Friday, October 24, 2014

Pull Up A Chair With Mon ~ Let's Talk About: Where’d That Idea Come From? #WriteTips #WritersAndReaders

 Where’d That Idea Come From?

I have another treat for you! Yesterday I had the lovely Linda Carroll-Bradd visiting. Today I have the fabulous Nancy Fraser hanging out with me. She's another talented author that I love, and she's kindly agreed to pull up a chair with me to talk about where she gets her ideas. 

Monique: Welcome, Nancy! So thrilled you're here today.

Nancy: Thanks, Monique, I'm happy to be here.

Monique: One of the first questions authors are routinely asked is: "where do you get your ideas?" You have such a wide variety of books, it must be a challenge to come up with so many fresh ideas. Tell us about where you get your ideas, Nancy, then please share with us a little of your new contemporary romance Home is Where the Hunk is. 

Nancy: Like most authors, if I’ve heard that question once, I’ve heard it a hundred … no make that a thousand … times.

And, as I’ve always said, my ideas come from life.

I write both contemporary and historical romances, as well as the historical sub-genre known as vintage (think 1950’s, 1960’s). Ideas for each if these varied genres must be gleaned from entirely different places.

Contemporary romances are by far the easiest … just look around you. What’s hot on television? What’s the latest fad? The hardest part about finding an idea for a contemporary is that most of the current storylines have been done to death.

Because I like to inject humor into my contemporaries, I look for a funny incident to introduce my characters (e.g., a case of mistaken identity) like I did with my holiday novella, Pushing the Limits. My very first book, a sweet contemporary, brought my hero together based on something that had happened to me in real life. I’d been the victim of a flasher and so, I had my heroine (the victim) and the hero (the local sheriff) first meet when she goes to the authorities to make a rather comical statement.

My current book, Home is Where the Hunk is, was actually based on a true-life event. I interviewed the woman in question and then fashioned her heart-warming, selfless story into a romance. 

Historical romances are a bit more complicated. While the idea can come from something around you, research is still necessary to make the story fit the time period. Because I’m a child of the 50’s and 60’s, I find the vintage era easy to write and base my stories on actual memories from my childhood. I also let the wonderful music inspire me.

How about ideas for older historical romances? History books are a wealth of information, of course, but there are other places. When my mother passed away years ago I found a shoebox on a shelf in her bedroom closet. Filled with papers from the 1910’s and 20’s, it literally sang to me with possibilities. The box included ration stamps from World War II, a receipt for a car my grandfather purchased in 1924, and a card of pearl buttons that sold for ten cents. Each item, while of no value to anyone but my mother, shouted “write about me”, “tell my story”. In the bottom of the box were letters from my father to my mother, some from while he was away during the war, some from afterward when they were separated due to his work. I can honestly say … I had no idea my father was so romantic! I haven’t done “their” story yet, but I plan to.

So, where do those ideas come from … just about any place your mind can take you! Writers out there … unleash your inner muse and keep writing. Readers, please keep reading. You are why we do what we do!

Home is Where the Hunk is


When globe-trotting photographer Allison Cain comes home to her family ranch in Montana it’s to get to know her nephew and to make amends with the widowed brother-in-law she’s left alone to raise his young son.

Evan Carver could never deny his late wife’s younger sister anything, despite the fact she’s been conspicuously absent over the past three years since her sister’s death. Now she’s home again on what she’s called an extended vacation. Evan’s first concern is for his son, Cody, and how his aunt’s visit will affect the five year old when she decides to return to her high profile career.

Allison has no intention of going back to work. In addition to getting to know Cody, she needs to confess her biggest secret to Evan. How do you tell the man you’ve always loved that you’re not just his son’s aunt, but also his mother?


Slowly she raised her head. Unshed tears filled her eyes, making them glisten like liquid stars. Evan felt a lump form in his own throat. She blinked rapidly in what Evan suspected was a conscious effort to hide her emotions. A knot tightened his gut. He had the sudden urge to take Ali in his arms, as he’d done the day she arrived, and bury her face against his chest, preferably without the argument that followed.
In the very back of his over-used imagination, he could see her coming willingly into his arms. He could feel the heat of her tears against his chest. His reaction surprised and frightened him in equal measure. He didn’t want to feel this way about her, especially when he knew she wouldn’t stay.
“Me, too,” she admitted softly, drawing Evan’s attention from her teary eyes to her soft, pink lips. The tears she’d been fighting back so tenaciously now pearled on her lashes, threatening to spill forth at any second.
Evan moved away from the tree, inching his way around Cody and close to Allison’s side. Cautiously, he lifted his hand and caught the first tear on his thumb, uncertain of exactly what had made her cry, yet knowing he selfishly welcomed the chance to offer her comfort.
“When I left South America, the only thing I could think of was coming here. I wanted desperately to feel the lush grass beneath my bare feet and to smell the fresh, clean air.”
“I don’t care what made you decide to come home. You’re here now and welcome to stay as long as you like.” Drawing her into his arms, he held her close and tilted her chin up with his fingertips until their gazes met.
At the first touch of his lips to hers, Evan tasted the cinnamon and apple of the dessert they’d just consumed. He pressed his lips more firmly to hers. She hesitated only briefly before returning his kiss with one of her own. He barely had time to consider what they’d done when Ali’s trembling voice broke through his consciousness.
“Evan,” she whispered. “Don’t, please.” Pressing her hands to his chest, she pushed lightly. Yet, when he would have backed away, she clenched the front of his shirt tightly in her fists. “We can’t . . .” she warned, still seemingly unwilling to let him go.
“Ali, it was only a kiss.”
She looked up at him with tear-filled eyes and Evan knew if he didn’t let her go he’d likely do something they’d both regret. Gently, he grasped her hands in his and pulled them from the death grip she’d taken on his shirt. With his thumb he wiped away a final spent tear then released her completely. A moment later he was on his feet and walking back toward the damaged fence. It would take every ounce of strength he possessed, he realized, to keep from turning around and taking her into his arms again.



Author BIO

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people. She invites you to visit her website ( and follow her on Twitter (@nfraserauthor). Or, more importantly, just enjoy what she writes.

Nancy's hiding places:

Close [x]


  1. Thank you so much for having me over for a visit. I hope my suggestions will prove useful. I'll check in again later but, right now, it's time for grandma duty.

    1. I'm thrilled that I get to hang with you today, Nancy. I grabbed my copy of Home is Where the Hunk is and can't wait to get lost between the pages!

  2. Excellent post! Home is Where the Hunk Is sounds delicious. I'm putting it on my TBR list.

  3. Here is the Canadian link on Amazon for your book

  4. Your book sounds wonderful. I know it will be on be Kindle or bookshelf soon. I am currently writing a book. Your words inspire me to keep writing. Thanks for the post!

  5. I really enjoyed this post! Great inspiration for an aspiring writer like myself. Also sounds like a great book for the voracious reader like myself. I will be adding this to my Kindle or bookshelf soon.

  6. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments. This book is probably what you'd call "the book of my heart" and I'm very happy to see it out there for everyone to read.

  7. Oh wow, that story sounds like a great book, loved the excerpt and the book cover. I shared the book link on my Facebook wall and added it to my wish list.

  8. Even though I'm a writer myself, as a reader, I love hearing how other writers come up with story ideas. Fun and informative post. And, Home is Where the Hunk Is looks like a winner!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I greatly appreciate it! :) :)