Witch and theatre professional Morag D’Anneville is annoyed when she’s assigned to dress the conservative Vice President as he makes a surprise appearance in his favorite Broadway show. Even more irritating, she has to teach Agent Simon Keane, part of the security detail, the backstage ropes in preparation. A strong attraction flares between them which they both recognize is doomed, and Simon must also fight his superior’s prejudice that Morag’s beliefs make her a threat to the Vice President. When Morag is attacked, Simon’s loyalties are torn between protecting the man he’s sworn to protect, and protecting the woman he loves.
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Simon’s mouth twitched. “At least you think I’m worthy guardian material.”
“You know I do. You save my life and I—I—” She stopped.
“Yes?” Simon stared at her, interested.
“I can’t talk about this right now.” She stepped back.
“You’re not going alone.”
“The man who tried to kill me is dead.”
“That doesn’t mean there won’t be more.”
Morag shivered suddenly. “You’re not just saying that, are you?”
She stared into his eyes and knew he wasn’t trying to scare her.
“Until we know more about him, we won’t know. We won’t know if he’s working with Carl Douglas or if this is connected to the Vice President.”
“Great. Now I have to worry about someone jumping out from behind every tree, parked car, and garbage can.”
Simon pulled her into his arms. “That’s why you’ve got me.”
AVAILABLE FROM CHAMPAGNE BOOK ON JUNE 6TH -
by Annabel Aidan
One of the most disconcerting questions writers are asked by non-writers or wanna-be writers is, “Where do you get your ideas?”
We may have hundreds of ideas tumbling down on us from the skies, but the minute we’re asked, we freeze like a deer in headlights. We stammer and mutter, turn bright red, look away. Ten minutes later, we think up all the pithy comebacks we wish we’d had at the tips of our tongues in the moment. We’re writers -- we’re supposed to be masters of the snappy retort!
The truth is that everything is inspiration. As writers, nothing we do or experience is ever wasted. Everything we see, feel, hear, smell, touch, or taste can be inspirational. Every conversation we overhear standing in line at the bank, every exchange at the coffee shop, every time someone cuts us off at the light -- it’s all material. We’re constantly soaking up the sensory details of every experience and filing them away for future stories.
That makes the people in our lives nervous. However, when we do our job properly as writers, the character evolves from the original inspiration. The characters become unique individuals, and there’s very little left of the original, actual human who inspired it.
Of course, people who were never even close to being the inspiration like to convince themselves that they “are” characters in our books! It makes them feel like the special, extraordinary individuals they always knew they were. It validates them -- “they” are in a book now! Hence, the need for the clause on the copyright page about characters and situations being fiction and resemblances being coincidental.
The trick, on the tough days at the desk, is to remember those nuggets of inspiration and be able to pull them up at will. Once we’ve done that, we can put them in context, and let them grow and evolve into what will serve our stories the best.
And that’s another thing we need to be able to do: pick and choose what best supports our vision of the overall book. Inspiration is wonderful, but it can’t stand alone. It is the jumping off point, the starting point. We can ride the wave of the inspiration, but, eventually, we need to have other tools in our craft to support that inspiration. We need to be able to build beats, build them into scenes, arrange the scenes into the plot.
Inspiration and craft are dependent on each other. We need both. They build on each other, and, when we know how to weave them successfully, we have a good story to engage our readers.
The best answer a writer can give, when asked where inspiration comes from is, “I’m getting it right now.”
Annabel Aidan writes romantic suspense with a hint of magic. She publishes under a half a dozen names in both fiction and nonfiction. She spent over twenty years working behind the scenes on Broadway, in film and television, mostly working wardrobe. Her plays are produced in New York, London, Edinburgh, and Australia. If you run towards her undoing buttons, she will tear off your clothes and flip you into something else — and then read your tarot cards. Visit her at: http://www.devonellingtonwork.com/annabelaidan.html.