Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Kate Can't Make Up Her Mind

What to talk about today??

I’ve got two completely different--and totally fascinating, naturally--subjects I want to touch on today and I just couldn’t decide between them, so I’m going to talk about them both! Yes, I’ll try to keep it brief. It’s Monday and we’ve all got places to go and things to do.

The American Title contest

Yesterday, voting ending for round one of the contest, and the results were sent to the finalists this morning. I thought I’d be able to jump online and blog it to the rooftops, shouting, “Woohoo!! I’m a big fat loser!!” or “Oh hell, I made it to the next round!!”

But no, the rules state very firmly that we are not to announce the outcome of round one anywhere online for two weeks. We’ve got to keep it a secret so that RT can stir up excitement for the next round. I see their point, but hello? I’ve got a blog to write, people! And not a whole lot of subject matter to play with. And everyone wanted to know the result, right? You’re dying to know whether I made it to round two! Right? You guys? Hello?


Fine. Then we'll talk about something even more exciting!

My writing process!!

Yeah, you thought I was going to blather on and on about Johnny Depp or Russell Crowe or Hugh Jackman. Get real!

Kate Carlisle On Writing

Yeah, I stole Stephen King’s title because it makes me laugh when I say it. Kate Carlisle On Writing. Good one. So Kate, where do you get your story ideas?

Gosh, thanks for asking, but I have no idea. A few months ago, I was getting really fed up with the huge amount of vampire stories showing up in Publishers Marketplace, so just for fun, Maureen Child and I started brainstorming the silliest titles we could think of for a vampire book. Once we had what we considered the most absurd title, we brainstormed a story to match the title.

Yes, you guessed it. It was a really great idea. And that’s the story I’m working on right now, and it’s so cute and funny and I’m thinking it just might sell. And it came about because of a really goofy title.

A few years ago, I was washing dishes and a full-length mystery romance erupted in my brain. Truly, I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s like it appeared fully formed and ready to write. I knew I had to hurry and get it all down on paper before it faded from my mind like so many soap suds in the sink.

Ideas come from photographs and snippets of overheard conversations and stories in the news. Sometimes they come from sitting down and actually thinking of ideas. It’s like magic and hard work, all at the same time. You never know when something will smack you upside the head and say “Write me!” But it's so great when it happens.

It's just like magic.

Where did your last great idea come from? Did you buy it at Wal-Mart or was it delivered on the wind when you happened to open a window?


At 8:55 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Hmmm. Never bought one at WalMart. Have to try that.

On the wind? Sometimes it seems like that. Mostly I get my ideas from beating my head against a brick wall until something finally falls out...

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

LOL, Chris. So true, sadly!

And Kate, wasn't that fun?? God, that's a great story idea!!! and so far, a faboo book!!

Strangely enough, I get a lot of my ideas while washing dishes (like a peasant, sans dishwasher), or in the shower. What's up with that? Is water the story giver??

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

I love the idea of coming up with a great story idea from a wacky title. Great!

My last story idea came from something my agent said followed by watching a Sixty Minutes episode. And I often do get my ideas when I'm not particularly seeking them. Washing dishes, lying in bed in the morning, driving.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

My last great writing idea came from watching Sky High. Actually it came to me while the movie was on pause and I went to get something to eat. It was a typical writerly-type moment. "What if..." The greatest ideas always start with "What if..."

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Dana Diamond said...

Kate, I loved this. I hope that vamp story sells. And it's killing me about not knowing if you made it or not! The nerve of RT!

As for me, my ideas usually come on like colds. It starts with a dynamic or a character (usually when driving or falling asleep or waking up) and then grows from there.

Sometimes it pops out like a sneeze fully formed and ready to roll (again, usually when I'm falling asleep, or waking up, or driving). I love those.

:) d

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Chris, I'll try the head beating system next because you seem to be getting some pretty good ideas that way!

It's amazing how many people get ideas doing the dishes. Do you think it's the soapy water that allows the creativity to flow? Because I'm thinking I'd be perfectly happy to just stick my hands in a bowl of suds while someone else does all the work!

Dana, you are too funny! I love your colds and sneezing analogy! At least, I hope it's an analogy and you're not actually sneezing out ideas...okay, come on, tell me that's an analogy, please? LOL

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...


And it's true about the dish-washing method. Isn't that a famous Agatha Christie quote: "I get my best ideas while doing the dishes." ?

At least I *think* it was Dame Agatha who said that. But it could be that all my head-banging has caused more to fall out than ideas.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

LOL Chris! It sounds like something Dame Agatha would say. (Because I knew her so well and we talked all the time. Yeesh.)

Or it might've been that other great dishwasher/writer, Simone de Bouvier who, besides being a damn fine dishwasher not to mention a pretty good writer, was also the lover of Jean Paul Sartre. And wasn't it Sartre who said "I wash, therefore I am?"


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