Sometimes the inspiration for stories come in the oddest ways. I often use real-life events in my books—either personal experiences or things I’ve read. I change the situation enough so as not to be recognizable.
It’s been a long time in coming (much longer than I expected), but the first draft of Unclear Purposes, the third and final book of my Driscoll Lake Series is almost complete. Most of the book has already been through at least two edits, and I’ll soon send the last few chapters to my critique partners for their feedback.
It seems like eons ago that I began writing Unseen Motives. As some of you know, I planned it as a stand-alone novel. (Honestly, I wasn’t sure I had a second book in me, let alone three.) But one of my characters insisted I change my plans for him. Then he had the audacity to demand I write his story. (I’m glad he did!)
Thus, Unknown Reasons came about. In my opinion, you can’t have a series unless it’s at least three books, so I came up with a vague idea and the main characters for Unclear Purposes. I even went so far as to write one scene before I published the first book.
But when writing book two, I ran into a problem. The idea I had for the final book somehow weaved its way into Unknown Reasons. It would have been monotonous and redundant to have a similar situation in this one. So, I had to come up with a plan.
A former co-worker gave me an idea for the antagonist, but I still had to devise the plot. Why would the antagonist target the protagonist? How is the male lead involved and what role will he play? What minor supporting characters would I need? Lastly, but probably the hardest question: How do I begin?
I wrote an opening scene and sent it to my critique partners. It was an okay beginning, but I didn’t like the direction it would take me. Then one day I was listening to music. I often do that for inspiration. The Eagles’ song “Lyin’ Eyes” began to play.
You may be familiar with the words—a younger woman marries a wealthy older man, but she’s unhappy and has an affair with a man closer to her age. She tries to hide the relationship, but the husband can see it in her “Lyin’ Eyes.”
Voilà! I had my opening scene and a way to weave it into the story. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share more about how music played a role in the writing of the Driscoll Lake series. Also, look for the cover reveal coming soon!
And if you’re interested in hearing the Eagles’ tune, click here.