What Inspires a Story

Last July I had a craving. Don't some of the best things in life start that way? I had ice cream on my mind, never suspecting that a brief stop at my favorite store, Oberweis, would be the spark to ignite my muse. The guy who attended to me was all smiles and quite gorgeous. Being an m/m writer, I'm not ashamed to admit I'm always checking out faces and bodies of men and transferring them to my writing. There was something about this young man that spoke to me. I suppose if I were a guy, certain body parts would have twitched. In any case, he served up my Heath Bar Frostbite with a smile and told me to come back any time. I left with five hundred calories in my hand and the seeds of a story planted firmly in my brain. The next day, I attended the Taste of Chicago, and my idea for this novel started running rampant in my head. How I was inspired while sweat rolled down my back, due to the insufferable humidity levels, is beyond me, but I was. Instead of letting the discomfort bring out my internal bitch, I imagined I was Lil and took in the sights through his perspective. I'd been meaning to give this much loved character from my novel Horizons his own story, and after two years I would finally have an opportunity to do it. That night I went home and poked my head into the m/m group over at Goodreads. Their erotic picture threads have been a source of inspiration in the past, and I clicked on the link that said "Ink". I have this thing for tattoos on men. I saw a photo that blew my mind, and my character Grier was born. There were several other photos that caught my attention, and fired up the muse, but I won't embellish as it would be a major spoiler. I wrote this novel in about five weeks. I was inspired. Wouldn't you be looking at this guy? I still have him up as my screensaver! This is how Taste was born. Stay for a bit and read an excerpt or two. The novel is now available in e-book or paperback format at http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com. I'm celebrating my second year anniversary with Dreamspinner and handing out free bookmarks to anyone who buys one of my paperbacks in the month of April. It's my small way of saying "Thank You" to all my wonderful readers.

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