I’m a sucker for inspiration stories—for the tale behind the tale. At the same time, I get stumped by the dreaded “where do you get your ideas?” Because it’s usually not a simple path.
The answer, for me anyway, varies. The simplest thing can be an inspiration that starts a cascade of “what if” questions. I thought it would be fun to share a bit of the behind the scenes for Book 1 of the Bristol Park Series: Abbeydon Attraction.
Abbeydon is a fictional town in the Catskills area of New York. Several small towns served to help flesh out Abbeydon, but they were not the inspiration for the story itself.
For that, we start in Darlington, Maryland…
Bristol Park is an imaginary old-school family resort in some serious disrepair. The primary inspiration came from a campground in Darlington (a frequent host of Fairy festivals and other fun stuff) with a splash of Dirty Dancing to round out the “where.” Funny thing, though it was set in the Catskills, Dirty Dancing was filmed in Virginia and North Carolina. Go figure.
The story started out as a paranormal horror—what could be more fun than a haunted and historic family resort?
A vague idea, some notes on location, and a few rough concepts languished in files filled with digital dust while I focused on other things. Until one day, I needed a new romance idea.
I looked through the mess of a file that holds all of my story ideas—from single sentence concepts to fully fleshed out pitches—and one stood out. Practically leaped off the screen at me.
But it wasn’t a romance.
Hey! Who’s the boss of this world? Yeah. That’s right. Me.
The original concept stayed: a young woman in need of a fresh start inherits a dilapidated family resort in the Catskills and decides to make a go of it.
And if that doesn’t sound like the perfect start of a romance, well… I don’t know what does. The rest got tossed in favor of…
An infuriating, and absolutely sexy, handyman. A whole lotta baggage on both sides. An unsavory character or two. Some snarky side characters (hey, do I hear Book 2 calling my name?). A ticking clock and dwindling funds. A healthy dose of some good old fashion smoldering chemistry. And a few surprises along the way.
There it is.
Welcome to Abbeydon!
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