Inspiration often strikes in the most unlikely places. OK, that isn’t entirely true. As a rabid reader of non-fiction history, it’s hard for me to get through a non-fiction history book without slapping a sticky tab on some story idea. It's one of the reasons I still love hard copies of research books. I don’t always use the story idea right away but the sticky tab makes it easy to come back to the idea at a later date. This had been the case behind the inspiration for many of my historical romance novels.
My novel The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets, centers on Rafe, a destitute Baron, and Cornelia, a widowed Comtesse, who must recover a book of traitors' names or face ruin. The idea for The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets first took hold when I was reading a biography of Nell Gwyn, one of King Charles’ II of England’s mistresses. The book mentioned a register listing the names of all King Charles' affairs that was kept by the woman who'd slipped the ladies in and out of Whitehall. The book was lost to history. Wouldn’t it be great if it were suddenly found? The idea of writing a story about a similar book reemerging to shock and ruin members of society never left me. Eventually, the idea became Rafe and Cornelia’s story.
here. I also had to research limestone deposits in the Weald of England and how they could make a man rich. It was quite a mish-mash of research reading, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I also garnered a few more story ideas for future books. I have to buy sticky tabs in bulk!
The Regency Underworld by Donald A. Low. A few lines in this book about the Duke of Rutland's bastard daughter eventually sparked the idea for my heroine and her past in A Too Convenient Marriage. See how that happens? You do some research for one story and pretty soon you have ideas for other stories or blog posts.
The next time you're searching for something to write about, pick up a research book on a subject that interests you and see what inspires your writing.
If you enjoyed these ideas for how to garner story ideas, please check out my books and see how the stories turned out.