I'm often asked where the inspiration came from for books I've written. Most of the time I can pinpoint a specific circumstance or event that inspired me. Occasionally I can't. My inspiration for A Second Splendor is one of those rare occasions. Spontaneous and fanciful thoughts about writing a book with 'true love never dies' as its theme had been running around in my head and images were troubling my imagination for a long time before I began to put those thoughts and images together in some meaningful combination.
When I did it was more a result of desperation than it was inspiration. To paraphrase Montaigne, I was treating my imagination gently by trying to relieve it of all trouble and conflict. As I sorted through ideas for characters in my little drama, quite suddenly reality collided with my subjective inner world of impressions and feelings. My hero and heroine must be very young at the onset of the story-in high school maybe? I forgot my struggle to put life and substance to my characters as my plot began to unravel inside my head. I would write about a teenage bride. That shouldn't be hard for me to do since I had once been a teenage bride. My imagination took flight and I began to make my outline. Almost immediately I had second thoughts. I was incorporating into my plot a very controversial subject. After arguing with myself through a long morning, I decided to pursue this plot line anyway.
Later when I tried to write character sketches of my hero and heroine, I ran into a brick wall, leading me to decide that imagination can be both a blessing and a curse. I laid my work aside and forgot it for several weeks. Then one evening, as I read these lines from a poem by John Wilmot:
"If I, by miracle can be
This livelong minute true to thee,
'Tis all that heave allows.
My fickle imagination returned with a vengeance. My heroine must be complex yet straightforward, wise and at the same time foolish. How would I reconcile those disparities? My hero must be strong and at the same time be considerate and kind. It would be challenging to make a man who did some of the things this man did, seem a hero. I had my work cut out for me.
Once more I was writing A Second Splendor. What did any of this have to do with the poem I had been reading? Nothing, except those lines succeeded in kicking my imagination into overdrive. How? I don't know. Who can explain how imagination operates?
From conception to completion, I struggled with this book as I have no other. It defied so many of my unwritten rules for writing. Maybe that's why it holds such a special place in my heart.
We have a wonderful line-up of blogs to visit, and three arc copies of A Second Splendor will be given to three lucky people drawn from those commenting on the blogs! Click on the blog name below to read and comment and stand a chance to win – make sure you visit on the right day!
A Second Splendor is available HERE
9 August – Lovestruck Novice
13 August – Nicole Zoltack
15 August – Maryann Miller’s It’s Not All Gravy
17 August – Linda Banche
19 August – Maggi Andersen
21 August – Steph Burkhart
25 August – Liana Laverentz
Julie Anderson is not happy that her ex-husband is coming home to attend their daughter’s wedding. Max has broken her heart in the past – not once, but twice. Thank goodness she’s too wise to fall under his spell again, or is she?
Max Anderson has some reservations about his daughter’s coming marriage to the son of his ex wife’s business partner. He shows up early and walks into a situation that begs him to intervene. When he does all hell breaks loose.
Have fun everyone!