Fall is my favorite time of year. It always has been, ever since I was a little kid. I'm a sucker for stormy weather, scary movies and spooky stories :) When I decided to embark on this wonderful romance novelist adventure, I knew I'd want to throw a few shivers into my books for good measure.
I'll never forget a fall four years ago when I had an idea for a story which took place in a particular house down the street from us. The house was for sale at the time, and abandoned, but beautiful and mysterious. And more than just a little scary looking. Built in 1913, it had the "old" vibe down pat. It was enormous; two stories, with black shutters and big white pillars out front. It had a circular drive, which was strewn with leaves from the ancient oaks in the front yard.
I told my husband I was heading out to write, but instead of boing to Barnes and Noble which is my usual haunt, I found myself pulling into the driveway of this colonial beauty. It was dusk and the wind was howling around my car, blowing leaves everywhere. I pulled out my pad and pen (this was before my netbook and I was still kicking it old school) and started brainstorming. What would it be like to meet a real estate agent there, with night falling and a storm brewing? And what if that real estate agent turned out to be a little twisted? I began a story called The Showing, which ended up winning first place in a Halloween contest that same year.
Every time I drive by that house, which has since had a nice (normal) family move in, I think about that night. I learned something about mood and ambience when writing, and how it can really make or break a story.
Barnes and Noble rocks, but when I really want to kick it up a notch, I head for places where I can actually see my story come alive. And when you're writing spooky stuff, that's the most fun.
This year? A cemetery.
Okay. So maybe I'll have my husband come with me this time.