This weekend at The Pink Heart Society author Linda Cardillo talks to us about Chaos and Inspiration... the usual life of a published author...
It’s been one of those months. A Valentine book to promote (THE VALENTINE GIFT, from Harlequin SuperRomance) and two back-to-back deadlines—one for my next Harlequin novel, as yet unnamed, due out at the end of 2008, and the other a proposal for a Harlequin special feature novella for Mother’s Day 2009. On top of the writing, my husband wound up in the Emergency Room with an excruciating pain and my youngest has been quarantined in the infirmary at his school with strep throat and a strain of influenza that this year’s flu vaccine doesn’t protect against. As the medical director told me this morning, if he lets my son out of the infirmary the school could be facing a flu epidemic within a few days. What’s a mother to do? Offer sympathy over the phone and promise to bring him some of his favorite foods tomorrow after the snow storm abates...
I’ve been speaking at libraries and local bookstores over the last month, and one of the questions that comes up time and again is where I get my ideas and inspiration. Sometimes it’s as simple as an evocative photograph in the newspaper or a conversation overheard. I’m an incorrigible eavesdropper, scribbling down fragments in the small notebook I always carry with me. At other times, my inspiration is more substantial.
For my first novel, DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, the story was triggered by the gift I received of my grandparents’ love letters, written when they were young immigrants in turn-of-the century New York. And for my novella in THE VALENTINE GIFT, entitled “The Hand That Gives the Rose,” it was my own experience as an expatriate living in West Germany that became the foundation upon which the “Rose” flourished. I met a woman at a playground during my first lonely week in the country, a mother like me with young children. As women tend to do, we struck up a conversation as our children played, and before I knew it, I had a friend who was guiding me through the intricacies of daily life. It turned out that she was a vintner, managing a winery that had been in her family for generations, and she introduced me to the life cycle of the vineyard. When I describe the harvest in “The Hand That Gives the Rose,” I am pulling from memory and journal the cramped, sticky fingers, the fog and chill of the morning, the taste of an outstanding Riesling vintage.
So to win a signed copy of THE VALENTINE GIFT I throw the question out to you: Who or what inspires you?
To find out more about Linda and her books you can visit her Website