I remember sitting in the car, driving along a back road somewhere in the outskirts of Sacramento, when the song ‘She’s Country’ by Jason Aldean began to play on the radio. Instantly I began to groove along to the beat, fully feeling my inner ‘country’ and thinking about a life long lost. A life of riding my horse at full speed and feeling the air across my face as she flies through the fields. Of driving my truck over dirt roads with the windows down, radio blaring and a full load of hay in the back. Of wearing holey jeans and dirty boots and trading make up for a permanent tan that stemmed from actual sunlight. A life in which doing manual labor was something you took pride in and getting dirty wasn’t anything you shied away from. I loved that life. There are days I wonder about the choices I made that took me away from it, so it was in that moment, sitting in that car and listening to that song, that I decided it was time to go back. And since I couldn’t literally go back, I would do it through my writing.
Almost instantly the characters came to life inside my mind. I knew immediately that the story would be centered around women. Strong women. Sisters. I could see them, hear them, knew them inside and out, without really knowing why. But I knew I wanted to find out. I was completely energized with the excitement of this new idea and it wasn’t too long before I had come up with the key points of my story and was ready to begin the journey of writing it.
‘Country Girls’ literally just flowed right out of me. I loved figuring out the intricate details of my characters and what made them the way that they were. Having already figured out the mess they would make beforehand, I enjoyed the challenge of then having to figure out how they would clean it up after. In the end, it wasn’t until the final pages that I truly got stuck. Finding a happily ever after that was not only true to the story and the characters but would also offer the readers the closure I wanted them to feel, was harder than I had anticipated. After several different drafts, I eventually found my final sentences. I felt overwhelmed as I typed out those final words and was elated knowing that I had gotten there at last.
My point is, that inspiration can come from anywhere. A song, a dream…or in the case of my most recent project ‘Blood Bound’, watching so many movies with the same different actors you begin to think you see a family resemblance between them…I know, it makes no sense, I’ll elaborate some other time 😉
Anyway, I’ve collected my share of seedlings over the years, little ideas that could turn into bigger ideas. I write them all down in various notebooks and when I’m ready I go back to them. But, my favorite ideas are those that hit you with such a force that you can’t wait to plant that seed and watch it grow, because in your mind you’re already picturing it in full bloom. That’s what ‘Country Girls’ was for me. Not a seedling, but a Wildflower that had already blossomed.