Monday, January 21, 2013


Where do novel ideas come from?

During a lecture at Yale, Stephen King said that if you read enough, there’s this magic moment which might come to you if you are meant to be a writer. It’s the moment when you put down some book and say: “This really sucks . . . I can do better than this . . . And this guy got published.” 

That pretty much sums up my magic moment. For as long as I can remember, I have always read and read and read...and spun stories (and no thats not a euphemism for pathological liar, although there were times I have spun really fab lies as well and I believe no one has caught me on those yet). So I read voraciously, mostly fiction and more often than not happy stories, and a few years ago I was enthralled by this book from its very first sentence.

I had everything a woman could want…
My husband, James. The house on the lake. Our perfect life. And then Alex came to visit. The first time I saw my husband’s best friend, I didn’t like him. Didn’t like how James changed when he was around, didn’t like how his penetrating eyes followed me everywhere. But that didn’t stop me from wanting him. And, surprisingly, James didn’t seem to mind.
It was meant to be fun. Something the three of us shared for those hot summer weeks Alex stayed with us. Nobody was supposed to fall in or out of love. I didn’t need another man, not even one who oozed sex like honey and knew all the secrets I didn’t know, the secrets my husband hadn’t shared. After all, we had a perfect life. And I loved my husband.
But I wasn’t the only one.

This book gripped my attention wholly and not only because it was one of the first erotic romances that I'd begun to read (EL James doesn't hold a candle to Megan Hart, IMHO). I totally believed that I knew how it was going to end, right at the beginning. Its a romance, right? Romances have happy endings, right? I was so wrong. The end of this book destroyed me. I couldn't stop thinking about it or talking about it. I just wouldn't accept why Hart would be so heartless. And that was my magic moment. Or rather, my magic scenario for you see I didn't just think about this book, I dreamed about it and visualized it. Dangerously, I might add. Once, I was driving down my town's main road, it was winter and it had just snowed and there I was driving along a stark wintry road with copious mountains of snow on either side of me and the trees bare and pretty when for a moment (or was it two or three or four...?) I didn't see the wintry road but a beach and clear blue waters of a lake and woman in a red day dress turning to look at me. I was...I don't know what I was (I still don't) when I realized that I'd flashed a scene from that book. I went home, called a friend and spilled my quivering guts out. At the end of that furious rant, I said offhandedly, that if I ever...ever wrote a book, this was one book I would rewrite and give it my end. That was the only way I'd get any kind of closure with it.
Of course, I did not actually get around to writing any kind of book until my mother sort of bullied me into doing more with my life than I was doing at that point. When I did become a writer and eventually a published writer, I always had my magic moment at the back of my head. I knew I had to write that story and end it my way. And so I am. I'll be starting my fourth novel in February (kind of fitting as thats when I'd had that scary flashy moment while driving) and Tempted is going to be its inspiration.

Magic moments aren't limited to writers obviously. Whats your magic moment? I'd love to know.


  1. That's pretty potent. I've read books like that, ones that left me so stunned I couldn't pick up another for days, if not weeks, left me bereft, at a loss, and nothing could fill that hole that was created.

    What book was that? You ask? Or not. The title would do you little good without reading the entire series, as the character development extends many many books back...

    1. A fellow reader always understands :) I couldn't believe how much the end of that story disturbed me, still disturbs me.