A reader asked where do my stories come from…do they just pop up unbidden in my mind or do I research for hours or is there some other magical process I could share? There isn’t any magic involved. Most of my story ideas pop up without warning in the least likely places…and without warning. A prime example of this is I passed a billboard one day on a major expressway. Of course, I was going at a good rate of speed at the time. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the sign’s message and in the blink of an eye, I saw the title of the book and by the time I arrived at my destination five hours later, I had four chapters dictated.
My current book, Mercy’s Rescue, releasing August 10th, came along in much the same way…out of the blue in more ways than one. I was sitting next to the window in my local Barnes and Noble, sipping on my favorite drink there, an old-fashioned cream soda. A noise caught my attention from outside and I soon saw a red air-evac helicopter zooming by across the parking lot in route to our major trauma center. At that moment, a story flashed into my head and I grabbed the pen and began writing my jumbled notes on the blank page of the journal I had yet to purchase.
I knew that I wanted the story to be about a rescue. But then, I wanted to add a twist…make it a double rescue of the hero and the heroine. The result was that the hero is rescued by the heroine and her air-evac team. In turn, in the course of the story, he ends up rescuing her in a different way. No matter what, they both end up with the perfect ending.
It’s funny, but almost as soon as the idea for the story pops into my mind, I also envision the perfect title. Some authors tell me I am definitely blessed to have that ability. They agonize at length over the correct title for their work I am told. I used to sit down and be able to churn out a 55,000 word manuscript in a week’s time (and that is working a full-time job also). Those were the days. Now, it might take two or three weeks…maybe four. I am striving for 80,000 word count now and that is tough. Again, some writers might take a few months or even a year to produce one book. That is great, too. Each writer is different in how they approach their writing. I love to hear how other authors write. There isn’t one tried and true formula for any of us. Once you do find what works for you, don’t let anyone discourage you from it.
It never would have occurred to me to try to write an 80,000 word manuscript. But I have an agent who loves to challenge me. (nice word for it) I didn’t think I could actually do it. It did take me some time and lots of moans and groans along the way. However, the feeling of elation when I finished it at 80,009 words was exhilarating. I had pushed my limits and they didn’t break. LOL Whether I will attempt another 80,000 word book is still under consideration. Again, be true to yourself and know your strengths and your weaknesses. The most important thing is that at the end of the day, you can be happy with what you placed on the blank page. Always keep your mind open and be ready for surprises.
Mercy’s Rescue definitely came to me from out of the blue sky one Saturday morning. I knew this romance was going to be a bit different from the others I write. And it found a perfect home with Sandie Bricker at the new imprint, Bling! Romance. She told me their line would be romance with an edge. I admit I had no idea what that meant at the time. But she read my story and thought Mercy was perfect to launch the line. It is always a bit painful to watch your child (book) strike out on its own. But it is time for it to fly on its own wings. I hope you, the readers, will like it. Mercy and Josh are special characters to me and their story is a wonderful romance…with an edge! Happy reading!
Finding himself fighting for his life after an ambush, Sheriff Josh Wellman awakens to find himself looking into the eyes of a real-life angel of mercy.
When their hands touch, he knows his life has changed in that instant.
But devastating heartbreak has left Mercy Smith’s faith in tatters, her heart guarded against more loss. Her dedication to the air evac trauma team she leads has insulated her from the realities of the earth below, so now Josh faces the biggest challenge of his life.
Can he find a way to get past the walls around Mercy and convince this angel to stay on the ground with him? Can Mercy open her heart to life again and find a way to restore her faith in God…as well as love?
Purchase Mercy’s Rescue from Amazon.
Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).
Debra’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance, Janet Dailey's Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary western romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles...and sighs...to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.
Debra invites you to visit her website at debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on twitter @debraholtbooks.
Debra is giving away a digital copy of MERCY'S RESCUE. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment at the zoo - what's your favorite animal? I've always admired the big cats. From the National Zoo (link),
The Great Cats exhibit on Lion/Tiger Hill features Sumatran tigers and African lions—living, breathing, roaring great cats. They are ambassadors for their wild relatives, and for the Zoo's conservation and science initiatives for tigers, lions, and many other cats, which, even if not great in size, are still great!
2. Comments are open through Saturday, August 15, 10 pm in Baltimore.
3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, August 16.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City