As a writer, inspiration for my stories can come from almost anywhere. Everyday experiences, dreams, friends, family, acquaintances, brief encounters with strangers, news stories; and even music and movies. Usually something sparks my interest and from there my imagination will take a simple concept or idea and run with it.
The idea for the short fiction title, "A Broken Promise" came as I was listening to music--which is also another one of my favorite pasttimes. I appreciate and enjoy listening to several music genres, and on this particular day I was listening to a song I'd heard several times before by Ne-Yo. It was a song entitled, "Lie to Me", in which a man would rather remain oblivious to the obvious--his woman was cheating on him. Of course, "A Broken Promise" takes another turn, but that song served as a good starting point. The lyrics of that song always conjured up movie-like images in my mind--an element that's essential for creating a compelling story.
And, of course, if I was going to detail Kyle's story before "Love's Call", I had to do the same for Liana. The first thing I thought when coming up with that story was that, no matter what happened, the weather needed to match the mood of the story. Therefore, it had to be dark, gloomy, and raining. So, I began a search for stock images and came upon the one used for "A Perfect Day for Rain". The dark clouds worked, but the bright pink, polka-dotted, almost childish umbrella didn't quite seem like something a sophisticated woman would make a habit of carrying around. So then the wheels started turning, and I came up with the sentimental reason why she did carry around this umbrella and searched for a way to make it connect with the entire story.
"Love's Call", the romance title which brings the characters, Kyle and Liana, from the above stories together, came from the idea of a love that begins on a cruise vacation trip. When a colleague of mine mentioned a cruise trip she'd taken, the imaginative and creative juices began to flow. The first thing that came to my mind was, "A cruise has the potential to be one of the most intimate places you could meet someone." And that's primarily due to the fact that you are in such close, confined quarters. There's no getting away on a cruise ship, at least not for the duration of your trip. Now, granted, many times the ships can be so big, with so many passengers, that you may never see the same person twice, sometimes. Thus, the reason for forcing the characters to have to interact daily. A cruise felt like the perfect setting for a romance. Not only is it forced close quarters, but also there's the fact that life on a vacation and on a cruise has to be in stark contrast to life in the real world. Everything has to seem like a fairy tale, dream world in that setting. And a person could forget all of his/her hangups, at least temporarily, while they enjoyed the escape from reality. So the question was--What happens when they have to return to their old lives?
Alot of times, when I write, I like to find the irony in life and in circumstances. This was the main inspiration for the story, The Surprise. I usually try to think of ways that life's moments can be turned on their heads and flipped around in the blink of an eye--similar to the way that real life can be for us, sometimes. But of course, I also think that for all of the rough times in life--no matter how dark they can get-- there really is good just waiting around the corner, if we're willing to stick it out long enough to get to it. Thus, the reason why I knew I couldn't end Naomi's story that way. I planned to write a follow-up story for Naomi, in the upcoming title, "A Love That's True".
Hope this helps to provide the reader just a tiny glimpse into my creative process. :-) .
Jala Summers is the author of books spanning several fiction genres, ranging from General Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Womens Fiction, and Urban Fiction. Her primary desire is to create intriguing and satisfying fiction, featuring complex characters with even more complex stories.