TWRP BLOG TOUR - Day TWO : Where Creative Ideas Come From

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
WELCOME to the second day of TWRP's Valentine Blog Tour. Leave a comment on any of the blogs to enter to win a weekly prize. (other blogs on the tour listed below). But first, give it up for.....


Where Creative Ideas Come From

I don’t often read horror or even suspense... okay, that’s an understatement. My kids make fun of me, but I avoid all things horror like the plague. I blame it on my over-active imagination that doesn’t end when the movie/book does but continues on in the what-if mode.

Suffice it to say, that although I deeply admire Stephen King, I do not often read his work and when I do, it’s during daylight hours. At this point you might be asking what Stephen King, or horror, has to do with Creative ideas… I’m getting to that.

In one of his books, I think Lisey’s Story, Mr. King revealed the theory of a creative pool that exists in an alternate universe. All writers ultimately draw their ideas from this pool. And all writers create realities with their words to feed this place, or places like it. (It’s been a long time since I read the book.)

This concept has always appealed to me because sometimes as you’re writing it feels like your discovering, rather than creating a story. The characters become like people you want to get to know, rather than people you’re creating. You become a literary archeologist, dusting away the fluff and useless data to get to the story, to flesh out the characters.

Yeah, by necessity, I think a writer’s mind is a little twisted, at least mine is. But writers are prone to asking the what if question. We need to see beyond the surface of things, to look beyond what is and ask what is possible.

Everything a writer sees, hears, smells or experiences goes into the subconscious where it lies dormant until the writer needs it.

For me, I’m most likely to get ideas for books, scenes or characters when my brain is on autopilot. I think this is when I’m less likely to think and more to wonder. I call the tread mill my muse because that’s where I get the majority of my ideas. The second place is in the car when I’m driving. (Scary huh?) If you ever see me furiously writing something down at a red light, you’ll know why.

You see, the question, where do creative ideas come from, can easily be answered by one word: Everywhere. But that wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.

I think, though, that it’s what the writer does with these ideas after they get them that is truly important. Even the best idea would be lost in bad writing or sloppy grammar. Most writers want so much to share their stories that they study, constantly strive to improve the craft so readers will enjoy them.

Have you ever read a book that had an awesome concept, but you couldn’t get into the story because of the writing?


Have you come across a book with an okay premise, but the writing was so good the story swept you up anyway?


Lynne Roberts wrote her first story out of frustration at the age of 11 because Gone with the Wind just couldn’t end with Rhett and Scarlett not together.

She’s a hopeless romantic and a sucker for a happily ever after.
She’s been writing professionally since 2005 and, after reading some very talented authors, attempted her first erotic romance in 2009.

A hopeless coffee-addict, when she’s not writing, editing or on Twitter—which isn’t often—you can find her in the garden, reading or with her five children. Sometimes all of the above.

Lynne currently lives in sunny California. You can learn more about her on her website and blog. She’d love to hear from you.

Lynne's books include the two erotic romances, AFTER HOURS, and FIRST DATE.

Join her at her:

Facebook: Lynne Roberts
Twitter: Lynne_Roberts

And here's a sneak peek of her story, CREATIVE LICENSE, available at Samhain Publishing.

Product Warnings

Contains balmy ocean breezes, coffee as seduction, the creative use of melted chocolate, and naughty shower lovin’ that gives new meanings to the term “shower head”.


The computer screen blurred. Lily blinked to refocus her tired eyes on the deposition and sighed in relief when the phone rang. She loved her job, loved working for a law firm, but staring at a computer screen for hours took its toll.

Blowing a strand of dark hair out of her eyes, she reached over a stack of law books. “McPherson.” Lily glanced at the clock as her stomach rumbled. She’d worked through lunch again. Damn.

The other end of the line was silent for so long, she thought the caller had changed his or her mind. “Hello?”

“Yes, hi.”

The rich, masculine voice sent chills down her spine and knotted her stomach. Eyes closed, she gripped the phone so hard it hurt. Even after all these years, she knew that voice. “Caleb?”

A low, sexy chuckle rumbled through the line. “You remember me.”

Oh shit, why was he calling her now? Memories of the most erotic night of her life flashed through her mind. Lily opened her eyes, reminding herself the most embarrassing morning of her life had followed. “How did you get this number? Never mind.”

Despite the deep breath, the receiver trembled in her hand. “Can I do something for you?”

An intake of breath and then a pause. “We have a slight problem.”

Lily’s stomach churned acid. None of their problems had been small, not for the twelve hours and twenty-two minutes they’d been married. “Yes?”

Caleb cleared his throat. “It seems the annulment didn’t go through.”

“Oh, shit.” I’m in a bad movie. This has got to be a joke. She leaned against the back of her chair. “What do you mean it didn’t go through?”

“We’re still married, sweetie. The annulment was never processed.”

Married? “Why?” Lily rubbed the ache growing between her eyes. “No. I don’t care. Just get it processed.”

“It’s too late now. We’ve been married too long.”

“We are not married.” Lily tried to swallow past the tide of rising panic.

“The state of Nevada would disagree, sweetheart.”

She could almost see that sexy grin, those sparkling green eyes. She definitely remembered what they did to her. She’d been chocolate under the heat of his sun. “I am not your sweetheart.” She reached for a notepad. Who to call? Certainly no one in the firm. Though they were all professional and talented, people talked. She couldn’t let it get back to her family or… Oh, God. Stewart. “I’ll file for divorce in the morning.”

“Um, about that.”

She didn’t have the patience to wait out the pause. “What?”

“I was wondering if we could delay that a bit.”

A pain in her hand alerted her to the death grip she’d taken on the phone. She was suddenly glad she’d skipped lunch. “Delay? Why?”

“I need a favor.”

“Well you’re out of luck. I’m fresh out of favors.”

“Lily, please listen.”

His voice had lowered to almost pleading. Something in her heart softened. What’s wrong with me? I don’t owe this man anything! He’s a stranger. “You call me out of the blue to tell me we’re still married and now you need a favor?” It came out a little more acerbic than she’d meant.

His chuckle sounded nervous. “I guess that pretty much sums it up. You’re not married or anything, are you?”

Lily closed her eyes. “No. I’m not.”

“Well.” He cleared his throat. “Except to me.”

“Not for long. Thank you for letting me know about the clerical error. I’ll handle it from my end. Good-bye.” Lily set the phone in its cradle. Quite a feat when she wanted to slam it down. She stood and walked toward the window, leaned against the sill and stared out at the tops of the trees and below them to the expanse of grass. Interns didn’t usually merit an office with a window, let alone a window facing the courtyard. It was one of the benefits of almost being engaged to her boss’s son.

Ah, Stewart. He wouldn’t mind that she slept with someone in Vegas, though he’d be a bit irritated she hadn’t been smarter about keeping it quiet. But in his eyes, marrying a divorce√© was socially unacceptable. No one could ever find out about what happened in Vegas. It had been a mistake, a horrible mistake.

She closed her eyes and the image of waking next to a naked Adonis filled her mind. His long blond hair had spread over perfectly sculpted shoulders, his head cradled by well-muscled arms. A silk sheet covered his lower back to mid-thigh but had only served to tantalize the imagination of her sleep-fogged brain. For a moment, she’d been tempted to explore the promising hills and valleys of his body and then she’d moved to touch him and seen the gaudy fake diamond ring on her left hand.

She still could only remember flashes of their night together; falling into his arms, the silky warmth of his skin next to hers, his lips. She opened her eyes in an attempt to wash out the images that had tinted her fantasies in the three years since. An ache built in her lower abdomen as she remembered the sound of his voice. She couldn’t recall standing in front of a minister and saying I do, but the documents didn’t lie. “Shit.” Caleb Anderson might be a talented artist and sexy as hell, but he wasn’t in her ten-year plan.

Behind her, the phone rang again and she sighed, turned and picked it up. “Macpherson.”

“Lily, please, listen,” Caleb asked.

“You have three minutes.”

“It’s… Damn it, Lily. It’s a long story.”

“Three minutes,” she repeated. The sound of Caleb’s sigh into her ear sent shivers down her body.

“I need you to…come out here for a few days.”

Her jaw dropped open.

After a long pause, Caleb cleared his throat. “Are you still there?”

“Is this a joke?”

“No. It’s not. If you’ll let—”

“No. Absolutely not. You’re crazy.”

“Please. I know it’s inconvenient—”

“Inconvenient? That’s an understatement. Why would I fly across the country?”

“Because it could make a permanent difference in my career, in my life. Listen, it’s complicated but…” he paused and his voice thickened. “My patroness did a background check, she found out I was married. I panicked. She wants to meet you.” The words came out in a rush.

“I appreciate your position, but…” Lily hesitated. She could vividly remember the passion with which he described his art. It had been one of the many things that had kept her by the bar ordering drink after drink until her memory faded to black.

“I’ll pay for your air fare and—”

“It’s not that.”

“Then what? Lily, I need your help. Please. It’s my one big chance. It would only be for a couple of days.”

A couple of days. That’s what got her into this mess in the first place, but something inside of her softened further. She did have some vacation time coming and she’d heard San Francisco was beautiful in the summer. Holy heaven, I’m considering it.

She had to admit, part of her hesitation was the memory of his skin on hers and the fear she’d tumble back into bed with him in a heartbeat. She’d done it in her fantasies enough times. Would that be so bad?

No, it would be so good. That was the problem. She took a deep breath. “I’ll think about it, Caleb.”

“Thank you.”

She hung up the phone, buried her face in her hands, and then grimaced. “I’ve just had my first argument with my husband.”


TODAY's Blog Tour Itinerary

Wednesday, February 9th - Blog Topic - Where Creative Ideas Come From

-- Meet contemporary and paranormal romance author Jill James at

--Meet romantic suspense author Kat Duncan at

--Meet contemporary YA an adult romance author Linda Kage (ME) at

--Meet paranormal, and historical romance author Caroline Clemmons at

--Meet historical and paranormal romance writer Lilly Gayle at

--Meet Amie Louellen, author of fun and whimsical contemporary romance at

--Meet erotic western historical author Jennifer Jakes at

--Meet author AJ Nuest at

--Meet author Lynne Roberts at (HERE)

--Meet paranormal romance author Maeve Greyson at

--Meet author Amy Corwin at


  1. That's so true. I've read some books that have had predictable plots but the characters and writing was so good, I didn't care. :)

  2. I can't stand when I get into a book and the plot is predictable. There's nothing worse than knowing the how things will shake out before they happen.

    Loved the excerpt.

  3. Hi Lynne,

    Asking WHAT IF is a big part of my creative muse. And yeah, I don't mind knowing the ending of a story as long as the how to get there is interesting enough. That's why I'm really excited to see the movie BEASTLY. It's simply Beauty and Beast but with a contemporary plot. I'd like to see HOW they make the story different and similar from Disney's version!!

  4. Hi Linda!

    Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I think it's one of the pitfalls of being a writer that you can usually predict where a plot is going. But if you're invested in the characters, care about them, and the writing is good... it is the journey, not just the destination!

    Amber, thank you so much! This book is near to my heart and I'm still half... okay, more than half, in love with the hero.

    Jennifer, exactly. My favorite editor once told me that the best books are a well written new twist on an old concept.

  5. Awesome book snippet.... I'm hooked. Great premise!!! :O)

  6. Lynne, love the post. I've read several books with crappy writing but I love the characters or the plotline and I have to know what happens to them.

  7. Literary archaeologist. Loved that. Great excerpt!

  8. Hi Diane! Thanks, that means a lot. It's my job to hook you. ; )

    Thank you, Jill... for me, the writing must be good or I don't fall in love with the characters, but I have read a done-to-death premise when I simply loved the characters.

    Hi Sherry! Thank you so much!

    Good luck to all of you! I hope one of you wins. ; )

  9. Lynne, your post was awesome. I'm a huge King fan and have read Lisey's Story, so I totally got it. And I remember seeing an interview with Stephen King, where he said he likes to create certain situations, put the characters inside and then "discover" what happens to each of them. You hit the nail on the head. Writing is like finally getting to know all those people in my imagination. When I put the down on paper, they become real, three-dimensional individuals. The process is without a doubt "twisted", but highly addictive. I'm never giving it up.

  10. Lynne, yes to both your comments. And I agree that horror is too psychological to forget, so I can't read it or watch horror movies either. My kids sympathize and say, "Don't see that movie" or "You won't like this book." Nice to have censors out working for me. LOL

  11. Caroline,

    My kids tell me, 'oh it's not scary..." um The Ring? Scary! After watching Jaws, I couldn't go in the ocean past my knees!

    Thank you AJ!

    There isn't anything else like it in the world. I love that moment where the characters take a breath and come alive! I couldn't give it up either!

  12. I have read many post with awesome concept but bad writing. I can say that Lilly Gayle's book, OUT OF THE DARKNESS is not one if these. Her book has an awesome concept and excellent writing. The best book I've read in 2010.
    Lynne, I haven't read any of your books, but I went to your website and am hooked!
    Linda, so are your books!