Monday, May 11, 2015

Ideas…I’ve got a million of ‘em



Today I'm allowing Peggy Jaeger to take over my blog.  So give her a warm welcome and let's hear about her ideas.


 
At a recent book signing (and don’t I just love saying that!!) for my newest release, I had a “fan” ask me the proverbial writer’s question. As she gazed adoringly down at her newly autographed copy of my book, her moist eyes drifted to mine and she asked, “Where do you come up with all your ideas for stories?”

In truth, I never know quite how to answer this.

I could say something quippy and conceited like, “Oh, I’m just blessed with a very vivid imagination,” or snotty like, “Well, writing’s what I do for a living, you know.”
Sometimes I just want to smile and say nothing, leaving it up to the asker to come up with his or her own answer. There are times I want to say to especially obnoxious people, “I’m writing a new book and need some odd characters. Tell me about yourself.”

Like I said, WANT to say that. I never actually have. Yet.

For the sake of true disclosure here, I’m an avid people watcher. Ideas about stories pop into my head in the strangest places, like when I’m sitting I church, or waiting at the airport. I wrote an entire book in my head after seeing a late night commercial for a cleaning service. My mind is frequently trying to unravel plot holes and dialogue snafus. It never rests.

It stands to reason then, that ideas are always swirling inside of my mind.

Here’s a perfect example for how I came up with the idea for Will Cook for Love, book 2 in my Laine Sisters Series. I lovelovelove Top Chef. I have never missed an episode or a season, and I’ve even recreated some of the dishes featured on the competitive show. My idea for Will Cook for Love came from watching an episode of Top Chef. I won’t name the season, but a small plotline involved a little romance unraveling among two of the cheflebrities. In my mind, I could see how something like that could really play out on the show – both positively or negatively. The idea that sprang into my mind was the basis for my story. What would happen if you took a cooking competition show and added an overbearing director no producers wanted to work with? The network doesn’t want to lose all it’s invested in the show, so they send one of their top notch producers to smooth out the kinks, keep the director happy, and the contestants on their game.  The producer doesn’t want to go and is bribed with the prospect of producing her very own show if she fulfills this one commitment. Since that is her dream, she agrees. When she finds herself falling for the director, and he for her, the tangled mess of secret back stage wheeling and dealing starts to unravel, jeopardizing the show, and the heroine’s heart.

So, from watching one episode of a show I love, I was able to plot out an entire novel.

I’m currently working on a romance novel that centers around caring for an elderly parent and the problems rife within our health care system. The idea for this story came from knowing and trying to help several different families try and find ways to pay for their badly needed medications – meds their insurance companies refuse to pay for – as part of my day job.

I’ve got another romance concerning a coming home story to face the past I plotted after reading in the paper about a man who had just discovered he had a grown daughter he never knew about.

So, the next time I’m asked that question about where I get my ideas from, how do YOU think I should answer it? Should I simply smile and let the question answer itself? Or should I say, “Well, as far as ideas go…I’ve got a million of ‘em?!”


Let's help Peggy celebrate her latest release:
 


Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.

Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her - and with him - forever?

Buy it here: 
The Wild Rose Press:  http://bit.ly/1GmM1Je
Barnes and Noble Nook :  http://bit.ly/1JjMUG7


About Peggy: 
Peggy Jaeger’s love of writing began in the third grade when she won her first writing contest with a short story titled THE CLOWN. After that, there was no stopping her. Throughout college and after she became a Registered Nurse, she had several Nursing Journal articles published, in addition to many mystery short stories in Literary Magazines. When her daughter was born, Peggy had an article titled THE VOICES OF ANGELS published and reprinted in several parenting magazines, detailing the birth and the accident that almost turned this wonderful event into a tragedy. She had two children’s books published in 1995 titled THE KINDNESS TALES and EMILY AND THE EASTER EGGS, which were illustrated by her artist mother-in-law. While her daughter grew, Peggy would write age appropriate stories for her to read along with, and finally, to read on her own. Her YA stories are mysteries involving smart and funny 12-13 year old girls and an unusual collection of friends and relatives. They all take place in the 1980’s.

She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration and had several articles published on Alzheimer’s Disease when she ran an Alzheimer’s In Patient care unit during the 1990’s

In 2005 she was thrilled to have an article on motherhood placed in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOTHER’S SOUL edition. She has won several awards in various Writer’s Digest short story and personal article categories over the years. Recently, she has placed first in the Dixie Kane 2013 Memorial Contest in the Short/Long Contemporary romance Category, and in the Single Title Contemporary Category, and third place in the ICO Romance Contest for 2013, and in 2014 she was a finalist in the Put Your heart in a Book contest.

A life-long and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Peggy has embraced the techno age and writes for three blogs, all detailing events in her life. One titled, 50 pounds for 50 years is a personal blog about weight loss, one about her life as an EMPTY NESTER and her most recent one MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE, a humorous and informative guide through this time in a woman’s life.
She also has her own website http://peggyjaeger.com where she writes about everyday life and how it relates to writing. Twitter is her current obsession, but she is never far from her Facebook pages.

In 2015 she will have her first three contemporary romance novels published by The Wild Rose Press: Skater’s Waltz, book 1 in the MaQuire Women Series, and There’s No Place Like Home, book 2. Book 3 is titled First Impression. Three more are in the works for this series, in addition to her Cooking with Kandy series.

Find her on social media:




4 comments:

Peggy Jaeger said...

Emma- thanks so much for letting me invade and take over your bog today. Your website is such a warm and welcoming place...I don't want to leave ( hahaha) but I will and relinquish control back to you. Thanks again for letting me rant. Peg

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Peggy, Excellent post! Love hearing how authors "birth" their books. Joanne :)

Peggy Jaeger said...

Hey Joanne - it is like a child birth, isn't it?? Heehee. Different rewards and no stretch marks, though. Thanks for stopping by.

Emma Leigh Reed said...

Peggy, I'm so glad you are here today. Love allowing fellow authors to take over from time to time. :)