Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a magical holiday season. May you make others happy, remember those in need, read many heartwarming books, and spend lots of time with the people you love.

Charmed is now available at Barnes and Noble...

Charmed on Barnes and Noble

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Growing Pains

A while back, one of my kids had a horrible, no good, very bad day. Okay, it wasn’t as bad as all that, but he went through some growing pains. He had to confront a challenge and, mom that I am, I ached all day until he got home, hoping he had gotten through it with no more holes in his heart or pride.

He did get through it, and he grew because of it. It’s funny, because the day before I would’ve given so much to erase this challenge and to protect him from all and any pain, but it ended up being important for his emotional growth.  I’m so proud of him. He’s stronger, deeper, and wiser than I realized.

I thought about this again tonight as I wrote a scene. I was thinking about how nobody would ever read a book about a character with a perfect life. No conflict equals no growth… equals uninspiring. My child grew, inspired me, and helped me to grow, too.

*I shared this post with him, and he gave me permission to use it :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mommy Wars

I unconsciously observe people, without realizing I'm taking in their mannerisms, or the things they say and how they say them.  It isn't until I'm telling my husband about my day or thinking about how a character would behave or respond to something that I become conscious of the little things I caught during my accidental observations. This is how it usually goes.

Every once in a while, though, something a person says grabs me, and I become wholly aware.

A few days ago I overheard a “working” mom who was volunteering for something complain to another working mom, “I can’t believe it’s us working moms who come in to volunteer”.  She then went on and on about all the super important things she does, day in and day out. Her attitude and stance while talking was very off putting.

I dearly wanted to say something to her, but the comment hadn’t been meant for me (even though it was loud) and I thought it would be rude to insert myself into a private (though loud) conversation. Now I wonder, should I have spoken up and asked her if she knows the personal lives of every mother in our vicinity?

Now, to be fair, I’ve also heard stay at home moms say of moms who work outside of the home, “I’m sure they drop the ball somewhere”, and this also makes me sad/mad. 

I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to make assumptions about other people’s lives: no one has any idea what another person’s life is like, day after day, hour after hour, unless they are specifically told every single detail.  These assumptions show a lack of respect for other people’s choices. These are real people with real lives, not a character you're reading about or creating.

So here’s the thing I want to say to people who judge without having a clue: belittling others to make yourself look more capable, intelligent, sacrificing, and heroic makes you sound inept, ignorant, selfish, and just plain mean. There’s a reason the term “mommy wars” was coined: the assumptions people on both sides make are negative and conflict-inducing, and nobody wins. And I'm getting off my soapbox now. Anybody want a turn on it :-)?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It’s the Story, Stupid

Lately, I’ve come across a few forums where romance readers and writers debate whether children have a place in romance. While I understand and respect personal preferences, I don’t understand the need for an actual debate. To me, it's about the story.  

Do only childless people get to fall in love in romance novels?  I have wonderful friends who are single mothers, and they’re among the strongest women I know.  They’re great heroines and their children are an important part of their journey.

Then again, as a mother of two, I can always tell when a child is used purely as a prop. Seriously, is a child the only way to show a man or woman’s vulnerability or to add comedic relief? And why are children in books always so darn wise? A reader knows when a child is integral to the narrative, and when they’re there as a crutch.   
Each story is a little world unto itself. If children belong in that world, I believe they’ll be welcome by those who choose to read the book.

* Not calling anyone stupid, by the way. With elections right around the corner, I couldn't resist :-).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Charmed, coming on October 1, 2012. Click here to learn more about this sweet romance.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Science behind a Slow, Sexy, and Satisfying Dance

A slow dance, in itself, is not enough to send your senses into a delicious spiral. A few elements have to come together to make swaying in someone’s arms a sensual and unforgettable experience. Sexual attraction, one of life's great mysteries, is a major part of the equation. After endless studies, many experts agree that it involves a complex mix of visual, vocal, and olfactory cues.
In Strangers in the Night, Jake and Keila first notice each other when Jake is standing in the sidelines and Keila is helping a friend teach a few complicated salsa steps. His eyes stray to her hips and he gazes at their rhythmic swivels and swerves. Keila looks up and meets his intense, brilliantly blue eyes. Their initial spark is purely visual.

When Keila is forced to teach a reluctant Jake to salsa, her pulse picks up the moment she hears his deep baritone. A deep male voice is a sign of genetic fitness. Like it or not, Keila is genetically wired to react to his voice. Moments later, she’s in his arms, and the dance lesson begins.
Exertion makes their skin glisten with fresh, sweet sweat, which releases scented sex hormones known as pheromones. Some scientists have described pheromones as magical. During a particularly slow and sensual salsa number, Jake is lured in by Keila’s scent, and it makes him tug her closer…and closer.  The sense of touch is connected to every other sense, and proximity raises Keila’s responsiveness to new heights. Their attraction is purely physical…so far.

Jake will soon be announcing his candidacy for mayor of Chicago and Keila is waiting to find out if her dream of moving back home to play for a renowned orchestra will come true. They’re both feeling tense. Studies on both sides of the Atlantic have found that dance lowers levels of cortisol; a stress hormone. When people dance, they unwind and relax. Jake is also just learning to salsa. When he loses his footing, he steps forward just as Keila does the same. His hands go down to her waist, her hands wrap around his arms, and their eyes lock.  They laugh, and laughter relaxes muscles, boosts energy, and triggers the release of feel-good chemicals. Shared laughter helps people synchronize their emotions and create bonds.

As these two strangers dance, they forget the world and become lost in the music, their emotions, and each other. They don’t know how different and far apart their lives are, and they don’t care. When the night comes to its inevitable end, they decide to remain strangers. They’re not ready to explore their startling chemistry. But, as time passes, neither can forget their singular night at Chicago’s SummerDance Festival.

Undoubtedly, they’re destined to meet again. This is a romance, after all. And I think most of us would rather explore the intricacies of romance through story than through science. On that note, I’d love to learn a little bit more about your own real-life stories. Has an instant physical attraction ever lead to a long-lasting emotional connection for you?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Interview with Kay Rogal, author of Sweet Revenge

I'm here today with Kay Rogal, author of Sweet Revenge. Kay, thank you for agreeing to chat with me! I’d like to pick your brain a bit to find out how a romantic suspense trilogy comes together.
Inés Saint: Do you plot the entire trilogy before beginning or do you take it book by book?

Kay Rogal: As I begin plotting for one book, my brain starts going off in all different directions on the 'what if' and plots a series. In this series, it's about Donovan's children seeking revenge on their father's white slavery business and what he did to them and the society.

IS: Is this plot something that stays in your mind, changing and adapting as the story develops, or is it something you write it down, point by point?

KR: It stays in my mind to the point...I can't get rid of it until it's finely tuned, every little twist, black moment covered. As I write, get a massage, go hiking, my mind surprises me with new leads.

IS: Do you get emotional while researching and writing about something that wounds people in such a profound ways, and, if so, do you channel it into your writing?

KR: Good question! I'm an advocator by nature and have a soapbox built to travel lol...I guess you could say....and don't let go when human rights are at stake...whether child or adult.

IS: I’ve already learned you’re a very sweet, thoughtful person from our chats, so I’m not surprised!
Okay, it’s now time for a few quick quirky questions:

IS: If you could have one of your characters over for coffee or tea, which character would it be and what is the one question you’d ask them?

KR: Hmmm....that's hard to say...I like getting to know my characters one on one, but there's just something in me that likes to bring a spice to the surface. I'd have to say all the women...there's something about a group of women getting together and what comes from it - intrigue, fun, spice, advice. The questions would come out on their own :-)

IS: I agree. A few margaritas and a fun group of women…it doesn’t get more entertaining than that.
If you could live in any story ever written, which story would you choose and why?

KR: I love all of them and it would be hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to choose, it would be my current work in progress - a legal supernatural where the heroine, along with her eccentric nana, and the other attorney wives, are going to cause all sorts of waves, for the better, of course, (I know you can't see me smiling, but it's a mischievous one).

IS: Eccentric nana and a fun group of women? I love it already!
If you were single, who would you rather kiss: James Bond, Mr.Darcy, Thor, or Lloyd Dobler? And you know I’m going to ask…why?

KR: James Bond - depending on which one it is. There's a style of charisma, finesse seen on the screen...but then, maybe, I should be focusing on the person directing him...forgive me, I have this spicy attitude happening this morning. I am single and think kissing is one of most enjoyable things about a relationship, besides hugging and holding hands. I would have to choose James Bond. He seems to kiss the most compared to the others.

IS: James Bond is my pick, too. And yes, he does seem to have plenty of kissing experience :-).

Kay, thank you so much for visiting with me today. It’s been fun! I wish you much success and best of luck with your trilogy. Sweet Revenge is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and wherever ebooks are sold.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear Abby, Prudence, and Margo…when did I turn into my mother?

Dear Abby, Prudence, and Margo…

Once, when I was five, I walked in on my mom talking to herself while she was cleaning the kitchen. I asked her who she was talking to and she stared at me a long moment before replying, “Er..little angels.”

I vowed I would never talk to myself…

Flash forward thirty + years: There are times when I think nothing can surprise me anymore, but, every once in a while, I’m proven wrong.  These little surprises can be delightful or annoying. When I don’t have anyone beside me to talk to about it, I write a short, imaginary letter to any one of a few advice columnists, in my head. It’s my little way of acknowledging the little things that make me smile and whining about the things I can’t do anything about.

Smiling inner self:

Dear Abby, Prudence, and Margo…

A mom from karate class took a Kindle out and her little girl said, “Is that the R kindle or the G kindle?” These anecdotes are so darn cute when the amusing child is not your own!”

Annoyed inner self:
Dear Abby, Prudence, and Margo…

Why did the lady in front of me in the supermarket line place her big fat purse on my Doritos Ranch bag and then proceed to crunch them all up by leaning into her purse to search for her checkbook? Does she not realize she’s crunching my Doritos? ‘Cause I can hear them crunching. And why did she glare when I smiled and said, “Excuse me”, in order to pull my bag out from under her bag? And why do I always have to be behind the person paying with a check?

I don’t know when I started this habit…or why, but apparently I’ve started to this out loud while I’m cleaning the kitchen. I didn’t notice I was doing this until I caught my nine year old staring at me while I wiped down my countertops. “Who’s Abby, Margo, and Prudence?” he asked. I stared at him for a moment before answering, without thinking, “Er…little angels I talk to sometimes.”

Is there a specific moment in your memory when you realized you had turned into your mother?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Strangers in the Night...

My debut novel, Strangers in the Night, will be released tomorrow! I'm sharing my happiness by sponsoring a sweepstakes:
Tweet (@InesSaint) or email me ( your favorite line from Strangers in the Night (no purchase required, read first pages here: from July 9th to July 15th and you will be entered to win one $25 gift card from one of the following retailers:, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes – winner’s choice.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crushing on the villain...

My nine-year-old is a HUGE super-hero fanatic, so we took him to see The Avengers the second day it was out. It’s been three weeks and I can’t stop thinking about… Loki.

Every novel I read, I visualize some version of Loki as the hero: Loki in full regency attire, Loki as a soldier, Loki as a cowboy. I don’t care if the author tells me the hero has pale blond hair and brown eyes. I see Loki.

When I found myself trying change Loki’s ethnicity to fit a character I was trying to visualize, I decided to dig into my psyche a bit, to see why I was getting a little nutty over this really bad boy. Why couldn’t I fall for Captain America (gorgeous, noble soldier), Thor (perfect mythological specimen), or Iron Man (brilliant, good bad-boy)?

I dug. I couldn’t find any prior bad-boy addictions. Quite the opposite. I’ve been known to boycott actors, businesses, and brands for A LOT less than wanting to enslave all of humankind. 

Then I thought of the different versions of Loki I’ve dreamt up during my last reads to see what each version has in common…

And then I get. I visualize Loki, a villain, in every hero, because he got a firm grip on my imagination and I want every hero I read about to do the same.

Tom Hiddleston, the actor who plays Loki, made him compelling. When he was on screen, he drew me into his maniacal inner world and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. It was his eyes, his stance, the way he carried himself, and the set of his mouth. All along, I’ve been caught by this actor’s craft. I appreciate it. He’s achieved what I hope to achieve with every character I sketch: to pull an audience into my character’s world, no matter how far-fetched, mundane, or embellished that world may be.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Interview with Crimson Romance Author and Golden Heart Finalist, Moriah Densley

2012 RWA Golden Heart
Finalist for Historical Fiction
Crimson Romance Author and Golden Heart Finalist, Moriah Densley, joins me today in a cyber version of an outdoor café, under a crimson sunset,  to tell me a little more about herself and her soon to be released title, Song for Sophia. You’re invited to pull up a chair and listen in on our girl talk/author chat.

Inés Saint: First of all, congratulations on being named a finalist! I’d love to know what it was like to get such exciting news…Where were you? How did you react? What did you do to celebrate?
Moriah Densley: Thank you, Inés! Pass the napkins, please; I’m having a little trouble with the chipotle sauce on my turkey focaccia sandwich. So, I entered the Golden Heart on a whim and forgot about it. When I saw a call from Texas the morning of March 26th, I thought it was my friend in Houston. Imagine my surprise to hear THE Julia London on the line. She had good news, and I couldn't believe it. It's no secret my historical is a bit unconventional, so I was honestly surprised.

Anyway, I got off the phone and started behaving like an orangutan on caffeine. My kids came running to see what was on fire. What they understood: Mommy just won Best Writer in the Whole World Award. I let them think so. I went to lunch with my friend Pauline, and tried not to be obnoxiously giddy.
The best perk: Sixty-five instant friends. The other GH finalists are friendly and helpful, and so savvy it's scary. It really is honor to be a finalist. I feel like I already have my prize, and in July I will happily cheer for the winner and not be too terribly jealous.
IS: It sounds so exciting and gratifying… I have goose bumps. I wish you the best of luck come July, and seriously, your kids are too cute. Are you planning on attending the ceremony? If so, are you stressing about what you’ll wear?

MD: Yes, I’m going! Looking forward to it. I hope to see you and our other writer friends there.

Ooh! We're going to talk about girly stuff? *sheepish thought for Glock logo on t-shirt* I was concerned about the row of dorky '90s prom dresses at the back of my closet comprising my formal wardrobe, until last week. I took a shortcut through Dillard's on my way back from the Apple store and saw The Dress. Count on me to go straight to the most expensive item in the store, but the stars were aligned in my favor. The perfect navy blue, triple-lined, corseted, floor-length gown―in my size and on clearance. Sold! Fashion dilemma solved. Now I have to stick to my workout routine so I can still zip it up in July. Confiscate my chocolate, please?
IS: A few Ladies in Red and I will happily confiscate your chocolate, only because we’re made of such generous stuff. And hey, if Sharon Stone can wear a Gap T-shirt to the Oscars and still get past the fashion police, you can certainly wear a Glock logo T-shirt. However….your dress sounds dreamy! You will definitely have to post a pic. Now, tell me, what inspired you to write Golden Heart Finalist for Historical Fiction; Song for Sophia?

MD: As much as I adore Jane Austen, I love the Brontë sisters more. Tormented heroes who make bad mistakes before finding redemption. Heroines who sacrifice their pride for love. Dignified angst, leashed sensuality, a hint of the supernatural—timeless romance. It calls to me. I think Laura Kinsale is our modern Brontë, with her masterful use of le pathétique—pathos or artistic suffering. “Smart romance” before the term was even coined.
Wilhelm Montegue in “Song for Sophia” was inspired by Brontë and Kinsale’s dark, fascinating heroes, with a twist. Wilhelm is a mathematical and musical savant, but his genius is tempered with odd limitations. He flawlessly transcribes the aria he heard at the opera but can’t fasten a button. His social radar is off; he insults the vicar by quoting Newton or is caught in a staring trance for minutes on end. The next minute he is winsome and generous. The rumors about him are not nice.

Who could possibly be his match? Meet Anne-Sophia Duncombe, the lousiest housemaid in all Christendom. She’s hiding from her father, and it’s either life as a domestic or the convent for her. One night she stumbles (literally) over Wilhelm in the garden, and the fun begins. What did I enjoy most about creating these characters? Beginning with two people who have nothing left to lose, and watching them find true love.
I did say I adore Jane Austen, and am admittedly a lover of all things silly and ridiculous. Despite some darker elements (a hero who was captured and tortured during the war, and a heroine with an abusive father), Wilhelm and Sophia interact with an irreverent sense of humor. Constantly teasing, they stretch and break their Victorian etiquette, which I had a ball with. I hope readers find equal parts drama and humor.

IS: You did an excellent job channeling your inspirations into Wilhelm and Sophia. From the beginning, I pictured Wilhelm as a cross between Michael Fassbender in “Jane Eyre” and Tom Hardy in “Wuthering Heights”. And I can picture Sophia trifling with Lady Catherine de Bourgh. She definitely has it in her.

MD: Inés―thank you! Such high praise. Pardon me a moment while I preen.
For those of you eager to meet these unique, memorable characters, Song for Sophia will be released on June 4th, 2012 by Crimson Romance Books. What other books can we expect from you in the near future?

MD: I also write paranormal romance. “The Valkyrie’s Guardian,” about Cassiopeia Noyon, a flunky superhero who falls for Jack MacGunn, an immortal berserker working as a Navy SEAL, releases October 8, 2012 from Crimson Romance.

Next in the historical series is “The King of Threadneedle Street,” about a financial prodigy who turns world markets upside down to get what he wants . . . which is his childhood sweetheart, a courtesan’s daughter. I’ve finished the manuscript and will start shopping it soon.
IS: I’m thrilled to see we can expect new, intriguing characters and worlds from you so soon, Moriah! Let’s now go a little bit further into the future. Would you mind sharing your dream for where you’ll be in five years?

MD: In five years, you’ll google me and find at least 15 published books in a few different genres, books readers talk about and care about. I’ll answer fan mail from a balcony overlooking the sapphire-blue waters of Santorini. (This is my dream, right?) I would love to be in a position where I can write whatever I want, without worrying, “Am I toeing the market line?” Rather I would ask, “Is this fresh and thought-provoking? An emotional and sensory experience for the reader?” That is freedom. That’s art.

IS: Freedom is such a lovely dream and I daresay you’re well on your way to making it a reality.  And I’m glad we share a love for the silly and the ridiculous because it is now Quick Quirky Questions time.
- If you could have one of your characters over for coffee, tea, or a margarita, which character would you choose, and what is the one question you’d ask them?

MD: Lady Chauncey, Sophia Duncombe’s colorful courtesan mother, is a character I love more and more as she develops. In “Song for Sophia,” she is credited with teaching Sophia aristocratic dignity; smiling and carrying on despite everything falling apart around her. Instead of being disenchanted and defeated by her abusive husband, Helena Duncombe hides her bruises under a corsage or hat feather, cracks a joke, and takes a trip to Paris where she breaks the hearts of half a dozen men half her age.

In “The King of Threadneedle Street” she looks for love in all the wrong places but has a keen eye for matchmaking, and is sincerely pleased when her friends find love. Comfortable in her own skin, her happiness doesn’t come from naïveté, but a conscious decision not to let the negative stick. Her “sadder but wiser” mien fuels her wry humor. If I could hang out with Helena, I don’t know if I would dare ask her a poignant question, for fear of getting a too-honest answer, but know I would laugh. A lot.
I’m toying with the idea of giving Helena her own story.

IS: I love the idea of Helena having her own story! More than once, I found myself thinking: The tales this woman could tell…
-If you could live in any story ever written, which story would you choose and why?

MD: If I could be Jason Bourne’s sidekick . . . I would probably screw up get myself killed in the first scene. But before that, all my super-spy-assassin fantasies would come true. I would crack an encrypted letter, defuse a bomb, get the bad guys, save the museum artifact, hack into a computer mainframe, and land a few spectacular aerial stunts involving motorcycles, parachutes, and remote Italian villages.
I wouldn’t pick a period piece. Those polished, clever people would eat me for breakfast. And I have an affinity for modern plumbing, pest control, yoga pants, and the internet.

IS: If your Glocks could time travel with you, I’m sure they’d quiet the polished, clever people. 
-If you were single, who would you rather kiss: James Bond, Mr.Darcy, Thor, or Lloyd Dobler? And you know I’m going to ask…why?

MD: Oh yes, Thor, baby. Come to mama. *wipes drool* What was that? Uh, sorry. You said Thor, and I think I went somewhere else for a while. (Covers husband’s ears.) Yeah, I really have a thing for superheroes, and Thor is positively adorable. Broad shoulders―check. Warrior tough-act going on―check. Shy-guy smile with dimples―check. I’m a goner. Hypothetically.

IS: Thank you so much for joining me, Moriah! We now have to return to the real world, where we don’t get to kiss Thor (bummer), kick butt with Jason Bourne (probably a good thing), or have our characters over for a chat (they’d label us certifiable). Wait, that’s a depressing way to end the interview. Let’s instead end by saying we’ll meet again in five years in Santorini for another interview! I’ll bring the chipotle.
MD: Thank you for hosting me, Inés. I’m taking you up on that. 2017: You, me, Greece, and chipotle.

Visit for teasers and sample chapters, and humorous blog articles on life as a writer. See reader reviews on Connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. I love hearing from readers!

Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. Moriah lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Write what you know, whether it makes you laugh or cry

I love the scene in “Something’s Gotta Give” where Diana Keeton’s character, Erica Barry, is at her desk, balling her eyes out in the most hysterical, touching way, while pouring her pain into her writing. Erica is most definitely writing what she knows.

And it’s the advice most aspiring writers start out with. It’s simple, yet it’s also involved.

You know what you can imagine, and your imagination can be as vast and infinite as, well, fiction. When I use my imagination, I feel exhilarated, unbound, and free. The limitations of real life can’t stop me because those boundaries don’t exist in my mind.

You also know what you’ve experienced. Bliss and pain, we all know these feelings bone, nerve, and heart deep.  You may not write the story of the boy who taught you the anguish of self-doubt, the friend who shocked you with their betrayal, the countless experiences that have shaped the core of who you are, or the secrets you keep out of love for others, but the sting, the shock, and the hurt come back to you when you write a scene that resonates. And maybe you cry at your computer…

And then maybe you laugh. Learning to have a sense of humor about life and its twists and turns can make you fearless in exploring a character’s vulnerabilities, making them more believable.  

I haven’t yet written a story that remotely resembles my life, yet now and then I bear the feelings I wouldn’t want to forget while I laugh and cry at my computer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Romance?

I’m addicted to reading the news, which means I’m aware of what goes on in the world. I’m often heartbroken and appalled, sometimes amused, but seldom am I pleasantly surprised. Happy endings are always in question.  This is why I read romance, to be pleasantly surprised by how the story gets to the happy ending. The happy ending is not in question.

Sexually depraved fruit fly gets hammered and becomes a muse…

The actual title of the article I read was “Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila and it captured my imagination. I'd love to know who came up with this study and… why? Why would anyone study a drunk and horny fruit fly?

Now, I’m not going to pester the author of this study with my questions because he sounds busy… but my mind keeps wandering and wondering and pretty soon there’s a new voice in my head. Some voices stay with me and become characters. Others fade away.

This new voice stays.  He becomes a very intense (and endearing) research scientist who’s absorbed by his fruit fly studies. My adorable geek begins to show me bits and pieces of his past and I see him as an inquisitive, dirty-faced little boy, chasing and collecting insects. He puts them in jars, pokes holes in the lids, and watches them, fascinated. The images make me smile and I wonder if this character will continue to reveal itself to me.

A few days later my eight-year-old wants to know if the word drunk is a bad word. He begins to tell me a (long-winded) story about an argument two kids had over this. As I nod and (pretend to) listen, my scientist comes back for a visit. This time he shows me a short reel of himself as an anxiety-ridden little boy, peeking out from inside his closet. He’s so sad. The jars he used to collect his insects are smashed on the floor.  Among the broken pieces of glass I see a label for a popular brand of vodka. Someone is storming out of his room, alternately grumbling and yelling. My future scientist is holding his breath, his heart thumping hard in his throat.

So I learn there’s a reason my character now draws on his passion for insects to help study alcoholism. This disease affected the carefree child I first imagined. He lets me in on his current, noble intentions, and I can’t help but care about him. I want him to fulfill his needs. I want him to have his own happy ending.

My geek is sexy when he’s exasperated. Who can exasperate my geek? Maybe someone who is his complete opposite, but who shares a similar history..? A rival scientist from his past with secrets of her own..? She hasn’t entered my mind just yet, but she will, probably inspired by a song on the radio, another article, or a random comment. And when she enters my mind I’ll begin spinning a new yarn with characters I really care about.

I’ll probably never know why the real author of this article studies fruit flies, but maybe you can let me in on what inspires you. I’d love to know.