WIP ME INSPIRED: V.K. Black
What inspired me to write Unexpected Places?
I’m sure all authors have the same problem: “Where do you get your ideas from?”
If you’re like me, you say, “I…I…um…”
In my case, it’s usually a little spark of an idea that somehow grows into a story. That’s when you get into the whole plotting vs panting debate. I’ve decided I’m essentially a pantser who plots a bit.
BUT, with Unexpected Places, which was released on 8th November by Escape Publishing, I was handed the outline of my plot on a silver platter. Let me explain. I belong to a writers’ group called Sultry Scribes. We meet once a month, and after the necessary chit chat, coffee, wine, we do a writing exercise. For example, last Christmas, we had a Secret Santa. I was given a lovely handbag. Our writing exercise is to write for twenty minutes, then read out our results. Later, if we want, we polish them up and post them on our websites and on Sultry Scribes’ website. I did this with my handbag story. It’s amazing what you can write when the clock is ticking. The story started with me drinking champers in the bath. I have a whole heap of these flash fiction items on my website, if you’re interested. Things like “What to do with a Surprise Penis” and “The Kiss”. Lots of fun.
Our exercise at another meeting was to choose from four different piles of pictures and newspaper clippings. Closing my eyes, I picked a gorgeous guy in casual gear, a lovely young woman with long blonde hair and a clinging cocktail dress, a job ad for an accountant, and a pair of emerald earrings. And there was my plot for Unexpected Places.
Of course, it wasn’t as easy at that. The ideas burbled away in my brain for about a year. A Lonely Planet guide about Sri Lanka constituted my research and a lot of inspiration about beautiful tropical scenery and yummy spicy food. Hubby told me how boats worked and the difference between up and downstream. Then one day, I started writing and the story flowed from my pen.
And I do mean pen. If I write at my computer, my mean inner editor sits on my shoulder and won’t let me type a thing. So of a morning I sit on the back verandah with a cup of tea and write a scene. In first person. Scribble and scratch things out. Use arrows and asterisks. Read it out loud. When it sounds right, I type and edit the scene on the computer, putting it into third person as I go.
Seems to work.
As I said, I tend to be a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants, for those who aren’t into writers’ jargon). So when I got Luke and Ariana onto their boat on their exotic tropical island, I didn’t know what to do with them. Using my tried and true method of letting ideas burble and bubble, I left them there for a few months. Then back on the verandah I went.
The story spent most of its life called Emerald Revenge, but I never liked it. So a big thanks to Kate Cuthbert from Escape for coming up with its final title.
About the Author:
V.K. Black is from Queensland, Australia. She loves tropical islands, snorkelling on the Barrier Reef, good wine and hot spicy food. Amazingly, all of these appear in Unexpected Places (published by Escape Publishing). Sadly, treasure maps and priceless emeralds have been in short supply in her real life, so she has written a story about them. As well as her action/adventure contemporary, Unexpected Places, V.K. Black has written an erotic fantasy/sci fi called Heavenly Revenge (published by Secret Cravings) and a World War Two historical called Lies and Seduction (published by Cobblestone Press.) There is a unifying theme. They are all fun sexy romances, with a handsome hero and a lovely heroine.
One treasure map; a pair of priceless emeralds; two very keen hunters — only one can win, but who says that competition can’t be a little fun?
When sweet, pretty Ariana Noonan knocks out treasure hunter Luke Donahue with a champagne bottle and steals his treasure map, he vows to get his map back, find the missing priceless emeralds…and exact a fitting revenge.
When Luke finally discovers Ariana in a dingy hotel on a remote tropical island, she’s in desperate straits and he finally gains the upper hand. Of course he will rescue her. His price? They act on the attraction that’s been simmering between them from the very beginning.
But all is not as it seems, and Luke’s sexy bargain turns up not only an unbelievable secret, but Ariana’s reasons for wanting the emerald. Suddenly, nothing is clear-cut anymore, and map or no map, Luke and Ariana are sailing into uncharted territory.