quick strides.

“Can I speak to you in private?” His voice dropped an octave.

Amber defiantly raised her green eyes against his onyx ones. “Just a moment; let me take this off the heat.” She turned her attention back to the stove. “Wouldn’t want dinner to burn and irritate you even more,” she said coolly. The food tended to, she lifted her chin and looked at him. “Well?”

A muscle twitched beside his right eye. “I said in private.” He grasped her arm and steered her to the pantry.

“I’m perfectly capable of walking by myself,” she said forcefully, wrenching her arm away and preceding him into the shelf-lined room.

“What the hell are you trying to pull?” he hissed.

“What am I trying to pull? Nothing, Marc! All I’m doing is filling in so your little dinner party is a success.” Amber balled her fists at the insult.

“You’re not even in the right attire.” His dark eyes blazed in contempt as he took in her appearance. “And what kind of chef wears dangly earrings when she’s on the job?”

“Oh, you like them? It just so happens I was at a family function when Ruth frantically called me. Don’t worry; I won’t leave the kitchen or embarrass you in any way,” she said with a touch of sarcasm. “I came here to do a job; if you’ll pull that stick out of your ass and let me go back to work, your dinner will be coming off the stove in a few moments.”

Marc and Amber would have kept going at this point, but I managed to silence them long enough for me to finish making dinner for my family and head to the computer to write down their argument. I came to a stopping point, ate dinner with my family, and returned to the computer to write the beginning of the chapter, in order to explain why they were arguing over Amber's sudden appearance in his kitchen!

In Teacher's Pet (still coming soon whenever I get a new editor!), I was challenged to write an erotic scene. I'd begun reading erotic romances, and trying not to blush at the buzz words, so to actually write words I was not entirely comfortable with, well, let's just say I was soooooo happy my kids were in school and not around when I was writing it!

I remembered my first encounter with a drop-dead gorgeous man at the ball field when my oldest son was practicing. I decided to watch the Girl's Softball game instead, and soon found myself mentally drooling over the man next to me. Six months later, I discovered he was my oldest son's history (and favorite!) teacher. I left that parent/teacher conference hoping and praying I'd sounded like an intelligent parent, because the other half of my brain was screaming at him to take off his shirt!

I'm also proud to announce that my first Kenzie manuscript has finally been accepted by XOXO Publishing. Titled Wild At Heart, it follows the lives of four people within a six day time line, and shows how lives can be changed forever with chance meetings. I've had issues with this work: One character, Steve, has just been released from prison, and is angry over what he perceives as prejudice toward 'felons'. He has no idea it was really about protecting his ex-girlfriend.

I was driving toward the nursing home in August 2007 when a news blurb about prison reform came on the radio. All of a sudden, 'Steve' is in my head, yelling "That's me! Write my story; I'm trying to show I've learned my lesson, but the town won't believe me!"

I started writing in longhand two days later at a Boy Scout camping trip, and on Sept 11, began typing it up and continuing. I finished it one month later on Oct 11th. I also had no idea my story would take place part of the time in Estes Park, Colorado. I'm hoping when the release date is announced, my family can afford a trip to have the release party at Nicky's Steakhouse, where a crucial scene takes place.

So....what's your story behind the story?


Tina Donahue said...

Congrats on your recent sale, Molly.

I think I'm going to start cooking. If it helped you form an entire scene in your mind, maybe it will help me when I'm stuck for what to write! :)

Kenzie Michaels said...

Actually Tina, it was just the conversation rolling around in my head. The description came later. I was wearing blue jeans, a white shirt, and my favorite blue bead dangly earrings, something similar to what I'd just worn to a family reunion:)

I have a similar story in Appetite For Desire, which has been subbed to another publisher. Both involve cooking, which shows I was watching a LOT of Food Network at the time:)

Anny Cook said...

Congratulations! Keep up the good work! I get my ideas when I'm driving on long trips. Hmmmm. Haven't been anywhere in a while.

Katalina Leon said...

I love hearing the story behind the story, thank you for sharing this Molly and Congratulations!

jean hart stewart said...

Geez, and to think I hate cooking!!! Used to love it so maybe I could manage a little and get some great dialogue too. My ideas come with a wake-up jolt at around two in the morning....Jean

Amber Skyze said...

Congrats on the new sale! :)

My ideas come from long trips and listening to music.

Sandy said...


What a great blog. Congrats on your sale.

I would be burning the food if those voices were in my head. lol

Chasidy Jean said...

I adore reading the story behind the story. I especially love when inspiration strikes at the most random times. Usually mine hits me when I'm standing in line at Starbucks or washing dishes.

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