WiP Wednesday: Inspiration and the ATF

February 15, 2012

Thank you to everyone who dropped a comment in the giveaway. Copies of Nobody's Hero will wing their way to both Dianna and Sarah as soon as I get them. Yay! And never fear, there will be a big giveaway after the book drops in March too -- with prize packs, Like the Riot Boy giveaway back when Et and Brady first hit the scene in November, there will be Nobody's Hero themed prize packs.

Which means I'm giving away comics, Irish-American punk, and Guinness paraphernalia, yeah. Pretty much. But also, a copy or two of Nobody's Hero itself. In which the love interest is an Irish-American punk comic book nerd who likes Guinness. Fair enough, I reckon.

Right, onto this WiP Wednesday thing again. The truth is that I've not been writing anything this month. I have loads of editing projects to get through and March is going to be hellacious (in a good way), so I want to clear everything out. That means I've been reading even more than usual, but yeah. No writing.

I have, however, been preparing stuff I've already written for submitting to my editor for consideration. It's a gut-wrenching process, trying to decide if a manuscript is finished enough to be seen, but I am extremely lucky in my crit partners and beta readers, most of whom I've known for at least the better part of a decade. Let's just say they aren't afraid to let me know when I suck, and I thank all the gods I've ever heard of for that every day.

The next one to get shipped off is a story about a superhero. I know, all this stuff (so far) is superpowered, but Andrew is actually a vigilante crime fighter in a small town in North Carolina. As a kid, my family spent a lot of long, hot summers in Carolina after my grandparents retired to a lake house down there -- and that house served as inspiration for Andrew's, the little town nearby as inspiration for the imaginary Hooperstown he's devoted to saving. I was plumbing the depths of my childhood summers to come up with the perfect setting...

And I thought, hell, this should be a story about two people who had an adolescent summer fling at this house once upon a time.

The guy telling the story is a different sort altogether. Gabriel is a cocky young special agent. That's right, FBI vs. Superhero.

And Gabriel isn't my fault.

Last summer my friend Hayley stayed with us for a few weeks while she was interning at the ATF. (Federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, yeah, for real. She's hardcore.) We started talking about the crap people have to go through to become FBI agents (which some do after working at the ATF, and some special agents work for the ATF -- which is a totally badass job, but that's another story). And I said, "Man, anyone who got through that would have to be pretty proud. And maybe a bit of a cocky prick, even."

She agreed.

And Special Agent Gabriel GenĂȘt was born. All Hayley's fault.

Will this story ever see the light of day? I don't know, really, but I sure as hell had fun writing it. I even had fun writing the synopsis last night, if you can believe it. Weird how disparate inspirations can come crashing together to make something like that...

I collected some stories like this from romance authors all over the place a few months back: The Inspired (Part 1?). I had Kirsty Logan, Belinda McBride, Jessica Freely, Louise Bohmer, and Lisa Kessler link or tell their stories that day -- and I totally want to do it again. So if you have a pre-existing blog post or a similar story of inspiration, drop me a line and I can include it in my next inspiration round-up! I've already got a few reeeaaaaally good ones lined up -- coming soon :D

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