Guest: Lucy Monroe on Inspiration

Hi friends! As you see we’ve got Lucy Monroe visiting with us today! She’s a total sweetheart and I’ve been reading her books forever, it feels like. From her Harlequin Presents to her Brava books and on. So I’m happy that she’s guesting here. 🙂

Inspiration Can Be a Smack Upside Your Head

Glam NightAfter losing my mom, Hubcap (otherwise known as Tom) and I decided we needed to spend more quality time with his parents. So, we decided to take them on a cruise. It had nothing to do with the fact that his mother said, “Don’t send me alone with Papa again! I won’t go.” Okay, well, very little to do with it, anyway.

We opted for Alaska because it was someplace Tom’s father had always wanted to see and we’d heard so many good things about the cruises to our 49th State from friends and family. We booked the rooms (NOT next door for self-preservation), decided yes we WOULD drive to Seattle together and board as a group and went for it.

The cruise north was gorgeous and after we passed out our extra sea-sickness patches to the parents, even pleasant. The food was yummy and the fjord we sailed into was mind boggling, but it was our first stop that hit me upside the head with inspiration and started the moving pictures of stories playing through my head.

Willie Nelson LookalikeWe opted to take a tour of the town and who was our tour guide but Willie Nelson, or at least his look alike. Until the man took off his wig and glasses. Oh, my gosh…were these people quirky. Everyone I met didn’t just spark character ideas, there WERE characters! And the places they lived, the stories they told, the attitudes they held.

Tom and I have done a lot of traveling all over this country and out of it. No place has felt so very unique to itself as Alaska. I’m not sure why. Every person we met, whether native or a transplant was just so certain of their place in this world and that place was Alaska.

My mind spun with ideas of a little town where people lived like that, knowing where they belonged and it wasn’t the Lower 48. The thing was, I was still under contract for two other series at the time with no place in my calendar for new books.

Would the stories go away? They would not. Neither would these quirky people. Every town we stopped at we met new and interesting people, we saw amazing landscapes, experienced towns unlike the ones back home. It was absolutely mind-blowing. And frustrating.

Alaskan TownBecause inspiration does not come with automatic time, or a publisher or a readership, or anything else to make it work as a series.

However, a couple of months later when Berkley pulled the plug on my Children of the Moon and Kensington said no thanks to anything without some suspense in it, my agent said, “Let’s shop it.” And he did and Grand Central (Forever) was keen to try this quirky new series with hot alpha heroes, set in small town Alaska.

So, I guess I owe a debt of thanks to my mother-in-law for refusing to go cruising alone with her husband of 51 years! I know I owe something big to the state of Alaska for the kind of inspiration you can’t plan for and there’s no denying! And I’m even thankful to Berkley for backing off from my Children of the Moon.

It sure hurt at the time, but now I’m looking at these new books and know they never would have happened otherwise.

Hip hip hurray for inspiration that hits you upside the head!

Hugs and happy reading,

Wild HeatSometimes old flames are the hottest of all . . .

In the quaint little town of Cailkirn, Alaska, it’s impossible to keep a secret, especially one as juicy as the unexpected return of Kitty Grant. Tack MacKinnon remembers her wild red curls and even wilder spirit-and still feels the sting from when she shattered his heart in college. But there’s a pain in Kitty’s gorgeous eyes that guts him to the core and Tack is determined to do whatever it takes to see the woman he still loves smile again-even if it means taking on her demons as his own.

After fleeing an abusive ex-husband, Kitty decides that the best way to heal her broken heart is to come back home. But she gets a whole new shock when she sees how undeniably sexy Tack has become. More handsome, more muscular, more charming-more everything-he’s impossible to resist. Before she knows it, they’re reigniting sparks that could set the whole state of Alaska on fire. Yet trust doesn’t come easy to Kitty anymore, and as things heat up between her and Tack, she can’t help but wonder if one of them is going to get burned . . .

So, have you read any of Lucy’s books? Has inspiration unexpectedly struck you before? [For anything – not just reading/writing related.] Or – have you ever taken a cruise? Maybe one with family if you were brave? 😉

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