Thanks to author DL Larson for sharing what inspires her on her blog tour today. Read on to find out more about her latest book and be sure to comment to win a copy of one of her previously published books, hardback (US only) or e-book format.
Where Does My Inspiration Come From?
I noticed the sliver of an orange moon the other night. It hung in the dark sky like a beacon, shimmering from golden to orange until it finally settled into its bright white yellow hue. The moon and its many phases continue to fascinate me. It's so constant yet constantly changing, moving and revealing only parts of itself throughout the rotation of the passing of time. Many of my characters have the same traits.
Developing characters is a gift and burden, and I learned their shifty moods make their personalities quirky and interesting to readers. Just when I think I have all those pesky traits nailed down, my characters twist and turn into something completely different. And I'm delighted. I'm inspired to learn more about my characters. This morphing turns an idea of a person into a three dimensional character.
Their failures, their insecurities and secrets entice me to move forward into the story, discovering as I go what my characters want to reveal. My character Francis was a big stumbling block when I was writing my second book. I was intrigued he was so staunch, yet I worried I had developed a wooden character. Determination kept me going, twisting him to loosen up and explain his life.
Scientists have stated that one degree can make all the difference. At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, water boils. One degree more, that's all it takes. I find that extremely inspiring. And so I pushed my character Francis a bit more and wow!
He has yet to stop talking. That one last push gave me a story I needed and wanted to know. He was finally complete as a character. He became real to me.
His hardship continues to appal me. At times I want to weep and don't want to hear any more. Yet my other character Christine wants to help Francis and urges him to express himself. And I wonder who's writing this book? I realize I've given my characters free reign and my story is better because of it. I opened the door to hope and inspiration and my characters took the bait.
Promises My Love is a story of love winning over evil. I hope this story is an inspiration to others who have faced family problems. It is never too late to start over. It is never too late to remake oneself. And it is never too late to love. I find that inspiring. I hope you do, too.
Thanks for having me as a guest blogger.
Francis Frailey fears he might become as abusive as his uncle once was, so he admires his young family from a distance. His plan is lonely, but safe, until his wife Christine sneaks past his staunch decorum. With tender devotion she coaxes him beyond his wretched childhood memories to a place where trust and love grows.
The fragile bond shatters when Francis’ family intervenes and he must decide if hate will rule his heart. Christine promises forgiveness will make him whole, but Francis aches for revenge. He’s determined to kill his uncle and be done.
Christine’s brother, Joe Douglas, has plans of his own that include asking his wife Annie to face her troubled past. But to help Christine, Joe agrees to go after Francis and bring him home. Taking his young son and nephew with him unhinges them all. Joe doesn’t know if the love Francis has for his son is stronger than the hate he harbors for his uncle. Or perhaps Francis despises himself most of all. Joe fears the wrong person may end up dead.
Buy Promises My Love on Amazon.
Once they reached the Douglas farm, Francis refused to stay for the evening meal.
“For damns sake, come in,” her father, Will, ventured. But Francis stood stiffly at the entrance as she and her children shifted uneasily beside him. The dangling lanterns above the table and others on the mantel lit up their expectant faces.
“There’s plenty left,” her mama said.
Elizabeth opened her arms, and Jimmy and Crystal stepped into her embrace. Christine eyed her children snuggling safe in her mother’s arms and her throat tightened.
Will Jr. stood, looking as dark and tall as her father. He didn’t extend a handshake to Francis or offer her a hug, and that just wasn’t done in her family. Hugs were as numerous and hearty as the horses in the pastures. Instead, her brother’s usual friendly grin tightened and his gaze hardened as Christine fumbled with their trunks and gestured for her children to greet their aunt and uncle. Their watching made her self-conscious and her fingers inched toward her face to hide the scratch.
Her chest tightened all the more when her parents gaze moved from Francis to her, neither voicing their worry, even as it filled their faces.
Francis opened the door and the crisp dampness of the on-coming night cooled her hot cheeks. His eyes touched hers only for a moment, and they were much too guarded for her to question his decision to leave.
“Good to see you all,” his voice cracked as he gripped the door.
Elizabeth stepped forward, her hand reaching out for him, but Francis swept across the threshold and pounded across the shadow-filled porch.
No one moved to stop him and moments later Christine heard the carriage careen down the lane. She eased the door shut, unable to answer the question in her mother’s gaze. Her mama turned to the kids and urged them to the benches at the table and to the remains of a peach cobbler, her smile warm and reassuring. Will’s three daughters stepped toward the table too and Christine smiled to each, struggling to recall their names.
The room was too quiet to be her family. Her father and brother settled in rockers by the hearth and Tess fussed over Jimmy and Crystal, commenting on how much they’d grown.
Her parents home had always made her feel secure and Christine tried to smile, venture into conversation. She fooled no one. Apprehension made her voice shake. Nothing was secure now, and she wondered if she should have tried once more to stop her husband.
DL Larson always thought she’d be a city girl, but instead, she has spent the last 40 years surrounded by corn fields. She lives in northern Illinois and enjoys the outdoors, especially gardening, boating and bike riding with her family.
Reading is a big part of DL’s life, both professionally as a writer and as a Children’s Librarian.
She likes being in the know, seeing firsthand what folks like to read. Going back to school as an adult rejuvenated her desire to become a novelist. The writing awards she received lifted her up and reinforced her drive to tell the best story she could. Her second novel, Promises To Keep was a 2008 Reader’s Choice Recipient.
DL is a WindyCity member of RWA. She blogs each Thursday at http://acmeauthorslink.blogspot.com/
Visit DL Larson at www.dllarson.com and find her on Facebook.