Finding Inspiration

For the past week, I’ve been in dream-up-a-new-story mode. This one is for the Love Inspired Suspense line. Since people often ask me how I come up with ideas, I thought I’d share some recent examples with you.

Ideas for snippets of scenes come from anywhere and everywhere; from a conversation at the dinner table; an interesting character I see while out and about; an intriguing news article or this gorgeous sight outside my office window this morning:

Sunrise on SnowThis particular image got me thinking that my heroine should see this the morning after a particularly traumatic evening to renew her hope. Then again…

You know what they say about red sky in the morning?

Shepherds heed warning.

That goes double for characters in my books. 😉

The original idea for the story I’m fleshing out right now actually started in 2011, while visiting a critically ill friend when her male nurse paid a visit. He was pretty handsome and so we had fun dreaming up a story featuring him.

His role has changed over the years, as the story ruminated in the recesses of my computer (ur mind). But that was the seed.

Story ideas often spring from what-if questions, too.

In this case, we asked: What if the bad guys go after the wrong woman?

It makes for lots of potential dicey situations, which my editor always loves to see. 😀

And…from the beginning, we planned to include a dog in a key role in the story.

That idea came about during a creative exercise I did for writer’s block, in which you choose three random words then write a few sentence vignette that incorporates them.

I liked the vignette so much, that at this point, it is still part of my opening scene.

Since I had so much fun with Rusty, Zach’s son’s dog in Identity Withheld, I’m looking forward to discovering this new dog’s personality. The inspiration for Rusty came from a newsletter subscriber who told me about the crazy things her childhood dog used to do and from an adorable Golden Doodle I met while out walking.

I haven’t settled on the particulars for my newest dog character. I’m thinking Ranger sounds like a fun name and I’m thinking a Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle dog) might fit the bill.

They’re courageous, watchful, protective of family, distrustful of strangers, high energy. Sounds perfect for a suspense don’t you think.

Of course, my Bella thinks she should be the model for the character:

BellaAwardShe is after all an award-winning actor. Even it was only in my daughter’s film for schdue southool.  😉

I personally think she’s been watching too much Due South and has illusions of grandeur. 😎

Your Turn: Any suggestions?


  • I think a Blue Heeler/Australian Shepherd is a great choice…lol Our Rikki is just such a dog. She is sweet, has energy to burn and protects us with a very loud bark. We really think no one would ever break in here – they would be scared away by the bark!
    She just wants to be loved and enjoys tummy rubs anytime

    • Oh, cool! Could you email me a picture or two of her I could use as a model and for my bonus features. 😀

  • One thing you can play with if you use a Blue Heeler or maybe even a Catahoula Cur is they usually attach to one person. My son-in-law has the last one and she is his dog. She tolerates the rest of the family, but I think she would die for him. I understand Blue Heelers are the same way.

    • Oh, that’s great to know, Pat! I can certainly use that. My one dilemma now is that I need her to run away in the first scene. Maybe I’ll have to have her be more attached to someone else. 😉

  • I have a blue heeler/merle (Australian Cattle Dog) named Samwise. I still have a picture of him up on my blog. They are wonderful dogs! One of the most famous cattle dogs is from Mad Max. You could google Mad Max’s dog and see him. They are tough little tanks of energy.

Great to "see" you here today! I look forward to reading your comment.