I’m often asked where I get ideas for my stories.
I can answer with one word: anywhere.
I’d written for four years before my work caught my agent’s eye, having completed five historical romances at that point. Each of them stemmed from different sources of inspiration.
The idea for my first story–one that is hidden in a remote spot on my hard drive–came in a dream. I woke with my heroine firmly in mind. Her story gushed forth. The hard copy filled two, two-inch binders when I was finished. Six dear friends from church slogged through those 600 plus pages. Bless them. They all said nice things and offered wagon loads of encouragement.
My second story stemmed from the setting. I chose a town here in the Gold Country where I live, found a book about it, and discovered some interesting professions specific to the area. One of them grabbed me. A story took root and began to grow.
The Story Behind A Bride Opens Shop
The third story I wrote is the one that became my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. I went on location to show you some of the places I got my inspiration.
The Main Characters in A Bride Opens Shop
Vintage photographs are one of my favorite sources of inspiration. When I’ve come upon a stash of them tucked away in some remote corner of a musty antique store, I’ve been known to turn heads due to the squeal of delight I’m unable to suppress. I emitted one such squeal the day I found a basket containing the photographs seen below. The four people pictured became the models for the characters in A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.
As you might expect, I tweaked things a bit. Elenora doesn’t have bangs, or fringe, as the woman in the picture does. The gentleman’s mustache is not as neatly trimmed as the one meticulous Miles sports. Maude and Tildy, however, look just like the the models I used. Of course, exuberant, outgoing Tildy rarely frowns, but crusty Maude certainly does. In the early days of photography, models had to hold their poses for so long that their smiles would fade, which is why you rarely see a picture of a smiling Victorian.