Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: Shana Galen

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.


Chrisbails said...

My kids inspire me. They make me a better person. If I am down, I will read a good book or listen to some country music and it will make me fell better. Maybe some Jason Aldean, Chris Young, or Keith Urban.
Big fan of your books and would love to win and read this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

Ora said...

I finished reading the book yesterday and loved it. I was expecting Bastien to find out about his brothers from the pirate who Armand spoke with. I kept wondering if he would see Bastien in Gilbalter when they returned to Brest. I was a little surprised on how it was revealed to the characters about how Julien was alive and living in England and how they traveled to England. I didn't expect it. Can't wait for your next book and also to read more about Adrian and Sophia.

Shana said...

Chris, I love that answer. My daughter inspires me, too, but it's easy to forget that.

Shana said...

Ora, hopefully those were good surprises. I do like to keep readers guessing, and it's not easy.

Meljprincess said...

Everything insires me. I've even found inspiration in doctor's waiting rooms. Shana, I can't wait to read PIRATES!!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Shana. Your series sounds great. I find inspiration from music, nature, magazines and the news.

Shana said...

Mel, I wish I could find inspiration in doctor's waiting rooms. Last year i was in them a lot with Baby Galen.

Shana said...

Crystal, how could I have forgotten to mention music. I totally find that inspiring.

Ora said...

Yes I was surprised ina good way. Loced the series.

Diane D - Florida said...

The person that inspires me the most if my daughter. Without her, I would be lost.

What time of day do you prefer writing your books? How on earth do you come up with so much to fill around 350 pages? You've obviously got a very vivid imagination Shana.

Congratulations on the release of "A Rogue Pirate's Bride". i went looking for it today but, was out of luck.

dpd333 (at) aol dot com

Mrs. Axcell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shana said...

Great inspiration, Diane. I tend to write early in the morning. I'm least distracted then. And I don't know how I come up with enough materials for the whole book. I just write the story.

♡♥♬ Louis ♬♥♡ said...

I find inspiration in music and art (paintings and photographs) - a glass of wine helps a lot too :)

Shana said...

Oh, good, Ora. I hate to disappoint.

Shana said...

Louis, wine makes me sleepy, so no inspiration there. But there have been many, many great books written under the influence of much wine.

June M. said...

Hi Shana! Your book sounds really great. I guess what inspires me the most is my family, music, and nature.

Kathleen O said...

I find inspiration from the people around me and especially my family and friends.. From the music I listen to and the books I read.
I am looking forward to these books. I love pirates.

lag123 said...

Music inspires me. I love to quilt and Iisten to different types of music while I am quilting. My mood decides what music. I love Pandora because I can pick what fits my mood.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Theresa N. said...

My inspiration comes from books and magazines.
Theresa N

Unknown said...

Music and books inspire me. When I need to get away from everything I just listen to music or lose myself in a good book.

mamabunny13 said...

My daughter inspires me :)

Johanna R Jochum said...

My kids inspire me the most. Movies and tv shows don't really but sometimes music will. Thanks for sharing.


Renee said...

I loved the first two books in the series and have been impatiently waiting for this one!

The things that inspire me are good books and good movies, funny things that happen, or just sitting back and thinking about a time or a place. I think inspiration comes from music or nature too. I found two ducks on our pond yesterday and built them into characters in my mind. Not that I'm a writer. But you see how I work. Anything and everything can be inspirational!

bn100 said...

I inspired by authors and new books.

Lexi said...

Music for sure, it makes me happy, sad, feel like dancing, or fighting, making love, or just chilling with a drink in my hand.
Your work and research paid off! I love pirates, easy to be inspired there =) I hope The Rogue Pirate's Bride is a smashing success!