Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Little Something for the Weekend - Filling the Inspiration Well

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome Abby Green as she talks about weekends of inspiration...

I think weekends are possibly the most valuable time for doing some extra curricular and *fun* research. We won’t call it work ;).

What sets your imagination on fire? Going for a long hike? Sitting at a café (ideally in Paris!) and people watching? Re-reading favourite old books? Browsing Antique shops?

All of those things work for me. I also find movies a treasure trove – it can just be a small part of a scene - a look, the way a character is dressed…

The Ocean’s Eleven movie – the one with the amazing Lake Como villa and French actor Vincent Cassel playing the suave European playboy? That alone has sparked about ten different plots for me, so I definitely got my money’s worth.

You could go to the park and bring a load of magazines and papers – the business section is particularly good for dreaming up new interesting jobs for heroes and heroines, or plot points. I’d recommend The Financial Times – they do a great weekend section and magazine. 

Check out their ‘Lunch with…’ section, it’s usually with someone very interesting, not just from the business/economic world.

Magazines like Vogue put together fashion shoots that resemble little narratives – check out famous stylist Grace Coddington’s fantastically imagined shoots in American Vogue.

Paris Vogue is probably one of the most decadent magazines to indulge in – especially if you’re not fluent in French, but so worth it, even just once a year.

I find fashion advertising brilliant too. Like this ad featuring Nacho Figueras, the famous polo player, and his wife – it worked its way into a novel (One Night With the Enemy). 

I used to cut pictures out of magazines and papers and keep them in scrapbooks, but then I discovered the online Mecca of virtual scrapbooking – Pinterest. I blame Caitlin Crews, my fellow Presents author, for helping birth this obsession. 

I use Pinterest for all sorts of general inspiration and character inspiration. (And clothes, and food, and traveling, and house stuff…!)

I do a board for each book, adding to it as I go. When I look back at the board I did for my current release: The Bride That Fonseca Needs, I can see pictures of things that sparked original ideas for the story but which got put aside during the each board is also a record of the journey the story took in my mind, from creation to manifestation.

For instance, I pinned a picture of the actress I based my heroine on, in a catsuit. I had an idea for a scene where she’s dressed in this leather outfit, looking very sexy and minxy. In the end it didn’t happen…but maybe I’ll use it in another book.

Pinners I love to follow for their proficient and creative pinning (featuring a lot of very HOT men) are Caitlin Crews, Heidi Rice, Jackie Ashenden, Lee Hyat and Brenda Ramirez, to name a few.

So, this weekend, I would urge you – in the name of research – to go see a moody French movie, or maybe buy one glossy and totally luxurious magazine, or curl up with your tablet and get lost in Pinterest.

And now I have to take my own advice because I’m currently stumped for an idea for my next book!

Have a great inspirational weekend!

How do you fill your weekends with inspiration?  Join the comments below!

Abby Green's latest book, The Bride Fonseca Needs, is available now:

"Everyone has a price...I've just told you mine. Name yours."

Secretary Darcy Lennox knows how demanding her billionaire boss, Maximiliano Fonseca Roselli, can be. His fierce ambition is legendary. But marrying him to secure the deal of the century is beyond the call of duty!

Except Max is not a man to say no to. He's undaunted by Darcy's reluctance to enter a fake marriage. In his world, everyone has a price, and he will entice Darcy to reveal hers. But after only one searing—and very public—kiss he realizes the stakes are far higher than either of them imagined...

To find out more about Abby and her books, you can visit her on her website and follow her on PinterestTwitter and Facebook.


  1. Hey, Abby, great article! I love looking at glossy magazines for inspiration and it's fun to dress my characters in stuff I would never wear or afford.

    Love to gaze at your Pinterest boards.

    I pulled my copy of Ocean's Eleven off the shelf. Maybe I will indulge in that this weekend. I love movies as inspiration too. I love In Bruges and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang for snappy, witty dialogue. Colin Farrell and Robert Downey, Jr. aren't bad either.

    I have The Bride Fenseca Needs on my TBR. Will I see you in NYC?

  2. Hi Carol, any excuse to watch Oceans Eleven again ;)! And yes, I'll be in NYC! Looking forward to seeing you if you're going x Abby