Love Starved: let’s talk inspiration

10points4dumbledore asked:

I am waiting for your book with baited breath. What was your inspiration for Love Starved?

Thank you! (And let me tell you, seeing the words “your book” still gets my heart all fluttery…)

Let’s talk inspiration 🙂

Love Starved, like so many of my other ideas, was born from a random plot bunny that got stuck in my head and grew into something much bigger than I ever expected. In this case, what sparked the fire was a single sentence I saw somewhere on the internet, years ago: Show me what it’s like to feel loved.

“Aw, what a sweet sentiment,” I thought, and scrolled past to other shiny things.

But the little bunny was persistent. Over months and years, it kept popping up occasionally, bringing plot suggestions along:
“So, how about two young people in their first serious relationship?”
“Too vague? Okay, what if one of them has never been loved?”
“Or, you know what, let’s give one of them some bad past experiences, how about that?”
“Nothing? Really? So what would be the weirdest situation for such a request?”

It took years; the sentence sat in my inspiration folder and on my “to-write” board, the plot simmering and crystallizing somewhere on the back burner, but its time eventually came when I decided it needed an original, not fanfiction setting. I took it out, dusted it off and lovingly weaved it into a story about a disenchanted romantic, an escort who prides himself on fulfilling every fantasy, and an impossible, desperate request: Show me what it’s like to feel loved.

Song Saturday: Love Starved week 5

Safe and Sound is a Taylor Swift’s song, but I first heard it as a cover – this cover, by Tiffany Alvord and Megan Nicole – a couple of years ago, and I have a soft spot for this version.

Love Starved is a bit of a roller-coaster – sweet moments intertwined with heartache, hurt with comfort. This is a song I had on repeat while writing one of the most emotional and satisfying scenes in the book. It’s all about trust, about letting someone in…

Song Saturday: Love Starved week 3

Adam Lambert was one of a few artists I was listening to on repeat while writing Love Starved. Some of his songs influenced the plot or the mood, and the three that are on this playlist served as direct inspiration for scenes that I ended up writing (and loving every minute of it).

(It’s a fun coincidence that it’s time for the first of these three songs today, because tonight I’m going to see Queen and Adam Lambert in concert. So excited!)

Song Saturday: Love Starved week 1

I’m one of those writers who make playlists for their stories.

It’s a thing that happens, almost by accident, every time I work on something longer. Suddenly, there are songs everywhere – songs I’ve known forever but their lyrics just start to fit; songs I hear for the first time that give me the perfect combination of feelings; songs that tell a story. I’ve written dozens of scenes that were born from the right song sparking the right emotion at the right moment.

Several such scenes appear in my debut novel, Love Starved. And since there are thirteen weeks until it comes out, and I have thirteen songs in my Love Starved playlist, today I’m introducing Song Saturdays here on my blog. I will be posting one song each Saturday until April 18, before gathering them all into a full 8tracks playlist.

The songs I’ve chosen are in this particular order for a reason. If you listen carefully, you may hear a story in them, catch glimpses of scenes and characters… And then listen again when Love Starved is out and tell me what you thought 🙂

So here it is, week 1: I’ll Try from Disney’s Peter Pan: Return to Neverland.

A year in the (book) life

In three months (minus one day, because I fell asleep before I managed to post this last night, oops), Love Starved will be out in the world. And that means that it’s finally time to start talking more about the book, the idea, the characters – that whole world closed between the covers.

I have a whole series of wordy posts planned, but today, I just want to show the long way this story has come over the last year: from a pile of notes and index cards, through the first draft covered in red ink as I edited it for the first time, to a review copy – and soon, a final book. It has been a crazy, exhausting, exhilarating journey of hard work and blind faith that I can do it, and I’ve loved every step of it. I hope that love will show in the final product 🙂