A pinch and a punch? March 1st? I think not. I’m starting gently this week. My lovely author friend this Monday is Carol Thomas , fellow Apricot Plotter and published by Ruby Fiction. She’s had a rough time recently and doesn’t need any more punches. xxxx
Over to Carol:
Whole, fully-formed story ideas don’t come to me easily. I wish they did. Especially at the moment when I know, I should be writing. But having very recently lost my dear mum, I can’t settle and get started. I think it would be a comfort if I could do it, to lose myself in it, but perhaps my mind doesn’t want me to escape the rawness of my true feelings at the moment.
In the past, I have found that inspiration can strike from a single situation or sentence; I used to sit in cafes, hear a snippet of conversation, and it would set my imagination going. How we all miss sitting in cafes and people watching!
However, the idea for my novel Maybe Baby, released in paperback on February 23rd, came from the fact I had more I wanted to explore with previous characters. Writing Maybe Baby, the sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter (the first in the Lisa Blake series of books) was fun and interesting. I already knew my characters well, and so I could put them in new and challenging situations as they embarked on their lives together. You could say, the inspiration was born out of curiosity. I have often wondered what happens after the happy ever after / or content, for now, moment in romance stories. Maybe, as I have already mentioned people watching, I am naturally nosey!
Starting the story, I picked up where I left off, but of course, my characters had already been on a journey in the first novel, and so I had to have them ready to start a new one. I enjoyed that, especially as I was writing about characters (two couples) in established, happy relationships. It was refreshing, and the ideas came to me quickly, especially once I embarked on research. I am not always a plotter, but as the story involved a pregnancy, I had to make sure every date and milestone fitted completely. I’d never written to such a detailed spreadsheet before. It probably helped the book get written quickly; it was completed and released in ebook and audio within a year.
During that time, I also spent a week on a writing retreat in Umbria, with Sue Moorcroft, who has an amazing work ethic. With her as inspiration, I got a big section of the book written.
I have tried working to a spreadsheet again since and strayed somewhat. I think I would describe my style as a plotter who, once writing, then forgets they have been a plotter and becomes a pantser!
My latest novel, coming out with Choc Lit later this year, was inspired by something that happened while volunteering in a charity shop. Someone had donated a photograph album, but in it was a picture of a couple with a baby. That inspired me to write a story about a charity shop worker who receives a donation that unlocks secrets about her past. The title is currently, It’s All About You – but these things sometimes change so we will have to wait and see. Whatever it is called in the end, I’m looking forward to sharing it.
Thank you for having me on your lovely blog.
It’s a real pleasure, Carol. Your new book sounds intriguing. I love charity shops too. Looking forward to reading it.
Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can ordinarily be found volunteering for Cancer Research UK or loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.
Just when you thought you had it all worked out …
Best friends Lisa and Felicity think – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.
Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete, after a romantic getaway.
But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises!
Ruby Fiction: https://www.rubyfiction.com/dd-product/maybe-baby/