Friday, April 14, 2017

How I come up with my ideas: Guest Post with Jude Knight, author of Farewell to Kindness

How I come up with my ideas

"How do you come up with your ideas?" people sometimes ask. It's a question I have trouble answering. Ideas sleet all around me, all the time, and I run around with my hat held out in both hands trying to catch the ones that shine the brightest.
Often, I'm not sure what to do with them when I've got them, so I squirrel them away until three, or five, or ten of them collide together in the recesses of my mind and emerge into a story. Then, when I start writing, I dig into the store whenever I hit a speed bump. If nothing there helps me around the block, I've learned to trust I'll get the answer from something in my research or some serendipitous piece of information that passes my way.
Let me illustrate.

First, imagine

Seven of the forty or so historical fiction plots I'd worked out in my head before I began writing the actual books belong to The Golden Redepenning series. The one that's now on prerelease, A Raging Madness, is book two in the series but actually came first in my imagination.
As usual, I started with a character type, in this case a beleaguered widow, escaping from her in-laws by climbing out the window, and having to leave behind her beloved colt, the only thing in the world that she owned.
Which, of course, raised all kinds of questions. What was she escaping, and why? Where was she running to? Who was her husband, and how did he come to leave her dependent on her in-laws? What sort of person was she?
And what of her hero? I knew he was one of a group of cousins (the Redepennings), and fairly early on I made him a military man, largely because her husband had been military, and so she had a prejudice against soldiers for my hero to overcome when wooing her.
That must have been all of four years ago. As always, I told myself the bare bones of the story as I walked from the railway station to the office or soaped myself in the shower.

Then record

Then I wrote it into my notebook and moved on to another one. Here's what I wrote.
Alex comes to the funeral of Lady Melville's mother-in-law, as the widowed Lady Melville was wife of a friend and fellow officer. Realises that she needs help. Tries to visit her but is turned away. Ella hears her brother-in-law and his wife talking and realises that they mean harm. Runs to inn where Alex is staying. Alex agrees to take her with him. Takes her to his sister Susan, where he and she investigate to find out why in-laws are so determined to keep her. Attempt on her life; find out that brother-in-law has kept secret her inheritance. (Thought her only inheritance was her horse).

Next, research

Once I had all seven stories, I sorted them by date, so Farewell to Kindness came first, since it starts some eight months before A Raging Madness. I needed a confidante for my Farewell hero, Rede, and had planned to make it a school friend. But Alex's book came next, so Alex got shoe-horned into the Farewell spot. I needed him wounded for the plot, but how and where? He was a soldier, but what battles might he have been involved in to have him in London and still very much an invalid in late April of 1807? I found battles galore, but only one close enough for him to get back to England in time. And the English were not combatants.
The decision to put Alex there anyway, as escort to an unnamed VIP, was one of those fortunate chances I spoke of earlier. In A Raging Madness, a grateful King gives Alex first a cash reward and then a title and an estate, all of which have consequences for his relationship with Ella.

Explore the characters and explore them some more

Of course, the plot capsule above was just the bare-bones start of the story. I knew a little more, but mostly I knew the characters.
Alex was still an invalid, which fired off a couple of plot threads.

Keep researching and researching

I needed to find out the medical treatment for shrapnel wounds, and likely complications. I thought it would be good if Ella treated him, which meant I needed her to have medical training. I made her father a doctor with the regiment in which both Alex and Ella's husband served. But my research showed that the treatment for shrapnel is to leave it alone until it causes problems. Aha! What sort of problems?
Alex and Ella are running away, but the roads in 1807 were diabolical. How could an invalid escape over them? I love the idea of canal boats, and would adore to travel on them. How about if Alex and Ella escaped on a canal boat? No one would think to look for them there, and it would give Alex a chance to have abcessing shrapnel removed, and to recover.
And I'd somewhere come up with the idea that Ella was being drugged by her in-laws. What drug? Laudanum was the obvious answer, and I was lucky enough to find a personal account by a Victorian laudanum addict. How would this affect her escape, and what might Alex think when she arrived in his hotel room?

Then write

So that's where I started. With the bare bones plot ideas, several characters I was beginning to know quite well, and some ideas about directions. I began writing, researching as I went, and found out what happened as it poured out on to the pages.
So I started writing, researching as I went, and found out what happened as it poured out on to the pages.

And that's how I come up with my ideas.

Genre: Regency romance, historical romance, historical suspense,
Regency noir, gothic   
µ Heat rating: PG-13    µ  ISBN: 9780473393670
Page count: 382 pages on Kindle    µ Publication date: 9 May 2017


Their marriage is a fiction. Their enemies are all too real.


Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return.
Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him. 
In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.              
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Author bio

Jude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything.
She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Enter to win a brand new Lenovo Ideapad 110s laptop courtesy of Pure Textuality PR!

Pure Textuality PR is giving away a brand new Lenovo Ideapad 110s laptop. With an 11.6" screen, weighing less than 3 pounds, and less than an inch thick, it's the perfect little machine for any writer on the go. The system specs meet the requirements for many popular writing programs, including Scrivener., accesses Google Docs with no problem, AND it comes with a free 1-year subscription to Microsoft's Office 365.


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This giveaway is being hosted by Pure Textuality PR. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Rafflecopter, and HeadTalker are in no way responsible for this giveaway. This giveaway is open to US and Canada shipping addresses only. Giveaway ends on March 30, 2017 @ 11:59pm EST. Giveaway prize non-exchangeable. Should you have any questions regarding the terms, please contact Pure Textuality PR at Visit Pure Textuality PR's website at

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Can the Magic be Awakened? New #UF and #PNR boxed set!

The secrets of the heart are hidden when magic sleeps, but miracles happen when magic is awakened.
Enjoy eleven stunningly romantic supernatural tales in one divine boxed set. Fantastic beasts, shifters, and unearthly creatures face all too human conflicts and heartbreak, but always with a promise of a happily-ever-after ending.
With mates and magic, each story brings to life a unique world where anything is possible, including finding true and everlasting love, no matter who…or what you are.

K.N. Lee & Calinda B
Urban Extinction
Two women. Two extraordinary magic abilities. One city threatened by dark supernatural forces.
Nicole Zoltack
Of Howling Moons
The dark world beneath the moon where werewolves reign is no place for a human or a lone wolf.
Julie Morgan
The Power Here
An Oni looking for a second chance at love. A were-panther wanting revenge. A banshee fighting to keep their triad protected.
Shereen Vedam
In a realm where magic is banned, an extraordinary woman braves her secrets being revealed to defeat a sorcerer bent on destroying her world.
D.N. Leo
Pisces – Silver Blood Collection
The queen of the deep sea falls in love with a human spy. But for him to be with her, she has to kill him.
Tricia Owens
A Hex on You
As a dragon sorceress, Anne Moody couldn’t care less that the magickal community fears her. She’s unprepared, though, for the creativity of their attacks.
J.A. Armitage
Endless Winter.
Imagine falling in love for the first time. Now imagine being told you had to have a baby with somebody else…
T.F. Walsh
Lunar Shadows
A powerful seer. A Guardian with a death sentence. A fight to stay alive.
Kara James
A dragon shifter MMA fighter meets his match in a witchy cop. Could she unlock his lost memories and why he awoke covered in blood?
Cait Reynolds
Seeds of Love
In a world of shadows and death where nothing grows, can there be any hope for ‘The Seeds of Love’?
Tierney O’Malley
Wolf’s Heart
When a shapeshifter and a human dreamer finally meet, their worlds clash. But would they find love in the middle of chaos.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Website and Newsletter!

Have you checked out my website lately? It's up and running!

And I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter. Word on the street is that you might get a free book if you sign up. Maybe. Just maybe. ;) LOL You can sign up here!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fantastic Creature Anthology Release and Scavenger Hunt!

Hi, everyone! I'm so happy to be one of the authors in an epic fantasy anthology! To kick things off, we're having a scavenger hunt with a super cool prize. Each of the twenty stories in the anthology focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology. My contribution is called An Adventurer's Heart. Be sure to visit all the stops and collect the clues--a number featured in each post--and you could win a Kindle Fire plus a digital library of ebooks from participating authors. Read down to the bottom to find out how to enter.

Now let's hear from one of the other authors in the anthology, A. R. Silverberry:.​

Tall Tall Tales

It’s surprising where a funny story can come from. Take Three Steaks and a Box of Chocolates, for example. The idea came to me while driving my cat to a veterinary specialist. The down-on-his-luck Doc Turner and his friend, Burt McCall, chaser of crackpot dreams, sprang to life pretty quickly after

that. McCall’s rickety, backfiring old tow truck and the near empty town of Dead End, which sees no more action than a few rolling tumbleweeds, soon followed. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would end up writing a tall tale. If you come right down to it, you can’t plan something like that. The seeds blow in from somewhere, take root, and grow all on their own.

Now that I’ve written one, I thought I’d find out more about them! The main element of a tall tale is that one aspect of the story is larger than life. In fact, we want our tall tales to have something preposterous or unbelievable. That’s what makes them fun. Pecos Bill just wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t lasso a tornado or chow down on a stick of dynamite. Tall tales will usually have a larger-than-life hero, like the giant lumberjack, Paul Bunyan. And of course, Paul has to have the impossibly big and impossibly colored, sidekick, Babe, the blue ox. Paul’s exploits don’t stop at the fifty flapjacks he gobbles in one minute. A hero of his stature leaves his mark on the land he strides through, leaving the Grand Canyon, the Finger Lakes, and the Mississippi River in his wake.

Not all tall tales are preposterous, though. They can take place in familiar settings and be based on real people. Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and John Henry are examples of such heroes, whose exploits have become legend and are immortalized in American folklore. Similar traditions are found the world over, from Australia’s Crooked Mick to Canada’s Big Joe Mufferaw. Deep down, we want our funny bones tickled, and larger-than-life heroes have a knack for doing it.

How tall of a tale did I write? Crack open a copy of Fantastic Creatures to find out! I’ll tell you one thing, I scrawled the story in the sands of the Mojave using a three-hundred-foot redwood tree. Afterward, it made a good toothpick.

Sign up for my mailing list during this scavenger hunt, and I’ll enter you to win a free eBook copy of my award-winning fantasy novel Wyndano’s Cloak. You can follow me at the cantinas below, and happy reading!

Twitter: @arsilverberry

A. R. Silverberry writes fantasy fiction for children and adults. His novel, WYNDANO’S CLOAK, won multiple awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Awards gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. THE STREAM, his second novel, was honored as a Shelf Unbound Notable Book, and was shortlisted in ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Awards. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing.

Scavenger Hunt Clue:

Here's the anthology!

Here be dragons ... and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two. 

Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses? 

Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won't stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing. 

Perfect for the fantasy lover who can't get enough of mythical beasts.

The Grand Prize!

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