This is a question I get asked a lot and I usually reply, ‘they don’t come fast but they come from things around me. Snippets in the paper, a conversation on the radio, in a cafe, events in people’s lives.’
Those of you familar with my books will know I have a bit of a love-affair with old buildings. In my current WIP, I decided that the clinic would be in the original building of the country hospital. I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I thought this so I ‘googled’ and bingo, up came a glorious Edwardian building with the staff lined up in front in their starched collars and aprons. As I peered at the picture I noticed a hammock hanging between the veranda posts and I decided my clinic would have a hammock too, so I wrote :
“Abbie had seen an old photo from 1908 where a hammock hung between the veranda posts so she’d bought a brightly coloured hammock and had slung it between the last two posts on the front veranda. One day she planned to have time to lie in it more than the brief ‘test’ she’d taken the when she’d installed it. Meanwhile Bluey enjoyed lying underneath it using it as shade.”
About three pages later I needed the hero to appear when Abbie least expected it and the hammock slammed into my head.
“Lying in her hammock and looking for all the world as if he belonged there, was Leo. His long and tanned short-clad legs stretched out in front of him, and one arm was crooked behind the back of his head, the angle moulding his soft cotton designer T-shirt tight to his well defined pectoral muscles and biceps. Aviator sunglasses covered his onyx eyes while his other long-fingered surgeon’s hand dangled lazily over the side stroking Bluey’s head.
The kelpie looked up adoringly while his tail thumped out an enthusiastic tattoo.
Now, that’s still a rough draft but it’s an example of how ideas plop into my head and at the time I don’t always see how they are going to work out. The hammock had no real role when I first hung it up and then it became a perfect way to really discombobulate my heroine.
Now back to Hammocks…my 11 year old lives in his hammock in the summer and even sleeps in it when we’re camping by the beach. I’d love to hear the wild and wonderful places you have lazed away a few hours in a hammock and if you’ve met any gorgeous men lying in hammocks 🙂