I start with a broad idea such as the meeting of my protagonists, and ask a series of questions about them, why they’re in that place at that time, what sort of people they are and so on.
From those answers, I develop an outline. Being more of a pantser than plotter (I prefer the term, “organic writer”), that broad outline is what I work from.
“Just One Kiss (Hearts of the Outback bk 1)” begins at the Cloncurry races when Royal Flying Doctor Service pilot, Amy Alistair unknowingly encounters her new partner, Dr. Dan Middleton and tips beer down his shirt.
Book 2 was going to be about Amy’s brother but a minor character, the office b*tch, Lizzy Wilmot, just grew stronger and more demanding in my head until I wrote her story. Sometimes a character like Lizzy comes along and it’s better to go with the flow rather than go insane. Lizzy’s story is “Heartbreak Homestead”, which explores why ‘Craeborn’, the homestead Lizzy, Dan and Amy flew out to in book 1, is such a desperate place.
I struggle with first drafts and saggy middles, like most writers, but persevere to the end. You cannot edit a blank page but you can do everything with a first draft. By contrast, I love getting edits back and strengthening story lines and deepening character motivations. A good editor is worth their weight in gold!
Only when I was at uni and hand writing exams. I do all my work on a laptop. Writer’s block, on the other hand, occurs periodically in each story. Sometimes it’s because I haven’t established a clear through line for the story; sometimes it’s because I need a break to refill the creative well. Don’t underestimate the need to feed your Muse!
SUSANNE. Keep writing, even if you think what you’re writing is rubbish. Even amongst the dross, there are snippets of writing you can use.
Find good beta readers who will tell you when an idea sucks. Honesty is a key attribute of a good beta reader.
Use a good editor. You cannot effectively edit your own work.
Brave hamstah, asking this question! We were sailing on my brother-in-law’s catamaran when a bad storm blew in without warning over the hills. For a while, racing—almost flying over the water was thrilling, exhilarating. Until the boom swung and cracked me on the head and the cat flipped. With concussion and being a weak swimmer, I wouldn’t have made it to shore but bh, who was a strong swimmer, dived off the cat and somehow got me to land. He proposed the following week.
Places often inspire my ideas. “Engaging the Enemy” came about on my first tram ride in Melbourne. I saw an abandoned red brick building and wondered what sort of person might rescue it. That became, what if two strangers both wanted the building for deeply personal reasons and would do anything to get it?
Two novellas came from a trip to Italy. The first was inspired by the city of Florence and became “One Night in Tuscany”; the other occurred as we travelled along the Amalfi Coast road. “One Night in Sorrento” was inspired by the traffic and the incredible views of that coastal road.
“Winning the Heiress’ Heart” was easier.
I was invited to join three authors writing standalone books set in different periods of history and dipping into the lives of people touched by the mystery of a missing emerald and diamond necklace. I was given Hawaii, post WW2 as I’d already written one book set in the Islands. I chose 1960, following Hawaii’s inclusion as the 50th state of the USA because I could see my main character, Eva, starting a new life in a brand new state. Not only that, but she was going to run her own pineapple plantation at a time when women were still meant to run the household and not much else.
SUSANNE This feels appropriate since I was just talking about Hawaii. And I love cocktails!
Lava Flow recipe
Scale ingredients to 1 servings
1 oz light rum
1 oz Malibu® coconut rum
2 oz strawberries
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz coconut cream
Blend banana, coconut cream, and pineapple juice in a blender and set aside. In the bottom of a hurricane glass, stir together both rums and strawberries.
Pour banana/coconut/pineapple mix slowly into the glass. The strawberry/rum mix should creep up the sides of the glass to make a wonderful looking (and tasting) summertime cocktail!
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Books by Susanne Bellamy
Heartbreak Homestead (Hearts of the Outback Book 2) eBook
Just One Kiss (Hearts of the Outback Book 1) eBook
Second Chance Love (A Bindarra Creek Romance) bit.ly/1O5ngaN
One Night in Tuscany amzn.to/1dKLyX6
One Night in Sorrento amzn.to/1brE2Jp
Winning the Heiress’ Heart (The Emerald Quest) amzn.to/1B9TVUJ
Engaging The Enemy amzn.to/1wrYGHQ
White Ginger amzn.to/MiDjVr