Saturday, October 20, 2012

Get Inspired with Charlene Sands


As a multi-published author, the second question I’m often asked is “What inspires you?”  Can you guess what the first question I’m asked is? You’ve probably heard this before.  “Where do you get your ideas?” The idea question and the inspiration question are one in the same, for me.   What inspires me, also gives me my ideas.  And when I get an idea for a story, I’m thrilled.   

Books and Music – A Given

I have learned to fill my world with inspiration.  One of the greatest inspirations for me is simply reading a good book.  I won’t lie.  My favorite author in the universe is Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  I love her zany, but well-thought out characters, I love her voice, her sense of humor and the way her subplots are often as engaging as the main story.  I look forward to each of her new releases and she’s one author whose books I re-read for inspiration. 

I love country music, a given for an author who writes primarily cowboys and country life.  When I listen to the lyrics in a country tune, I live the love story in my mind.  I’m a fan of Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Ronnie Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill and so many more.  Their songs not only make me tap my toes and clap my hands, but they move me in other ways as well.

My Office of Dreams

Another source of inspiration for me is my workspace.  I’d waited for years to have an office to call my own.  I spend the greatest part of my day in there.   Every time I look at the walls, I see my friends, my family and my sweet husband’s love come through. 

One of my few indulgences was a gift I gave myself.  When I had achieved a writing goal I’d been seeking for a long time, I rewarded myself with this piece of metal art that is one of a kind.  As you can see, the horses that stampede over my computer every day, tell me to sit down and write.  They are the true focal point in the room.

The Wall of Frames, as my husband jokingly calls it, is an ongoing gift from him. Every time I get a new cover, he frames it and positions it on the wall.  Little did I know, when I was first published in 1998, that I would run out of wall space for all of my cover art!  When I look up there, I see achievement, but I am also reminded of hard work and perseverance.  But mostly, I’m reminded that I have a wonderful, supportive husband who believes in me and that inspires me.

Oh, and Tim McGraw comes to visit every now and then.  Yes, I have a life-sized poster of Tim given to me by a dear friend who knew how much I loved going to Tim concerts.

A cowboy shelf and mirror, trinkets, racing horses, red roses in a leather boot- one rose for each book I have written -- the western candles and lamps, are gifts given to me by my sweet, supportive friends and family. When I step foot in my office THAT is what inspires me. It’s not the objects themselves, but the love behind them that makes me smile every day as I sit down at the computer.  And it reminds me, when I’m on a deadline, or struggling with a plot, or having a difficult time focusing on my story, that I have the support and faith of my friends and family. I have love in my life and as romantic a notion as it seems, that shared love is the impetus and motivation that inspires me, more than anything else.  
What gives you inspiration during your day, whether at work or at play?

Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling author of over 30 romance novels.  Her books have won the prestigious Readers’ Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award and the Cataromance Reviewer’s Choice Award.  She is presently working on a story for Harlequin’s new Rich, Rugged Rancher series, The Slades of Sunset Ranch. Her October book, Worth the Risk is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all other print or ebook outlets.    




  1. Thanks, Michelle!! It IS so me. I spend a LOT of time in there!