Shelli Stevens’ CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AND COWBOY NIGHTS is out now! Check out her Pinterest board and Playlist below:
ROAD TO YOU (and me) via Holly Golightly and Princess Ann
My non-writer friends find the whole idea of writing books
fascinating crazy. The very idea makes them offer me a glass of wine and a sympathetic pat on the back. I understand this, of course. Sitting down in front of a computer with a blank page and a blinking cursor intimidates me too, even after twenty-some books. Trying to explain how ideas come to me—a frequently asked question—is even harder. I suppose that’s because no two books are ever the same, not in the way they come to me, nor in the way I figure out how to tell their stories. My latest book, ROAD TO YOU, Book Two in my Band of Brothers series, was no exception. The inspiration for it came (weirdly) from Hollywood. But more on that in a minute…
Books start in different ways, for me at least. Sometimes it’s a single situation or scene, and I have to build both up to it and down after it. Sometimes it’s an exchange of dialogue that pops into my head and I have to know who these people are and how they came to the point where this exchange happens. Sometimes it’s an image, a still or in video, that sparks something. Sometimes it’s hearing something said; I once got an entire book out of a conversation between a mother and her young son in the produce aisle of a grocery store.
But the one thing all of them have in common is music. Songs had always inspired stories, but it was somewhat belatedly in my career that I discovered that a “soundtrack” helped my mind set. And when I began writing more than one book at a time, that soundtrack became essential; it was the main thing that could shift my mind from one world to another. In the case of Whiskey River Rockstar, I already knew my heroine, Zee Mahan, from the previous books. But Jamie Templeton was a bit more elusive, and took some searching.
Want to hear the playlist that inspired author Kasey Lane to write Punk Rock Cowgirl? Listen below on the official Spotify playlist!