Updated: May 3, 2022
Some books come easily. An idea pops into my head. Sometimes, it’s a character, often based on a face (Tom Hiddleston, I’m looking at you, big boy).
But most books don’t. Not for me. I almost have to transmogrify into my characters, and that takes some time. The outline, on which I spend a lot of time and feel is a necessary part of my writing, sometimes doesn’t hold up when I’m 200 pages into the story.
I was on a panel once, and got a question from a reader—how do you pick the idea for the next book? I answered honestly: I have a file of about 50 possibilities. Some are fleshed out, some are one-lines, and some are snippets of conversations I’ve overheard.
But the one I pick is the one I think about when I go to bed. When McIrish is at the firehouse, and I roll over and there he is, the hero. And my heroine wants to talk to him. And smooch him.
And, as I say to my editor, sexy time ensues. (For the characters, that is. Just to be clear.)