Finding Inspiration to Write
Q: What inspired you to write Stolen Words?
I think any writer can attest to this, but we hear things and have to write them down. It sounds crazy, I know. It usually happens at the most inconvenient times, too, like while I’m driving and don’t necessarily have the luxury of writing everything down.
For me, my inspiration always starts with the sound of the characters’ voices. Then I sculpt a text around the things they say to me…assuming I like their voices in the first place.
I’m a big audiobook fan. BIG. It’s borderline crazy. I just love how someone can use vocal inflections to transform a good book into an unimaginable masterpiece. That’s so cool to me.
CJ Bloom is one of the best narrators. Period. It’s difficult to find a versatile female narrator with depth and range. She has it all. Her voice is bright, clear, and mesmerizing. I gravitated toward her tone the first time I listened to her and she has this rare talent of narrating third person as if it’s first person. I wanted my leading lady to be kind, compassionate, and have the timeless voice of a goddess—so, the voice of CJ.
To contrast that, I needed a man who was dry, sexy, and piggish. Who fits the bill other than Sebastian York? He makes sounding like a jerk effortless and I mean that in the nicest way possible haha. I didn’t want my hottie to be outlandishly rude or disrespectful, but I definitely wanted him to be rough around the edges and play on the aspects of Sebby’s voice that I love. So, naturally, I made my hero an introverted scientist. Awkward and brooding. Le sigh.
And that was the birth of Stolen Words.
Audiobooks are what originally galvanized my passion for fiction literature, so it doesn’t surprise me that this book was inspired from audio as well.
In terms of the plot, the military is something I hold really close to my heart. In the book, Grayson isn’t enlisted or commissioned, but in the opening chapters I set him on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (aka Ike) which is an aircraft carrier I frequently send care packages to. So I had to find a real way to get him on Ike without him being in the military which was fun.
Cassidy just *poof* created herself. She’s nothing like me or anyone I know, so her character came to life all on its own. While writing, Grayson’s actions acted as catalysts for her choices. Page by page, new conflicts presented themselves and I was just along for the ride.
Q: What made you choose to go to audiobook with your debut novel?
I wrote Stolen Words with CJ and Sebastian’s voices as fuel, but I was so focused on the e-book and paperback editions that the thought to go to audio never had a chance to surface.
During the final editing stage of the manuscript, everything was going as planned, but a tension in my gut pulled and nagged. It wasn’t a nervous swirl in my tummy, either. I knew something was missing and that’s when I decided to release an audiobook as well. It felt right.
As for narrators…finding the right pair was a heck of an emotional journey. After I announced I was on the prowl for some voices, there was no turning back! I listened to so many amazing audition pieces. It’s surreal listening to part of your manuscript being read back to you. But these narrators didn’t quite have the bright tone I was looking for. They weren’t brooding enough.
They weren’t CJ and Sebastian.
The Universe is a crazy thing, man. The audio Gods heard my battle cry and literally within two days I had my dream team. I nearly passed out when CJ Bloom said, “Yes.” That had to have been the best day of my life. I’m a little terrified to go back and re-read our initial conversation. I definitely channeled my inner creeper. I had a total fangirl moment and was undoubtedly awkward. The next day, Sebastian was on board and I died inside only to be reincarnated a NEW WOMAN!
The paperback and e-book go live on 12/11/18 and the audiobook will be available a few weeks after. I’m thrilled!
What started with two amazing voices will end with two amazing voices. This full circle has been a wild ride and I hope we can make it an endless loop of bliss. I’m so incredibly grateful.
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