Gardens of Flowers and Ideas
Hello there! Thanks for inviting me to join you at The Romance Readers’ Connection.
I’m currently huddled indoors by the fire, indulging in my favorite wintertime pastime: choosing plants for my garden. Okay, I’m thumbing through tiny pictures in catalogues and on websites, and the little darlings will be thinner than my thumb when they arrive around Easter. But one day, they’ll be big and strong and glorious, standing tall in my yard.
It’s rather similar to what I go through when I start a book. I usually know roughly who my hero and heroine are, plus when they live. (Think of that as being close to the dimension of my yard and what kind of sunshine it has.) After that, I start trying out different ideas to see which ones will work best into a plot – for the big overall conflict (like a tree in a garden), a smaller detail such as the treasure they’re hunting for (like a beautiful rose bush), and so on. If I’m very lucky, a bloom sprouts unexpectedly and thrills me to death.
Gardens are so special to me that I like to sneak them into my books whenever possible. In KISSES LIKE A DEVIL, my latest historical novel, my heroine is a university student who’s turned into a radical by how the steelworkers’ children are mistreated. She lives in a world of beautiful gardens overlooking a pristine mountain lake. But the children play on cobblestone back alleys amid overhanging stone buildings. And then there’s my hero, who’s William Donovan’s son. . . But you’ll have to read the book to find out more!
Today, my garden sleeps under a blanket of snow and ice. My catalogues offers plants that’ll be maybe six inches tall by a quarter of an inch wide when they show up in another two months – or about the size of a good idea. But my creativity is humming along and I’m sure I will be a very happy author and gardener in August, if I take care of my garden well.
What about you? Anybody else like to garden? Does it help you with any other part of your life? Or do you find that creativity in one area strengthens another?