Lately there’ve been a lot of blogs written about where we get our ideas for stories. I’ve decided to jump into the fray. For me it's a smell, photo, vacation, painting, performance, movie, kilt, personal experience, and so on. Ideas are around everywhere and when the right moment strikes with the right idea my story begins. I am an author who relies on my characters to guide me along through their story once I place them where I want them.
Setting is easy. I live where my historicals are set and can find living history all around me. We have plenty of buildings left from the 1849 gold rush in California. With camera in hand I have explored most of them, including a saloon that has a savory reputation even today.
Who I choose as my heroes happened when we were in the Highlands of Scotland three years ago. We had stopped at a small eatery and started talking with an elderly couple who were riding bikes. The gentleman said they had just spent time in front of a pile of rocks that was the grave of some Scotsman named Roy. I nearly jumped out of the chair and screamed, “Not Rob Roy MacGregor?” He nodded and graciously gave us directions to the church where the Scot who has been in so many stories I’ve read and loved over the years. Standing in front of his grave in the churchyard in Balquhidder was an experience I won’t forget.
I could almost hear the bagpipes echoing in the tall mountains and Rob Roy yelling as he chased ‘bad guys’ through the glens and mountains that surrounded us. I decided not to join the many authors who write stories set in the Highlands, but rather bring my heroes to the Gold Rush era from Scotland. Those Scottish hunks have a way of stirring my imagination and lure ny heroines to fall in love with them. Life can be so good!