That Eureka Moment When a Writer Strikes Gold!

Writing books is a funny way to pass the time really. Sitting around, makin’ stuff up. Alone. So very, very alone!

Honestly if someone finds they just can’t write a book, even if they’d kind of LIKE to do it, just don’t feel bad. It’s not a very normal way to pass the time.

So I want to share with you this little JAZZY moment in my writing life last week. And I deeply and profoundly suspect it’ll sound weird to a non-writer.

So, about … two years ago, TWO YEARS! I was writing my book Out of Control and I have this accident in a cavern and one of three young boys is badly hurt, so badly hurt in fact that it brings an already very emotionally unhealthy set of parents to the breaking point.

The three boys each blame themselves for the accident and ultimately for the end of their family.

So follow the bouncing ball here.

I’m trying to make that badly hurt little boy, with his awful burn scars, a crazy man as an adult. He has nightmares. He thinks wolves and fire talk to him. He heard the cavern (where he was injured) calling to him to come down where it’s quiet, where he can think, where he can be at peace.

He’s not crazy all the time, you understand. Mostly Seth Kincaid functions pretty well. But he has his MOMENTS.

So, to up the ante, I also had him fight in the Civil War and be imprisoned in Andersonville prison and be wounded, shot in the back. More scars for poor Seth. Emotional and physical scars.

So I wanted him in prison for a while, this is all back story, NOT important. This is the kind of thing an author will read and read and read about and end up with one half of one sentence.

In Out of Control, Book #1 in the series, starring big brother Rafe Kincaid, Andersonville is barely mentioned but I did a lot of reading, mainly with a goal of knowing when it opened and closed so poor confused Seth isn’t claiming to be in a prison camp that was closed before he got there.

I spend about four hours reading…and I got the info I needed in the first three minutes. But I was interested.

A bit more was talked about in In Too Deep, Ethan Kincaid’s story…which released last month.

Seth’s story, coming in August, Over the Edge, all that research into Andersonville is a bit more about it, but really, like I said, it’s not important. Much.

But then in my reading I hit this story about what went on in Andersonville that included talk of a group of bad guys called the Raiders and a group of good guys called the Regulators. In some twisted fashion I got a new series idea from that research. So how can my hours have been wasted, huh?

Then last week, I’m working on book #2 of this new series, which we’re calling Trouble in Texas. (I wanted to call it The Regulators, but someone thought that sounded like a…ahem … let’s say … digestive aid. Or possibly like the guy who comes to fix your furnace)

So we’re calling it Trouble in Texas and in book #1, Swept Away, I’ve alluded to some haunting TROUBLE in the past of a secondary character in book #1 who becomes the heroine of book #2. Even as I alluded to that TROUBLE I knew I had no idea what that trouble was.

So then, I’m typing away on the troubled heroine’s book, still wondering what that trouble might be and suddenly it HIT ME. This little passing sentence that I remember reading and wondering about two years ago sprang into the forefront of my brain. AND. I. HAD. IT.

And it was PERFECT. A perfect thing to keep her and the hero apart. Her bad choice that drove her to a life she had to be rescued from and now her past might be catching up to her to ruin her chance at TRUE LOVE.

And THAT is the wonderful, aha, yippee, eureka, moment writers love. Hang on tight, this is gonna be FUN. (At least for me!)

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

16 thoughts on “That Eureka Moment When a Writer Strikes Gold!”

  1. Mary, Your new series sounds amazing and I love Ah-ha moments in writing!

    Actually, when I hear Regulators I think of the movie YOUNG GUNS and Charlie Sheen’s character yelling “Ride Regulators!”

  2. Mary – There’s nothing better than that click when all the puzzle pieces fit together as if they were made that way. So excited you heard yours, and you teased us well enough that now I can’t wait to figure out what that dear heroine’s TROUBLE is. 🙂

    Happy writing!

  3. I’ve been reading this old books and personal diaries of soldiers held in Andersonville. The Regulators brought order but they were Yankees policing Yankees while the Confederate guards looked on. Many of the prisons were grateful that the prison was made safe, but many saw what the regulators did as treason and once peace had been restored the Regulators had made so many enemies that they had to be taken out of the general prison population. They were put to work as medics for example and this was seen as them getting ‘favors’ for being betrayors which made their lives even more difficult.
    Also of the estimated 700 Raiders in Andersonville, they only punished six. The leaders. That left 694 men to hold a grudge, stir up trouble against the regulators and threaten violent retribution.
    The sort of thing that makes good men form and unshakable bond….a bond they carry with them after the war.

  4. Mary – I love when research clicks and an idea for a boook, or in your case, a whole series comes to mind! You are right, time is never wasted while doing research!!

  5. Ah Mary, I love the way your mind works and I LOVE the results! Reminds me a little of myself when I am making jewlery. Sometimes what in envision works the first time and sometimes it takes days and remaking several times before the perfect bracelet comes together.

  6. Hi Mary, love your books and your new series sounds like an awesome read. I can’t wait to read it.

  7. Hi Mary! Your enthusiasm sure comes shining through. Even though I can’t share your writing experience, I can appreciate your aha, eureka moment. I love your books and can’t wait for the August release of Over the Edge.

  8. There is nothing that compares to that feeling when it all falls into place for a writer. A lot of things I’ve researched rarely make it into the stories, but provide background info for myself as the writer. It is wonderful when you get more than you expected from that time spent researching something that at first might have seemed trivial, yet ends up providing you with a wealth of knowledge that has dual/multiple uses.

    Love your covers for the current series and I can’t wait to hear learn more about this new one you’re working on!

    Three cheers for inspiration derived from research.

  9. Makes perfect sense to me. I’m not a writer, but my thought processes certainly work the same way. My husband has gotten used to comments that seem out of place, but I can always explain how I got there from something in the current conversation. He doesn’t ask for the explanations any more. There is never a point A to point B simple answer. It is usually A to B to C to…..Z and the end never remotely related to A. Occasionally when I am working on something the same type of thought process kicks in and there just might be a good Aha moment. As you said, it is so nice when things just fall in place.
    All that research you did is certainly paying off.
    Thanks for the enjoyable post.

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