By Michele Ann Young
Those golden nuggets of inspiration. Where do author's find them? It is something I am quite often asked, and something I can't always explain. In fact, sometimes I get downright nervous about the question.
But I have been thinking a bit about it lately. Probably because I need to start a new book and I'm looking for inspiration.
Yes, I write about full figured heroines, and I certainly have lots of inspiration for that aspect of my writing. Women who make the most of their ample attributes and the men who love them are to be found everywhere, looking gorgeous and doing amazing things. But no matter what shape or size a woman is, something else must inspire me to write her particular story.
I often browse the newspapers looking for stories that touch my heart.
One such story stands out. A bunch of relay swimmers won a gold medal, only to realize afterwards that one of their team had not made a proper "touch" or something like that. The judge had missed it. These were only young girls, and they could quite easily have decided to "take the money and run." No one complained. There was no appeal by the other teams. But once the member of the team who knew she had missed, brought it to their attention, together they decided that they did not earn their medal. So, they handed it to the team which should have won. Pure gold.
That story, and it was well written by the reporter, brought tears to my eyes. I felt as if these young girls had affirmed something important. Given me hope for the future.
While there will never be an all girl's swim team in one of my books, I hope I can build that kind of strength into my characters and somehow make the reader feel that same emotion of hope.
Sadly, many of today's stories of issues facing women are not new. In The Lady Flees Her Lord my heroine's husband is abusive. It is an insidious kind of abuse, constant belittling about her weight and her eating habits, and the fact that she hasn't yet produced an heir. Often this is the most difficult kind of behavior for others to see or understand.
My heroine decides she ain't gonna take it no more. Much like her modern counterpart might do, she leaves.
Only there are no half way houses. No divorce. In fact, by leaving, she is breaking the law and her family can be in trouble if they help her. Worst of all, she has lost her chance at a loving relationship.
Or has she?
Well of course, that is all part of the story, and I do like a Happily Ever After ending, something with hope for the future.
So now I'm browsing the newspapers and looking for inspiration and wondering what sort of heroine will inspire me next.