The Black Door
by Charlotte Howard
Imogen Pearce is a single mum of four children and fast approaching 40, she works at Ryedale Incorporated where she has to battle a younger and smarter generation to get to where she wants to go. If that means taking on the account of Cherry and Sean Rubin’s adult shop, then she will. But what happens when Imogen discovers the private club that they run at the back? And what happens when she realizes she knows quite a few members?
We sat down on a pair of large leather sofas and prepared to play our usual game of ‘who says what’. I looked around and spied a young woman with a laptop open, and a tall, skinny, something hot by her arm. The woman was in her late twenties, perhaps early thirties, with pale skin, dark hair that had been let loose around her shoulders, and a slick of crimson lipstick.
“She’s a writer,” I said, leaning close to Caroline so that nobody could overhear. “She’s writing a hot, steamy, romance where the two main characters are having a clandestine affair, and it’s all based on her life.”
Caroline tried to hide her giggle by taking a sip of her drink before hunting out a new victim.
“Okay, him,” Caroline said, pointing towards a man standing at the counter. “He works in a bank, but is trying to remain discreet and blend in with us common folk, not give away his fabulously wealthy background. He’s having an affair with a married man, and secretly likes to wax his legs.”
The man turned around. “Oh no,” I said, adding a few choice curses under my breath.
“What’s the matter?” Caroline asked, watching as I tried to shrink into the sofa and blend with my surroundings.
“That’s my boss,” I whispered.
First of all, thanks for hosting me today. I thought I’d use the time to write about inspiration, and where I find it for future books.
Inspiration is everywhere. It’s Sod’s Law that you will be hit with an idea when you least expect it and are unprepared, so like most writers, I am never without a notepad and pen. Even when I’m walking the dog or doing the school run, I have my phone with me, which acts as a Dictaphone or notepad when I need it to!
For The Black Door, the inspiration hit after talking to a reader. I was asked why most romance authors write about young girls, and powerful rich men. I explained that it’s about escapism – we want to be able to go into a life that is different from our own. But it got me thinking, and I decided that my next main character would be a single mum in her thirties, Imogen Pearce was born.
I am naturally a nosey person and love to “people watch”, and that is where most of my inspiration comes from – Imogen and Caroline (The Black Door), even play the people watching game, making up stories for each person. But, listening to conversations and checking out other people’s shopping trolleys isn’t the only place I grab ideas from. Books and films can sometimes spark an idea as well.
I often find that if I’m struggling to write that a quick walk and some fresh air blows away the metaphorical cobwebs, but I also read a lot and I think it is important for writers to read books by others.
Recently, my husband and I watched the film ‘The Heist’, and I started thinking about a setting for my next book – a block of expensive apartments in the centre of a major city. The storyline is slowly falling into place, but I don’t want to give too much away just yet!
My next book, a short story – City Nights: One Night in Edinburgh – was inspired by a weekend away with my friends. I was told about the submission call from Tirgearr Publishing, and got thinking. Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities, so it seemed fitting that I use it for my setting, and after spending several hours sat in the departure lounge on my last trip up there, I came up with several possible storylines, but you’ll just have to buy it when it’s released in November to find out which one I used.
So that’s it. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to keep your ears and eyes open to find it.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
British author Charlotte Howard, was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of her life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, Charlotte lives with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets.
Her career as a writer began at an early age, with a poem being featured in an anthology for the East Midlands. Since then Charlotte has written many short stories and poems, and finally wrote her first full-length piece of fiction in 2010.
During what little spare time she has, Charlotte enjoys reading and writing (of course), spending time with her family, and watching action movies whilst eating curry and drinking tea.
Charlotte is an active member of Yeovil Creative Writers.
Social Media / Website links:
Charlotte will be awarding an eBook of The Black Door, a signed print copy of Seven Dirty Words with a bookmark, and a $10 Amazon gift card (£10 Amazon gift card if UK winner) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon gift card (£10 if they're UK) to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway