Tuesday, January 9, 2018

When the Muse Knocks, You Gotta Answer by Catherine Castle

 I’m frequently asked, “Where do you get your ideas?”

For me, they’re everywhere. Sometimes my Muse works overtime, flooding my brain with stuff. A snippet of overheard conversation; something a friend or family member says; a picture; or in the case of my newest inspirational contemporary release, Bidding on the Bouquet, a news article can start the ideas flowing.

Bidding on the Bouquet was born after a fellow American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) member shared a news article on the email loop about a bridezilla who was auctioning off bridesmaids’ places in her wedding party to obtain money forherwedding and honeymoon.

The composer of the loop email said, “I’ll bet 10 different writers could read this news article, and come up with 10 different stories.”

I was taken with the challenge, and within a few minutes a title popped into my head for a story, which I shared with the loop. That wasn’t the end of the muse’s nagging, though. I couldn’t get the absurdity of the news article out of my mind. I mean who has the hutzpah to do something like that? A bit later a second story title, Bidding on the Bouquet, began to form.

While my two stories bubbled in the back of my mind, I received an invitation to be part of a series loosely based on the news article, and, as they say, the rest is history.

Here’s the great thing about finding ideas from the news headlines, or any other source—they don’t have to exactly duplicate whatever sparked your muse. The fun is in finding different ways to use the idea. You can slant the story, the characters, or even a conversation you overheard. After all, what you’re writing is fiction. The sky’s the limit to your creativity. And I’m pretty sure I’m not done with that new article yet.

Here’s a snippet from my story. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Bidding on the Bouquet Blurb

The chance to catch a bridal bouquet containing a solid gold rose makes underprivileged, down-on-her-luck grad student Marietta Wilson pawn everything she owns to come up with a bid to win a bridesmaid spot in the most prestigious wedding of the season.

When he discovers his sister is auctioning off bridesmaid spots in her wedding party, wealthy, elitist Chip Vandermere is appalled. Not only is it in poor taste, but no self-respecting lady would stoop so low as to bid. Convinced Marietta is a gold digger, Chip sets out to thwart her plans.

A social climber and a social misfit. Can a bridal bouquet unite them?

Bidding on the Bouquet Excerpt

You are invited to participate in the season’s most prestigious event.
Date: June 17
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: The Vandermere Estate
Event: The auction of bridesmaids’ positions for Chrissy Vandermere’s wedding
Light refreshments will be served
Chrissy is auctioning off a chance to be an attendant in her wedding.
Winners will be escorted down the aisle by New York’s finest bachelors,
and they will procure a bridesmaid-only spot at the tossing of the bride’s bouquet event.
Chrissy guarantees one of the bridesmaids will catch the bouquet,
containing a solid 14-carat rose-gold flower.
Opening bids begin at $100 and are non-refundable. Cash only.
You may make an opening bid higher than $100 if you choose.
Please RSVP by April 30

Marietta dug into the envelope again and retrieved a smaller card and matching envelope.

I, ________________________, will be pleased to attend the auction.
My opening bid is $_______
Should I win a spot, I will be available on August 9
tobe part of the wedding party
for Chrissy Vandermere
Jock Sterlingson

Stunned, Marietta reread the invitation. Chrissy Vandermere? The only Vandermere she knew was her wealthy classmate Chip Vandermere, and they weren’t on real talking terms. Nor did they run in the same circles. They only had a few of the same classes and a couple of case studies together in which he had commandeered the group. The guy thought himself a born, or rather a privileged, leader. His attitude had driven her nuts, and, although he was one hot guy who knew he had undeniable sex appeal, she’d stayed away from him as much as she could. She was at the MBA program to learn and conquer, not be someone’s conquest.

Is he related to this Chrissy?

If so, the whole auction idea was totally insane. Chip Vandermere had so much money he could afford to pay bridesmaids to be in a wedding. No need to auction off the spots. Besides, why should anyone spend money to be in her wedding—or any wedding for that matter? And why had the bride invited her to participate?

About the Author:

Catherine Castle is a multi-award-winning author who loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she quilts and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place is in her garden. She’s a passionate gardener who won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. 

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award.  A Groom for Mama, is a sweet romantic comedy from Soul Mate Publishing.  Her latest release, Bidding on the Bouquet, from Forget Me Not Romances, is an inspirational contemporary romance. Her books are available on Amazon.

Social Media links:

Catherine’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle    @AuthorCCastle

SMP authors blog site:   http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/


Marilyn R. said...

Bidding on the Bouquet will be a fun read from the blurb and how it came about. Congratulations, Catherine Castle on your release.

Catherine Castle said...

Thanks, Marilyn. I hope you'll like the book.

Catherine Castle said...

Thanks, Marilyn. I hope you'll like the book.

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