by Tracy Wolff
We are thrilled to welcome Tracy to The Heathers’ Blog! Here is a note from her on her inspiration for her books and characters.
First of all, I’m so excited to be here at The Heathers’ Blog talking about my new release, Flawed! Thanks so much for having me—I really appreciate it!
One of the questions I get asked a lot is where I get my inspiration or where my ideas come from. The truth is, ideas have never been a problem for me. I get a new story idea every few days—something in the news gets me what iffing or I read a social media post of some sort and start to think about what could have happened (in fact, the inspiration for the YA I’m currently working on came from a top ten list posted by George Takai on twitter a few months ago). I also get ideas from conversations with my friends or my kids or a quote that makes me think or a story I might read that has a premise that interests me but goes a totally different way than how I would do it.
Wherever it comes from, inspiration strikes pretty regularly for me—I have more story ideas than I could ever write, which then makes it super hard for me to decide what idea I’m going to go with. I do this, often, by bouncing ideas off my fabulous agent (who is also one of my closest friends) and also a couple, very close writing friends/brainstorming partners.
You see, for me one of the biggest joys in writing is actually hashing out the main parts of a story with a partner. I’m one of those weird, extroverted writers who loves talking to strangers and loves talking to friends even more. So when it comes time to flush out my newest story idea, I tend to call a very dear friend of mine who writes kickass young adult horror novels (and who also happens to be a story savant) and start figuring out where I want to go with the story. The funny part of this equation is the two of us are as different as two people can be, and our writing process is just as different. So our first conversation about the book goes something like this:
Me: So, who is she?
Brainstorming Partner: What is she doing?
Me: But who is she?
BP: But what is she doing? And why?
Me: But WHO IS SHE?
I’m pretty sure you can get what my brainstorming partner says at this juncture … Interestingly, this isn’t the way the conversation went when we sat down to brainstorm Flawed. Since it’s the fourth book in my NY Times bestselling Ethan Frost series- and tells the story of Chloe’s best friend, Tori, and her brother, Miles, as they fall in love, I thought I knew who both of them were pretty well. After all, I’d already written three books where they were secondary characters. Of course I knew who they were …
Turns out, nope, I really didn’t. It didn’t take me more than a chapter before I realized that there was way more to Tori and Miles than I thought there was— especially since Tori never shut up. She was constantly in my head, snarking about one thing or another (especially the story I wanted to tell for her). It was only after I lived with that for a few weeks that I realized I had her story all wrong and I had to go back and start from scratch. And Miles was even more difficult—when I’d first conceived of him, it was as an oblivious kind of jerk and now that I had decided to make him a romance hero … well, I had to spend a lot of time figuring out how to redeem him in my own mind before I could hope to be able to redeem him for the readers.
In the end, though, I think Flawed turned out really well and I’m super excited to hear what you think of Tori and Miles. They spend a lot of time taking verbal swipes at each other at the beginning, but all that angst makes for some amazing sexual tension … and even more amazing foreplay.
Thanks so much for taking the time to check out Flawed (and me)! Have a great rest of the week!!!