Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Guest: Amie Louellen on Creative Ideas

Welcome to week two of the Valentine's Month Blog tour. Visit as many of the eleven blogs as you can, leave a comment, and you're automatically entered in a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand prize worth over $50.

The bloggers are listed at the bottom of this blog, so be sure to check them out and leave comments.

Now, here is Amie Louellen on the topic of Where Creative Ideas Come From...

What if…

Those are the most dangerous words in a writer’s vocabulary. Or at least they are for this writer.

I can’t say where ideas really come from, but the “what’s ifs” are everywhere.

What if the van parked in the driveway at my neighbor’s house is not really a plumber? What if the girl walking down the street is a runaway? What if the cashier at McDonalds is a billionaire?

It’s where the writer takes it from the “what if” that truly makes it creative. I write funny, light-hearted romance. So…given the above what ifs…

The not-really-a-plumber is spying on her ex, the girl is a runaway bride, and the billionaire lost a bet.

And then I’d take it one step further.

Our “plumber” borrowed the van from a friend. Of course she knows nothing about plumbing and is about to be approached by the hero who needs advice on his pipes (no pun intended. Okay, okay, it was intended—shrug—what can I say?). The bride is about to be picked up by our cowboy hero who is unknowingly assisting a runaway Mafia bride. (Trust me, this would be hysterical!) And our billionaire bet his mousey—yet brilliant—executive assistant that he could hold down a “regular” job (again, too funny!).

Now, someone who writes horror would probably make the plumber a serial killer. A science fiction writer would make the runaway bride an alien, and the billionaire…uh…I got nothing but a mousey—yet brilliant—executive assistant. But I think you get the idea.

I believe writers are hardwired for their genre. That’s not to say that an author can’t change it up. My agent often times tells me, “you’re a writer…write it.” But the creative process remains the same. The idea comes, then the writer follows it where the muse leads.

And the idea comes from…

Well, Susan Elizabeth Phillips swears there’s a warehouse in Tulsa where they’re stored. But I’ve lived in Tulsa half my life, and I’ve never run across the place. (I mean, hey, this town ain’t that big). So… I’m gonna have to go with thin air. But I’m not sure it matters as much where the idea comes from as what is done with it.

Now about that billionaire…

Addendum—Right after I completed this blog, Oklahoma was hit by a blizzard. We got almost 18 inches of the white stuff in my neighborhood. My family has been snowed in for days. I’m married—which means I have no control over the television. I have a 10 year old son—which means there is no peace and quiet…ever. And they both expect me to cook—really? So as I am wandering around the house, unable to write (I did mention the lack of peace and quiet, didn’t I?) unable to read (“Mama, play a game with me.” Did I mention said child was grounded from all electronics?) and unable to even clean (Outside dog is now inside and doesn’t know what to do with himself indoors), the “what ifs…” set in. What if a couple is snowed in unexpectedly? What if their sigs are best friends? What if they are sworn enemies? What if…well, you get the idea. At least, no one can invade my mind…though I’m pretty sure the 10 year old has tried! Please send help…a 4-wheel drive and peace of mind <3 AL

Addendum to my addendum—Another 4 to 6 inches expected today. Seriously…send help—chocolate, coffee, and Xanax.

Amie Louellen--Brodie's BrideThe Wild Rose Press Valentine's Blog Tour:

Amie Louellen loves nothing more than a good book. Except for her family…and maybe homemade tacos…and shoes. But reading and writing are definitely high on the list. When she's not creating quirky characters and happy endings she enjoys going to little league baseball games and boy scout meetings. Born and bred in Mississippi, Amie is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, a spoiled cat, and one very hyper beagle.

Brodie's Bride

Waking up next to a beautiful golden-haired stranger isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to Brodie Harper, but staying in a fake marriage in order to gain a new construction contract could very well be.

Savanna Morgan just wanted a way out of an engagement to a man she didn’t love. Marrying Brodie seemed liked the perfect answer at the time. Less perfect the next morning when she finds herself disowned by her father and flat broke. Now she must make it through the weekend. Monday they can get it all annulled and forget it ever happened.

The real problem may be keeping their hands off each other until then.


“Married,” the official supplied with a happy nod.

For the first time since the blonde had screamed and set off the pounding in his head, Brodie noticed the band that circled the fourth finger of his left hand. Married. Images of a scarlet chapel and gold rings flitted through his mind. Lost in the fog of straight shots of tequila, the whole ordeal seemed liked a dream. But if what the man said was true...

Holy heaven. The last time Brodie had gotten drunk had been the day his grandfather died. Then, he’d only acquired a tattoo, but this time... Married? And to a hooker? A gorgeous hooker. An expensive hooker by the depleted state of his wallet, but a hooker none-the-less.

“Where’s my dress?”

Brodie half-turned as his hooker-bride stumped down the stairs, her naked glory covered by the rumpled satin sheet. One red, high-rise pump was missing.

“I wouldn’t know,” he replied, his headache tripling.

“You took it off. You find it.” She punched him hard in the chest with one red lacquered fingernail.

“You want it. You find it,” he countered.

“That dress was an Armani. And you—”

Brodie leaned away from the blonde and closer to the man behind the counter. “Are you sure we’re married?”

“Quite certain.”

“Married?” she squeaked.

“One hundred percent sure?” Brodie added.

“It was a lovely ceremony.”


Damn, Brodie thought. He was too nice of a guy, but he couldn’t stand the panic he heard in her voice. He faced her and took her left hand in his own, turning them both so she could see their identical rings. “Seems we tied the knot last night, sunshine.”

Congratulations to Marci who won the first week's prize of a $15 The Wild Rose Press gift certificate and a $5 Samhain gift card. But don't fret, there are more prizes each week plus a grand prize the last week of February.  Just leave a comment to be entered!LINDA KAGE -

Thanks for joining us!


Stephanie Bisby said...

What if the billionaire is holding down a regular job, incognito, to foil a kidnap attempt? And what if... no, best not get started - I need to finish my own story first before I get sucked into the McDonald's billionaire romance.

Great post!

Amy said...

Thanks, Stephanie! LOL once your latest WIP is complete feel free to let the McDonald's billionaire take you wherever he leads!

Shawna Thomas said...

How about Benadryl... for your husband and son. Just kidding... kinda. ; )

I love your idea of what if two people were stranded in an unexpected snow storm! That got my what if's running full steam! My first book was written around "what if two people sought shelter in a barn to escape a rain storm?"

Great post!

Amy said...

Thanks, Lynne. It got me to thinking too. But at some point this week, it turned a little too much like The Shining! LOL We got another 6 inches of snow this morning! Yikes! Maybe I'll just strand them on an island somewhere warm. Hmmm....

Linda Kage said...

Love your WHAT IFs. And I agree, they're the two most dangerous, but necessary, words in a writer's vocabulary.

I got hit by that same blizzard (in Southeast Kansas) and we had 18-ish inches, which was the second biggest snow storm our area has seen since they started recording the severity of snow storms. Snowed in again today with hubby and 12-month old. Ugg

Amy said...

I'm just south in OK, Linda! Ugh the snnow...leaves the imagination reeling!

Cherie Marks said...

Nail hit squarely on the head with this post. I've said it before, I'll say it again--I love your voice.

I have sent a legion of plumber-wannabes in your direction. Assuming they aren't really spies in disguise and won't get called on a mission, they should arrive to dig you and your family out in two or three weeks. Good luck until then.

Lilly Gayle said...

Great post, Amie. I love those What if's! Esp. if they blossom into a full-blown story.

Caroline Clemmons said...

What a delightful blog post. We're snowed in today, but there's hope for tomorrow. Not that I want to go anywhere, but my dh says he's getting cabin fever. Not me. I hust want to sit at home and write and blog and getthe idea.

Amy said...

To Sherry--thanks so much...for the wonderful compliment and the legion of wanna-be plumbers. Right now, I'll take all the help I can get.

To Lily--sometimes I wish the "waht ifs" would slow down enough for me to get them written down. The good side is, I'll never run out of ideas! :-)

And to Caroline--I'm right there with you, except today I wish I was snowed in alone. I can't get anything done with two boys and a dog and a cat underfoot. No one wants anything from me until I sit down at the computer! :-)

Amy said...

Amy--Thank you so so much for having me on your blog today! This tour has been so much fun! Can't wait till the next post next week! AL

Amy said...

You're welcome! Your blog was truly inspirational and I enjoyed it very much!

rbooth43 said...

Amy, I enjoyed your post! I am an avid reader and am amazed at great writing. One I read last year was Lilly Gayle's OUT OF THE DARKNESS, a very suspenseful romance that I couldn't put down.