Writers draw inspiration for their stories everywhere. An overheard conversation, a song, a place, can easily become a starting point for a novel. Our minds are always working, always thinking about how we can take a sliver of an idea and turn it into a tale that people will want to read.
I did not set out to write a Christmas novella this year. I was going through final edits of my next release and looking ahead to starting on my final book in the Heart Series. But then a plumber I hired to do some work accidentally dropped his keychain in my sink.
The keychain had a phrase on it that immediately intrigued me – ‘Dirty Hands, Clean Money’. It got me thinking. Clean money as opposed to ‘dirty money’, which is money earned through dishonest means. What if the phrase was a reminder to my plumber, who didn’t always earn ‘clean money’? What if by becoming a plumber, an honest job, he had found a bit of redemption from a past he wasn’t so proud of?
I spent days thinking about how I could show a character, who despite making big mistakes in her past, has tried to make up for them, by earning ‘clean money’. What if my character literally got her hands dirty by running a farm? What if on her road to redemption, she helped out others that had made mistakes like she had, but wanted to turn their lives around?
And so, I sat down to write and suddenly the pages began to fill with Christmas Tree farm mishaps, seasonal fruit, changing seasons and a short, sweet little story about finding love and connection in the most unlikely of circumstances.