“Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a question that writers often encounter. I’ve heard some interesting answers: “The idea fairy.” “The people in my head.” “The dog.” My DH on the other hand, often gets the reverse question: “Your wife writes romance? Do you give her lots of ideas? Do you help her with the love scenes? Heh heh.” Or his favorite: “Is that you on her cover?” Luckily he’s a great sport and quick with a come-back.

But when someone asks me that question, I always want to ask it right back. Where do you get your ideas? Writers are just like everyone else. They pull little pieces of their world apart and fit them back together to come up with something entirely new. It can happen with an idea for a book, for the latest and greatest techno-gadget, for a fundraiser, for a fabulous scrapbook page. We all get inspiration sometime.

The idea for my latest book, An Improper Aristocrat, came from several puzzle pieces in my head. I’d just seen the movie National Treasure. The family enjoyed it. I loved the history and the race from clue to clue, but I did wish the romance had been a little more central! And I thought “Why not?” Why couldn’t a romance be based around a face-paced adventure? I knew I wanted to stick with the period around the Regency. I knew that there was a fascination for the Egyptian culture in the period, and how it had begun. I loved the Indiana Jones and Mummy movies, too. I thought it would be fascinating to have a Regency version of an antiquity hunter. Et voila! The first germ of the Earl of Treyford was born! I started researching Egypt in the period and discovered that the English and the French were involved in a race to obtain Egyptian antiquities. What could be better? I discovered Giovanni Battista Belzoni–and I think that the Riskies are familiar with my fascination with him! I thought I wanted to have some fun making up an ancient legend or two, and gradually the characters became real and the story unfolded in the way these things happen. I had the grandest time with Trey and his half-Egyptian novelist heroine, Chione, and I hope that readers will, too. Here’s a quick blurb:

“Navigating the Nile to uncover the antiquities of Upper Egypt might sound perilous, but Niall Stafford, the Earl of Treyford finds it infinitely safer than sailing the fickle waters of the Beau Monde. He is back in England and on dangerous ground when a deathbed pledge has him delivering an ancient artifact to a colleague’s sister.

Desert bandits are more easily managed than Miss Chione Latimer, but her fascinating mix of knowledge and innocence arouse far more than his protective instincts. Can such an improper aristocrat learn to be the true gentleman that Miss Latimer deserves?”

So, that’s where the idea came from! Now won’t you share some of yours? Have you come up with a better mousetrap, a great recipe, an idea for the perfect TV show? We want to hear! And I’ll send a copy of The Improper Aristocrat to one commenter…