Every writer has had someone ask, “…so tell me, where do you get your ideas from?” I’m sure some writers dig into their own past or use the latest horror story from a local newspaper. Me, I can only say, an idea is born of its own will. I can be lathering my hair in the shower or driving down the freeway and the first lines hit me. And an idea for a novel or screenplay is born.
But that idea may only last for the first three pages. Then comes the work. It’s as if that tiny spark of inspiration gets me warmed up. Afterward, I begin to sketch out characters and make outlines. These outlines are total throwaways which will be changed over and over. But at least I’ll know if I have an idea that works or if it can be refined and prodded into something that works. Of course, at the heart of everything is a romance. A painful one. Because to me passionate love should be a bumpy ride. The yearning to be in love is the basis for everything I write.
The other question people ask is: Are you the basis for the main female character? I admit there are parts of me in her. I’ll include my tastes or reactions and attitudes. But I am a fiction writer. So my imagination does a lot to bring in a book. Research helps a lot, too. My latest release, Night Glitter, takes a modern woman back to the 1929 and the early 1930’s, which meant that I had to spend hours researching–and I enjoyed every minute of it. I really loved looking through old microfilm and digging for details which helped the material come alive.
But I am not the sexy heroine who inhabits my novels. And it really makes me nervous when a male friend has read one of my books and seems to think I’m writing from experience. Because my books include a certain amount of heart stopping passion – I hope. But even though my main character Jeri Devlin spends a lot of time in silent film star Franky Wyatt’s pool house, in Night Glitter, that doesn’t mean I have.
How do you like your heroines? Do you prefer someone you can identify with? Or maybe you’d rather read about someone who is your opposite – someone who you can live vicariously through? Leave a comment for a chance to win copies of all three NIGHT books by Jill Shure – Night Jazz, Night Glitter, and Night Caps. Be sure to leave your email address so that you can be contacted if you’re chosen as the winner. Due to shipping costs, the contest is open to US and Canada residents. The winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, April 30.