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Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday Spotlight: Sandra Kay
WHERE DO I GET MY IDEAS FOR BOOKS?
Ideas for my stories come from many sources. My husband has often commented that I dream entire movies because I can relate them to him in the morning. I’ve always created scenes in my mind. As a child, they were fantasies of the Cinderella and Prince Charming type. As a teenage girl, my stories were of the dashing hero saving the damsel in distress. As a woman, they are of more experienced love and desire.
My favorite heroes? Cowboys, of course. I’ve always loved westerns, whether books or movies; contemporary or historical. There’s just something about a Stetson tilted at just the right angle, tight Wrangler’s that fit like a glove, and cowboy boots. For me that’s the ultimate in sex appeal. How can you go wrong writing a book about a figure that is so much a part of American culture?
The way I look at it, you can’t. Whether they are riding herd, mending fences, line dancing, or romancing the heroine—they have me hooked.
For my Brandon Cattle Ranch series, the character’s names came first, and then the plots. That’s backwards, I know, but I wanted the Brandon siblings named after historical figures: Cady Stanton Brandon, John Tyler Brandon, Stonewall Jackson Brandon and Jefferson Davis Brandon.
As the oldest brother in the Brandon family, Tyler’s story was supposed to be first. I even started writing it. But, somehow, Stone and Amber’s story called to me. The title, Heart of Stone, came to me so naturally. It fit! And the plot followed. Past betrayal had hardened Stone’s heart. Was Amber woman enough to break through the wall?
Cady’s story is next. As the only female in the group, and as the eldest sibling, her story came to me straight out of Hollywood. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. An older woman, younger man romance. The age span isn’t as great as Demi and Ashton’s, but Cady is old-fashioned enough to believe the man should be older. How will Chance convince her otherwise? BTW, this title came to me easily, also. Cady’s Chance. Again, it fit. It’s time for Cady to take a chance on love; and is Chance the one for her?
Tyler’s story will be the third in the series, and I have a partial plot brewing. One, in which he becomes the sheriff of the small town of Riverbend. This one, though, is making me crazy trying to come up with a title. As I work on it, one will come to me.
The only thing I know about Jeff’s story at this point is that he will be a veterinarian.
I have another work in progress titled Tomorrow’s Promise. This is completely separate from the Brandon series, and the plot came from one of the terrible wild brush fires that race through Southern California almost every year. I have personal knowledge of the devastation of these fires. One burned right up to my sister’s ranch in San Diego County, forcing her to evacuate with her daughters. Her husband and grown sons stayed to fight with everything they had, and fortunately they managed to save the ranch. More importantly, they were not harmed. (BTW, I would not recommend this course of action if you are ever in that situation.)
This year, my family and I had to evacuate from our home when the Freeway Complex Fire swept through Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills. I know all about the dark skies, choking air, and the charred smell, as well as ash and embers falling like deadly snowflakes.
Yes, current events are a great source for writing contemporary novels. I just don’t want to be that close to the action again!