Saturday, May 24, 2008

My new box

Those of you who have been here a while remember when I was reading Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit.

I blogged about it a lot and probably sold quite a few books for her along the way. I still find myself going back to it again and again, thinking about the current book or about the books to come or just about being creative.

As Seb has now gone on his merry way, I needed to go back to the beginning -- to ideas and inspiration and suchlike -- the flotsam and jetsam out of which, eventually, a story will appear.

Often that starts with characters. Sometimes with a situation. Rarely with a plot (sometimes there never is a plot, or so it seems). Occasionally with a place.

This book started with names. In a conversation about our family history that I had with my cousin a week ago, lots of names appeared. Most of them disappeared again back into the family pictures and stories and whatnot, and will doubtless appear again when next we talk.

But two stayed. Two said, "I have a story." They weren't the people we'd been talking about at all. But they shared their names. I wondered if they would stay around, tell me their story, or if they would drift off again. Some do.

These aren't going anywhere. They've moved in, settled down and are raiding the refrigerator even as I write. He's every bit as hard-edged as I need him to be. His mother's Greek. His father's missing. But he wasn't Greek. He might have been Portuguese. My hero has a soft spot for only one woman -- the heroine's mother. He doesn't know the heroine exists. Yet.

The heroine knows he exists. She's never met him. She's bound to run into him. Our house isn't that big -- and we only have one refrigerator. And then there's her mother who has plans of her own.

The new box is filling up. I don't have a location yet. Some big city. Maybe SF. Maybe Seattle. Maybe NYC. Maybe London. Maybe LA. I haven't done an LA story in years. Still thinking. I think I'd like an ocean nearby. LA is sounding more and more likely.

This actually is fun.

Check back in the coming days and you can meet my hero.

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Blogger Madeline said...

Hi Anne, This book sounds like it's starting out good for you. I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything goes smooth and there are no problems.

Have a great memorial day weekend.
Hugs, Mads:)

25 May, 2008  
Blogger Margaret McDonagh said...

It sounds like a fab story is building, Anne. I love the sound of the heroine's mother, she's going to be a cracker, I can tell! I love the mystery of the hero's missing father. And I hope the hero and heroine don't eat you out of house and home but soon bump into each other and make fireworks.

Mags xx

25 May, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Hi Mads, so far so good. My hero seems definitely a force to be reckoned with. And believe me, from what I have seen of the heroine, she's no slouch either! Keep your fingers crossed.

Mags, I'm having fun with it, which is a nice feeling. The heroine's mother is very like her daughter, which means that they both have plenty of life in them.

The refrigerator is looking decidedly empty. I'm going to start charging them board, I think!

25 May, 2008  
Blogger Ellen said...

Sounds like you have an interesting start to a new book. Hope the hero & heroine and the mothers cooperate and you don't have too much trouble with them.

25 May, 2008  
Blogger Dina said...

If this is the start, can't wait for the middle and end. :)

25 May, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Ellen, so far so good. And there's only one mother -- hers. But I'm pleased with them so far. They don't really have a story yet, but they do have a 'set up' of sorts.

Dina, you and me both. I'm sure it will get messier before it smooths out. But I'm looking forward to it.

26 May, 2008  

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