Where Do Creative Ideas Come From featuring Caroline Clemmons

On our second week of the Valentines Day Blog tour, I am lucky enough to have contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons writing about where ideas come from. Take it away, Caroline!

Authors are frequently asked where they get their ideas. My friend, Bobbye Terry/Daryn Cross, tells people she orders her ideas from a small factory in Ohio. I love that answer!

Ideas pop into my head, whether I want them to or not. This is good and bad. The bad thing is that I’ll have to live to be at least two hundred to write all the ideas spinning in my brain right now. The good thing is I always have a story idea. The bad thing is my ideas use a large part of my concentration and I have to consciously focus in order to shut them out. The good thing is my characters are talking to me, waiting for me to write their story so they can shut up. Hey, I hear you saying writers are crazy. So what’s your point?

One of my favorite quotes is by author Meg Chittenden: “Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”

My greatest sources are the questions “what if?” and “wouldn’t it be a better story if?” While doing research on one project, I come across items--totally unrelated--and an idea pops into my head, “Hey, wouldn’t that make a great story if....” Listening to the evening news on TV, I think, “That would make a much better story if....” Same with reading a magazine or newspaper.

On a trip, I see an old house and start wondering about the family who built it and weaving stories about the family who lived there. In a museum, the same happens with historic items: who used it, what kind of person was he/she, how far has it traveled?

One of the more pleasant ways to get story ideas is a nice trip. That’s where I received the idea for the hero and heroine in my current release, THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE. Actually, this book was from two trips. Many years ago, my family spent a few days at a guest ranch (sounds better than “dude ranch,” doesn’t it?) near Bandera, the Mayan Ranch. I fell in love with that part of Texas and have set several books there. In 1998, my husband and I took our first trip to Ireland. The country and its history fascinated me, hence more “what ifs” arose to devil my mind.

Where do ideas come from? Everywhere!

To purchase my recent releases, the western historical THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE and the modern time travel OUT OF THE BLUE, in print and e-download please go to www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html and other online stores including Amazon and Digi-Books. For my backlist of contemporaries, SNOWFIRES and BE MY GUEST, and linked historicals, THE MOST UNSUITABLE WIFE and THE MOST UNSUITABLE HUSBAND, please check Smashwords at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/36055?ref=CarolineClemmons. They will soon be available in download from other online sources.

Thanks, Lynne, for letting me guest on your blog today.

It's been my pleasure, Caronine. Here is a sneak peak at THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE, a western historical romance set in 1885:

Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas McClintock, but she agrees to wed handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams.

Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. His wife has a silly superstition for everything, but passion-filled nights with her make up for everything. Ah, but what is he to do with a wife and her wild Irish family?

Excerpt: G rated from THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE:

Dallas raised his gaze where Aoife directed. Four girls danced, but only one drew his attention. Shoulders straight and feet flying, Cenora met his glance, then broke away from the other dancers to perform only a few yards from him.

Catcalls sounded nearby. She ignored them but gave a toss of her head. Her hair had come unbound, and her act sent her fiery hair awhirl. Light from the blazing campfire cast an aura-like radiance around her. Lantern glow overhead reflected her eyes sparked with merriment, challenge, and something mysterious he couldn’t name.

No longer the delicate china doll, her wild beauty called to him, mesmerized him. He visualized her brilliant tresses spread across a pillow, her milky skin bared only for him. His body responded, and savage desire shot through him. Surprised at the depth of his reaction, he wondered if her performance in bed would parallel the unbridled nature of her dance.

Good Lord, could this glorious woman truly be his wife? And if so, heaven help him, what on earth was he to do with her?

Stop by and visit the other authors on the blog tour. Don't forget to comment for a chance to win a weekly prize. The more comments you make, the greater your chance of winning!

Meet contemporary and paranormal romance author Jill James at http://amielouellen.wordpress.com/

Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan at http://authorjenniferjakes.blogspot.com/

Meet contemporary YA and adult romance author Linda Kage at http://www.ajbooks.blogspot.com/

Meet historical and paranormal romance writer Lilly Gayle at http://maevegreyson.blogspot.com/

Meet Amie Louellen, author of fun and whimsical contemporary romance at http://amycorwin.blogspot.com/

Meet erotic western historical author Jennifer Jakes at http://www.jilljameswrites.com/blog

Meet author AJ Nuest at http://www.katduncan.net/writeabout

Meet paranormal romance author Maeve Greyson at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

Meet author Amy Corwin at http://www.lillygayleromance.blogspot.com/

And I will be at Linda's!  http://lindakage.blogspot.com/


Lynne Roberts said...

Thank you so much for you post. I think you hit the nail on the head. Creative ideas come from everywhere. Writers only need to pluck them and turn them into something readable. ; )

Amy said...

So true, Caroline! Loved the quote! And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who buys something at a flea market and wonders who had it before me. :-)

Sherry Cahill said...

Oooh! That excerpt sounds goooood! Ideas are everywhere, how you use them makes all the difference.


Lilly Gayle said...

I love Daryn's answer. lol! And don't ya just hate it when you're working on one story and another story idea pops into your head and just want leave you alone? Man, if only I could write faster!
Great post, Caroline.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Oh, Lilly, you are so right. I'm working hard to finish a story now and this other one keeps nagging at me "work on me, work on me." I'm determined to finish the WIP first, but I'm eager to get into the next one.

AJ Nuest said...

Oh, the voices in our heads. Most often I finish a story, just so I can start ANOTHER story, because I can't stand all those darn people in my head. They just won't SHUT UP! Not until I get them down on paper, with their very own story for all to read. Yes, it is a crazy way to live, and very distracting, but I wouldn't have it any other way. ;-)

Jill James said...

Caroline, great post. Ideas really do just come from everywhere. Until I was a teenager I thought everyone had voices in their head to talk to. LOL

Susan Macatee said...

Your stories are wonderful, Caroline! And I think what makes a fiction writer is the ability to absorb ideas and allow them to percolate, sometimes for years, to develop into a story. One story can even develop from several ideas put together.

And I agree, we writers have to be at least a little bit crazy. Why else would we put ourselves thought this? LOL.

rbooth43 said...

I enjoy reading how writers get their ideas. My favorite book of 2010 is Lilly Gayle's OUT OF THE DARKNESS. A very suspenseful, romantic paranomal read!
Thanks for the post,Lynne and Caroline.