What if . . .

Many readers undoubtedly know that a lot of writers come up with stories by imagining what if scenarios. That’s how my books get started.

For the mystery, Rottweiler Rescue, the premise was what if a woman involved in rescue work delivered a dog to its new home, found the prospective adopter dead, and glimpsed the killer leaving the house?

For Sing My Name, it was what if a man and woman of impossibly different backgrounds found themselves alone for long enough to get to know each other in an emotionally charged situation of great danger?

For Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold it was what if two people who had everything going for them except family and societal approval found themselves married?

The what if premise for Sing isn’t burned out yet, since the next romance I have planned explores the same question (which worries me a bit but it’s the story that wants out next) but in a different way (I hope different enough).

The what if for Eyes had a second part to it – and what if the couple had enough sense and strength to ignore their families and the general public and forge a strong bond with each other? The whole idea came from what I saw in my own family, which is so dysfunctional that it makes the behavior of Cord’s family seem mild. In my teens I used to say (loudly and often), that the only people who should marry were orphans and the only hope for a decent marriage was if they married other orphans.

I think I’m saying this as a confession. When I look at my list of what ifs for future stories, I realize that the warm and fuzzy families of the H/h, like Matt Slade’s in Sing, all seem to be dead or otherwise out of the picture. The troublesome ones like Anne’s and Cord’s seem to be right in the story — causing trouble. Wasn’t there some famous writer who once said happy families are boring and unhappy families are interesting? Oh, no, that’s not quite the way he phrased it, is it?


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