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From Brainstorm to Bookshelf: Step One--Where I got the idea...

Confession: I just found a bag of Pepperidge Farm Mini Chocolate Chunk cookies in our pantry with a sell by date of two months ago.

Guess what? They're still delicious.

Moving on....

Earlier today my supervisor asked me, "How did you come up with the idea for your book?"

I didn't want to tell her. Not because I was embarrassed or worried she wouldn't like the plot. But because I'd have to admit that I got it while attending a work conference in Chicago while I was sitting in a session about federal compliance for higher education standards.

It's true.

In was a year ago today.

On. The. Dot.

I was in one of those large ballrooms that can fit, like, 2000 people, and I was listening to someone drone on...and on...and on about federal requirements for higher education and out of nowhere I got this idea for a romance book about friends who worked together at a summer camp a number of years ago and traveled around the world to spread their dead friend's ashes.

I know.

Federal rules and regulations....summer camp friends turned lovers...yep. Makes complete sense how those two are related.

Welcome to my brain.

That night back in my hotel room I sat down and started to plot out the story. And I had the rough draft written in a month. Yep. A month. Don't get overly excited because it was the roughest of rough drafts--like a skeleton. I took a few more weeks to fill in the guts and start to tweak and edit the rest to have something somewhat presentable for critique.

A few weeks ago I found my original hand written notes and the story I have now, that is currently out on query, is NOTHING like the notes I originally wrote. Only about 5% of it is actually the same.

How is it different? Here are a few tiny things:

Such as:

  • Gwen was a friend, not Charlie's sister.

  • DIY, television shows and a $25,000 Life Insurance policy weren't even part of the plan.

  • Some character names and occupations have changed.

  • They travelled to Italy, Scotland, Iceland and Australia.

  • Nate and Melanie were originally a camp couple, while Charlie and Nate were just friends.

  • Charlie and Nate never dated at camp.

If you want to read the blurb as it is currently, click here.

So, why did it change?

Well. I thought I'd share that through a series of blog posts. How I plotted it, found my critique partners, the feedback I've gotten, and how it came to be today--ending with the querying process and ending up as a finalist in the Sun vs. Snow competition back in February.

Of course, I'll share other non-book stuff, too!

Until then, let's connect on Twitter!

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