Inspiration is different for everyone, I imagine. It's the question I'm asked most often when I tell people I'm a writer. Lucky for me, I don't have any trouble answering them. I've been able to corral the plethora of things that inspire me into three categories. Travels, Real Life and Rescues and Fate Steps In. If you're interested in hearing about these, read on.
Travel and Holidays
I guess I've been a traveler since a very young age. All of us travel a massive orbit around the sun on this planet every year. That's a lot of miles or kilometers to clock up when you've just been born! No wonder we all hanker for a look at foreign places.
I've been fortunate to travel to distant lands and experience the richness of their culture. But long before that I did it through documentaries on TV and reading.
I guess that's why I like to use the escape of a foreign land or travels within my home country of Australia to help me craft a story that takes me away from my ordinary world and puts me into someone else's.
I set "A Wife for the Orange Farmer" in Mildura, a border country town situated on the grand Murray river. Its Orange Groves are watered by irrigation from that river and are the major produce for the area. During a caravan holiday at Mildura, I sat in the shade of a River Red Gum, rocking my baby daughter to sleep reading a Mills and Boon romance novel. So romance and Mildura were already a connection for me long before I was rescued by a real life hero who was an orange farmer.
Real Life and Rescues
No wonder when I was rescued by an Orange Grower during a thunderstorm at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show I vowed to create a story for him. Such a charming handsome man, he entertained me and my mother with his easy good nature as he held a golf umbrella over the three of us.
Another yet to be published story was inspired during a self drive holiday in England. I was out of my comfort zone and then got lost. I needed directions and, you guessed it, a handsome man in a shiny silver Mercedes guided me back to the freeway.
Fate Steps In
I like these kinds of stories, soul mates who take a whole story to work it out. What if that woman lost in the car wasn't me but a grieving widow and this man was here to guide her back to a real life full of love and family? A novel was born.
What if that Orange Farmer with his easy manners and caring nature was taking care of his grandma who had grown so frail she needed a Personal Care Attendant? In country towns they're not easy to come by but a woman who's lost everything might go somewhere like that to find community and belonging and ends up finding a family as well.
I've met so many interesting people and been so many places and have such a romantic heart that I can't help but put them all together to create a story that gives it all meaning. Inspiration is drawn from everything I've ever read seen or done. It all gets put into a big bag and I play lucky dip I suppose. I also like to let my subconscious help out with meditating for writing and letting the words flow without questioning them and see what comes out. Later I sift through what has been mined for the gems. The results, well you've got to be the judge of that. Me, I love doing it.
Romance is my life. I love writing about romance, talking about romance writing and living my brand of a romantic life.