Posted by Anna Sugden Nov 4 2016, 1:00 am in Anna Sugden, firefighter hero., Harlequin Superromance, Rachel Brimble, Story ideas, Story inspiration, Templeton Cove
I’m delighted to welcome back Lair favourite, fellow Brit and my lovely Supers sister, Rachel Brimble! Rachel is here in the Lair today to celebrate the launch of the sixth book in her wonderful Templeton Cove series — Saved by the Firefighter — which is out this week. Great to have you here, Rachel. Pull up a comfy seat, grab your favourite tipple and Lair hunk and let’s get to it! Talking about inspiration (as if the Lair hunks — that pesky Golden Rooster definitely not included — aren’t enough inspiration!), in case some of our friskier BBs thought I meant something else … yes, I know how your minds work!
Thanks, Anna! It’s great to be back with you all.
One of the most common questions asked of authors is, “Where do you find your ideas?”. I try to answer this as fully as I possibly can, but it is actually a hard question to which any writer can give a definitive answer.
Ideas are everywhere – whether it be your own experiences, other people’s experiences, the news, historical buildings, modern buildings, holidays, museums, bars, celebrities…but my favourite is TV shows.
How many times have you watched a show and thought “I wouldn’t have ended it that way” or “surely that character wouldn’t have reacted that way considering her or his past” or “what if something different had happened instead of that car crash/gift being delivered/conversation.”
All of these scenarios provide me with a premise/starting point from which I can build an entire story. A lot of romance writers start with their characters, but I usually start with a premise or ‘what if’ question. As a very visual writer, TV shows provide me with images that I can use to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes, I will take aspects of one character and blend it with aspects of another. I have had aspiring writers ask me if using TV shows in this way is in some way cheating?
On this question, I can give a definitive answer…absolutely not!
If you attended a writing class where the tutor gave ten students a premise, a character or a setting and asked them to write a story around that information, the likelihood is the tutor would receive ten completely different stories.
The same is true of an aspect I take from a TV show – whatever my creation is, I can guarantee it will bear no resemblance to my original source. Character actions, character traits and characters’ backstories will take care of that. I am a mix of a plotter and a pantser and ultimately, my characters decide the route any story will take.
For my latest release, Saved by the Firefighter (Harlequin Superromance), the inspiration to write a firefighter story came from watching The Smoke back in 2014 and then episodes of Chicago Fire. The series showed me how diverse both the characters and plotlines can be when based around a group of male and female firefighters.
I wrote this book during a very deep grieving period over the loss of my beloved black Lab, Max. I had no clue how dark a place I would go after losing such a constant and loyal companion. At first, I couldn’t write and then it struck me that I could vent my sadness, my anger and grief through my characters. The fact I write romance and ultimately, the story would end with a happy ever after, gave me hope that by writing the book, I’d be on the right track to find a way through my own grief.
I’m happy to say my thought process worked!
For the dog lovers among you, Max is the black lab and Rachel’s new fur-baby, Tyler, is the chocolate lab.
Inspiration is everywhere, it’s just a case of looking for it and waiting for that spark of excitement that confirms you are on the right track.
So, tell me is there a story, show or movie for which you’d like to rewrite the ending?
Saved by the Firefighter
How can she forgive him for what he didn’t do?
Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they’re forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable.
Izzy knows it’s not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn’t something she’s prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JFHYGQW
Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B01FQX473Q
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saved-by-the-firefighter-rachel-brimble/1123750035?ean=9781488006906
Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had six books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for two more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
She also recently signed with a UK agent so is represented both sides of the Atlantic.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Oct 1 2014, 12:05 am in CLOSE TO THE FIRE, contemporary romance, firefighter hero., Romantic suspense, Suzanne Ferrell
Hey, y’all! Pull up a comfy chair. It’s been a while since we just visited. That’s what my grandma CindyJane used to call talking with friends and family. She’d say, “Sit down and let’s visit a while.” When I was little that meant for me to crawl up onto the couch beside her, snuggle in and tell her everything going on in my life. As a teen and young adult, it meant sitting at the table with her, my aunts and mom and talk about life, family, neighbors…everything and anything!
My parents came from a small town in the Blue Ridge range of the Appalachians in Eastern Tennessee. I loved going there for vacations and visiting with all my extended family. Grandma CindyJane, Grandpa Sherm, my aunts, uncles, cousins. I loved the charm of the small town, saying hello to people who knew my family intimately. When I started writing the Westen series, a series of romances in a small Ohio town, I drew on the experiences of my Tennessee visits in building my fictional community.
In CLOSE TO THE FIRE, I return to Westen for another visit with those friends. Lorna Doone is still running the Peaches ‘N Cream Cafe. Doc Clint and Emma still run the local health clinic with the help of taciturn nurse, Harriett. Gage and Bobby are busy planning their wedding and keeping the town safe with all the deputies of the sheriff’s department. But it’s been a long, dry summer and things are heating up in Westen, especially for Fire Chief Deke Reynolds.
They once were lovers:
After ten years of keeping his distance to the one woman he’s always loved, Fire Chief Deke Reynolds is finally ready to set aside his grief and confess his guilt to Elizabeth “Libby” Wilson about his part in her brother’s death. Libby’s own guilty secret has kept her from sharing her life with the man who stole her heart as a teen and awakened her body as a young woman.
Danger has forced them together again:
A fire and their odd connection to a new teenager at the local half-way house have this couple finally sharing their secrets with each other. With an arsonist on the loose, threatening the town of Westen and its citizens, have Libby and Deke waited too long to find their love again?
That’s the cover and cover blurb for the book, (out this month and available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes and KOBO). It’s a reunion story. I love those, thinking how two people so in love could be driven apart and eventually get their second chance at happiness. Time and tragedy have kept these two apart, but as Lorna Doone would say, “Even in Westen there’s an expiration date on stubbornness.”
CLOSE TO THE FIRE is also a story about a young man finding a place to belong. Also, a much beloved character finds someone with whom to share his heart. And finally a community comes together once again to meet trouble head-on.
So, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of CLOSE TO THE FIRE and have a sit-down with the friends waiting to visit with you in Westen.