Please join me in welcoming Shana Galen back to Debbie's Book Bag, today. Shana is here to promote her latest release, The Rogue Pirates Bride. The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for two copies of Shana's book, see details at the end of the post.
by Shana Galen
First of all, thank you so much to Debbie’s Book Bag for having me back. It’s a pleasure to stop by again.
When I look in the thesaurus for a synonym to replace inspiration, I see motivation (stimulation, encouragement, muse) and idea (insight, flash, revelation). I wish I could say my inspiration for the Sons of the Revolution series came from my muse or was some sort of flash or revelation. Instead, it came to me after a lot of thought and brainstorming.
Not all my ideas come to me in such a mundane fashion. Sometimes I am hit by the lightning bolt. Those are always very exciting moments, and the books those moments inspire are usually a lot of fun to write. But, more often than not, I need to think of an idea so I can turn in a proposal so I can get a contract so I can get paid. That’s how the Sons of the Revolution series started out.
That’s not to say I sat at my desk and made a list of ideas then picked one and plotted it out. (Everyone who knows me is laughing right now). I don’t work that way. I just had it in the back of my mind that I needed an idea. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that I actually needed a series. Readers love series. I love reading series and writing series. So I needed a series idea, which is even harder than a single book idea.
The way I brainstorm is I go about my regular routine, while all the time, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, what can I write about, what can I write about? It drives me a little insane and distracts me too. My husband usually knows when I need a new idea because I get a faraway look—even more so than normal—and don’t listen to half of what he says.
So I don’t think he was very surprised when, after several days of this behavior, I said out of nowhere, “It’s going to be about brothers who survived the French Revolution.” He didn’t even blink, although this statement had nothing whatsoever to do with baseball or sports or our plans for the evening. We were on our way to an Astros’ baseball game.
He simply said, “Tell me about it.” I don’t think he was all that interested. He would have rather talked about baseball, but he knew if he didn’t ask I was going to bring it up again later. And that later might be at some crucial point in the game.
So I told him about my idea for a series about three aristocratic brothers who escape the horrors of the French Revolution and are separated as children. I always loved the French Revolution as a setting, and I particularly love the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I wanted to write something in that vein but still set in the Regency period. The first brother would be Julien (The Making of a Duchess), and he would be looking for his other brothers and traveling back and forth to France quite a lot. This travel gets him into trouble with the British government because they suspect he might be a spy. And they send in a spy of their own, Sarah, our heroine.
I told my husband the second book was going to be about Armand (The Making of a Gentleman) who has been imprisoned for twelve years and can’t speak as the book opens. Felicity would be his tutor, charged with helping him learn to speak again. Armand is sort of my homage to the character of Dr. Manette in A Tale of Two Cities.
Then I said, “And the third book will be about Bastien. He’s a pirate.” And that’s about as much as I thought about it until the time came to write The Rogue Pirate's Bride. I had two other books in the series to write first. I wasn’t thinking about the third book.
Until I got to it.
And then I realized I didn’t know anything about ships or sailing or pirates. Well, I knew pirates wore eye patches and said, “me hardees,” but I wasn’t giving my hero an eye patch or having him say, “me hardees.”
And so what happened is what usually happens when inspiration meets reality: I had to do a lot of work and a lot of research and certainly didn’t feel very inspired anymore. And then I started writing the book and all of a sudden I knew why I wanted to write a book with a pirate.
Pirates are really fun to write about! Ship battles are exciting. Sword fights are thrilling. And ships are nice small places that force a hero and heroine into close proximity. And so I ended up being inspired after all.
What kinds of things inspire you? Movies? TV shows? Music?
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for two copies of The Rogue Pirate's Bride by Shana Galen.
~ You must be a GFC follower or E-mail subscriber to participate.
~ US and Canadian Addresses only!
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST February 22nd.
1. Answer Shana's question in the comments or ask a question of your own.
2. Please fill out the FORM.