This week, I’m starting a new feature on this blog, “Meet My Muse Monday.”
People often ask writers where they get their ideas. Sometimes, the question is akin to asking ‘how do you get to the foot of the rainbow?’ in that there is no real answer. Sure, somewhere deep in our brains there must be some connections happening, subconscious associations that turn into that initial spark, but they're beyond reach. And sometimes, you can actually track back the flow of ideas to the source.
The very first incarnation of Bodyguards came from an idea I had a few years ago while reading a ‘special calls’ page from a publishing company – I can’t remember which one, but I do remember they offered a monthly subscription, in which the subscribers received one chapter from a few serials every month. They mentioned were-creatures in the call for submission, and I immediately started thinking of werewolves, which I had never written. What if the heroine was a werewolf, instead of the hero? Of course, I couldn’t let go of my vampires, so the hero would have fangs. The call for submission also asked authors to push the sensuality a little higher. Fine, then. Two vampire heroes. And to make it a little spicier, they’d be brothers, and they'd both fall for the daughter of their employer, a werewolf king, after they had to run with her when the king was attacked by enemies intent on destroying his bloodline.
With that initial idea, I started planning out the chapters and developing my submission outline…and then the publishing company discontinued their monthly subscription feature. I was so annoyed, I set what I had started aside and focused on other projects.
Fast forward to 2012. When Whitney Houston passed away, The Bodyguard started popping up on TV channels. It had been a favorite of mine back in my teen years. It made me think again of that file I hadn’t looked at in a long time, titled ‘Bodyguards,’ with the first outline of the story I had abandoned. I opened it, just to see... and immediately, it started tickling my muse again. The werewolves would have to go, I decided, because I’ve found out since that first outline that I don’t enjoy writing shifters all that much. So what could I do with my heroine if she wasn’t a shifter? Magic, of course! As for the heroes… I liked the idea of brothers fighting side by side to protect the heroine, but maybe they didn’t need to both be vampires. One of them could be a magic user instead, and teach the heroine about her power…and about a lot more than that.
I started jotting down an outline, thinking I had enough material for a short story or novella, and maybe two or three sequels; I ended up with a full novel, and the bare bones for a series that might end up being 7 or 8 stories. All that from a shelved idea that popped back to the forefront of my mind with an old movie...