Guest Post – Elizabeth Noble – All Those Ideas
Today is something of a special day – or as I’ve been referring to it lately, an international day of mourning. It’s my birthday – my fiftieth birthday – the big Five O. But let’s not dwell on that. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth about a year ago and she’s been a guest on my blog before. One thing I’ve learned about Elizabeth – she always has something interesting to say. So with that, she’s here to talk about idea and her newest book, Electric Candle.
All Those Ideas
A question often asked by non-writers is: Where do you get your ideas? I’m sure I’m not alone amongst writers who are asked that question, and asked often.
Well, let me try to explain different ways it can happen for me.
Recently, I sat in an airport. I’m downright ridiculous about getting there the two-ish hours before take-off, so I always have to spend time hanging out and sitting. Fortunately I have my handy-dandy phone and tablet, so I have plenty to read and entertain myself with.
Instead of reading, I sat watching the comings and goings of other passengers. It was early enough that no one manned the service desk yet. Then a woman, wearing an airport ID badge and regular clothes, arrived with two small children. She began working on one of the computers at the desk.
That’s when my mind started whirring, energized by an idea. My former brother-in-law had a saying, “If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, then baffle them with your bullshit.” Maybe this woman was plotting something no good, using two little kids as a perfect cover. Or maybe she was some kind of spy accessing flight manifests for nefarious activities.
From there my mind evolved a plot with international spies, an assassin and a con artist all working to sneak aboard an airplane using a young woman and her kids as a front. Of course one of them wants to kill someone on the plane and the rest want to stop it.
Viola, the kernel of an idea for a book was born.
I’m the type of writer who has the situation or basis for a plot before I know the characters, and I develop the book from there. As details for the plot are filled in the characters flesh themselves out in my head. I keep all sorts of notes on both the plot and people.
The real challenge comes from combining all those elements, no matter which comes first, into a smoothly flowing, interesting story. When brainstorming ideas for The Sleepless City series, my co-writer, Anne Barwell, and I decided on a variety of scenarios for each book. Since Electric Candle is the second of the series, most of the characters were already sketched out. I used the book’s plot and sub-plots to further flesh them out and explore their relationships in more depth.
When a vampire finds his soul mate, the bond is forever. It’s love at first sight. Or is it?
Flint, Ohio Homicide Detective Jonas Forge has been a vampire for nearly two hundred years. He’s fought wars, seen life go from the simple but hard colonial days to the modern high tech world. He’s evolved with the times, adapting with each new era, blending into each new life. The one constant is his best friend and lover, Declan.
Until Forge’s soul mate tumbles, literally, into his life.
Even though they’re not fated to be together forever, Forge and Declan are perfectly happy. Despite the pheromone attracting him to his soul mate, Forge isn’t thrilled with the guy, and the feeling seems mutual. While trying to adjust to his clumsy soul mate and equally awkward feelings, Forge is on the hunt for the serial killer who’s leaving a trail of bodies, and who witnesses can’t identify. But Forge better watch out. When his work collides with his love life, things really heat up.
No one was there, yet Forge couldn’t shake the feeling he wasn’t alone. He wandered down the beach a few yards. Water splashing against the shore and spraying up made him go closer for a better look. The lake’s edge here wasn’t gently sloping sand but a sharp lip of concrete. Hunkering on the ledge, Forge leaned over for a look.
The wall ran a good half mile in either direction. He could see large spots that were darker than the surrounding area. Forge had read about the secret rooms constructed all along Lake Erie during Prohibition. Illegal booze and guns were stashed in them. One could only access the rooms by going under water. At high tide, many of the outer parts of the rooms were completely submerged. He’d never been in one.
More than likely he’d have to get wet to justify the expense of divers. Forge was still contemplated getting a dive team in when he heard shouting.
The voice sounded familiar, but Forge couldn’t place it. That always made him nuts. Turning, he looked up at the top of the stairs. Then he squinted and shook his head. Who belonged to the voice made him stare in a type of horrified wonder, like one looked at a train wreck.
The fact his cock picked then to persistently remind him of its presence and give a few twitches and throbs didn’t help.
It was a man, though the horror Forge was feeling might have been less if it’d been a woman. He wore what appeared to be homemade steampunk goggles with dark lenses, a long sleeved black shirt, and black jeans.
“Sweet mother of God, is that a cape?” Forge muttered and took a few steps forward. “No, stop, don’t—”
It was too late. The oddly dressed man began to run down the steps—the slippery, wet steps, waving his arms. He’d gone about three steps when his feet slid out from under him and his rear hit the stone stairs. The man yelped, and Forge’s cock gave another twitch. He had the fleeting thought of how disturbing on several levels that was.
“What the hell?” Forge ran to the bottom of the stairs.
Bouncing head over heels down the steps, the guy finally flopped to one side and rolled the remainder of the way down, finishing his descent with a hearty splash in the chilly lake water.
Floundering and shouting, the man slapped the lake’s surface, went under, bobbed up, and spit water out of his mouth, and garbled, “Can’t… swim.”
Throwing his arms wide, Forge grumbled, “It’s not as if vampires drown.”
The guy went under, the water churned, but he didn’t come to the surface. Jerking his jacket off and dropping it to the ground, Forge made sure his phone was with the garment.
“This has got to be a joke. A really bad joke.” Forge ran to the edge and dove in. The only thing that prevented him from ejaculating the second his fingers touched the man was the cold water. He shuddered when he pulled the guy against his chest and wrapped one arm around him, using the other to help propel them to the surface.
When he got to the concrete edge, he hefted the guy over and onto the ground. Forge hoisted himself out of the water and hit the guy, who looked to be in his twenties, between the shoulder blades to expel lake water.
A shiver and spark of electricity ran from Forge’s palm and coursed down his spine to settle in his groin.
This couldn’t be his soul mate. Yet even as he finished that thought, he knew, and there was no denying what his body was telling him. The fool dressed as some superhero wannabe in a really bad outfit was Jonas Forge’s mate for eternity.
Forge wondered if other vampires would penalize him for killing his soul mate.