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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Where Does Inspiration and Ideas Come From?

Hi Everyone, and thanks for stopping by to blog with me today! It's an honor to be here, and I'll look forward to any comments or questions you may have. Also, I'm going to have a small contest at the end of the day: Leave a comment! I will draw a random name to win a signed copy of my February release, MacGowan's Ghost. :)

Now for the fun part!

Inspiration and ideas. I have many readers who ask me this same question. Where do they come from? For me, ideas and inspiration come from all over the place: people, places, scents, reading, history, the news, my own imagination--you name it. I think most writers are constantly on guard for any sort of scrap of something that will lead to a story, and it could possibly be things that someone else wouldn't even notice. Some of my characters come straight out of my imagination. Others are inspired by someone.

Take for instance, my hero in MacGowan's Ghost, Gabe MacGowan. Gerard Butler was the push behind that character, right down to his sexy Scottish accent and adorable crooked mouth as he speaks certain words. :) A favorite of women all over the world, he simply just fit Gabe's personality. My heroine, Allie Morgan, had a role model, as well: Kate Hudson. Her bubbly, hippy-like and fun-loving demeanor really set the pace for Allie, and the two characters combined created a wonderful on-page chemistry (for me, anyway!).

Even the setting, Sealladh na Mara, had an inspiration: Sheildaig, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. It's a beautiful village nestled against the sea, and a place that inspired me as soon as I set eyeballs on it. I added my own cast of villagers--alive and ghostly--including a flirty sea captain, a pair of dueling lords, a French noblewoman, and a friar.

In my past books I've had castles that I'd visited as settings--Dunnottar in the north east of Scotland is a favorite of mine. One of the most dramatic ruins (to me, anyway!) in Britain, it is an amazing sight, and one I'll probably use over and over again.

As far as actual character traits? Well, some I nab from personal friends, family members, or the occasional quirky stranger. :) Others come from my imagination. I like to write about people, whether alive or not so alive, who I'd love to hang out with. :)

MacGowan's Ghost releases Febrary 3rd! A little about the story: Gabe MacGowan is a guilt-
ridden single father who is haunted by his dead wife's angry spirit. He also grew up in Sealladh na Mara, a west Highland village known throughout Scotland as a "haven" for ghosts. He and the other villagers have grown up with the quirky spirits, but he thinks the best thing for his young son Jake would be to move from Sealladh na Mara and closer to the city. But the ghosts of his pub and inn aren't about to let that happen, even when Gabe hires Allie Morgan to oust the spirits--or at least keep them quiet long enough--and sell the pub. But he doesn't count on Allie to win his heart, along with those of the rest of Sealladh na Mara. :)

Again, thanks for having me here! Have fun with comments and questions, and at the end of the day I'll draw a name for a signed copy of MacGowan's Ghost!

Happy Reading!


Kim Lenox said...

Great post! And wonderful inspirations, all around. I love your quirky characters! Congratulations on your release.

Antonia said...

Its really awesome to see you draw inspiration from some of the same types of things that I do. I can't wait to read your new book! And thanks so much for your comment on my post.

mrevelle said...

Congrats on yet another release! I'm hoping to get into town and pick it up before my trip to North Carolina this weekend!

Stephanie said...

Waiting for Amazon.com and the Post office to deliver my copy. According to their tracking - next Monday.

Pam P said...

Great post on your inspirations, Cindy, your books are fun to read.

Francesca Prescott said...

Hi Cindy,
I posted a comment yesterday but it didn't show up! I enjoyed reading your post; I've never been to Scotland but would love to go one day - I live in Switzerland, so you'd think it wouldn't be too complicated, wouldn't you! So many places to go, and so few holidays! It was fun to hear that Allie Morgan, the main character of your new book, was inspired by Kate Hudson's bubbly, bohemian personality, I also really like her. I wish you lots of beautiful things, and many sales, of course!

Cindy Miles said...

Thanks for the great posts, everyone! :) And Antonia...you're the winner of the book drawing! Please send me your mailing address to hauntedromances@yahoo.com !!!

Happy Reading!!!

Antonia said...

OMG AWESOME!!!!! Thanks so much!!!

lastnerve said...

What a great article! I love the people you chose for inspiration for your book and I simply cannot wait to read it! Hey Antonia, CONGRATS! You have a great day!