The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome Amanda Renee, as she talks about how her senses inspire her writing...
The most common question I’m asked is ‘where do you get your book ideas from?’. I’ve never been one to force a story. My ideas usually develop organically, hitting me without warning and always stimulated by one of my senses.
My most recent release A Texan for Hire (March 2015) for the Harlequin American Romance line came to me while I was flipping through a Yankee Candle catalog. They always feature a handful of candles with a scratch and sniff area. One scent jumped off the page and I immediately envisioned the entire story. The images were so strong, I was able to outline the book in one night.
Yankee Candle and I go way back when it comes to my writing. Before I begin a book, I choose a large jar candle scent that evokes the atmosphere I’m writing about and light it every time I sit down to write.
Never fail, the candle and the book always end on the same day.
It’s a phenomenon I can’t even begin to explain. It happened accidentally on my first two books, and now it happens every time.
Whenever I need a little writing break, I hop on Pinterest. It’s an amazing writer’s toolbox. I have certain interests that I follow, and I pin the photos that relate back to my books. Sometimes it’s an outfit a character might wear, other times it’s the interior of a house.
I can come across a photo that has nothing to do with anything I’m working on, but it stimulates an idea. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, for me one photograph is worth 60,000.
Taste is huge.
I was at a restaurant the other day celebrating the release of A Texan for Hire and I ate the most decadent triple chocolate cheesecake. Immediately, a scene came to mind and once I got home, I wrote it out. I have no idea if it’ll ever make it into a book, but one bite of that cheesecake sent me into a writing frenzy.
As a musician, I’m always listening for songs that tell a meaningful story. Recently two country artists, Dierks Bentley and Frankie Ballard, have spawned a ton of ideas for upcoming books.
There have been times when I’ve been driving down the road, listening to the radio and a song comes on that just overwhelms me. I pull over and record my book ideas on my phone to use later on.
And other times, a simple texture can transport me to a different place.
I live on the beach, and a barefoot walk in the warm sand, not only clears my head, but it launches a thousand story ideas for coastal related books.
The feel of saddle leather beneath my fingertips is responsible for a scene in my first book, Betting on Texas.
It may be one sense or a combination that sparks a book idea. Some may never become books, but I refuse to let good sense pass me by.
Do you think that good books should engage fully with your senses? And have you ever taken inspiration from something you've smelled or touched?
Amanda's latest book, A Texan for Hire, is available now:
FIND YOUR SISTER
Three words scrawled on a piece of paper just upended Abby Winchester's world. She'd never known she even had a sister. Abby's sure she'll learn the truth after traveling to the sleepy Texas town where she was born. And tall, brooding Clay Tanner may find the answers she needs, even if he does look more like a cowboy than a PI.
The petite blonde who just hired him is tempting Clay to break his rule not to get involved with a client. But the former ATF agent isn't ready for a relationship—not after what once happened on his watch. Still, helping Abby uncover family secrets makes him wonder if it's time to put his own past to rest. Is Abby willing to face an uncertain future—together?
You can find out more about Amanda Renee on her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and subscribe to her newsletter for book release news.