Please welcome my guest, Paula Martin.
Paula had some early publishing success in her twenties with short stories and four contemporary romance novels, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching. and has had three romance novels published, ‘His Leading Lady’ in June 2011, ‘Fragrance of Violets in February 2012’ and ‘Changing the Future’ in May 2012. Another novel will be published in November 2012 and she is currently working on two more romances. She lives near Manchester in North-West England, and has two daughters and two grandsons. Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places and has travelled extensively in Britain, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her favourite places are the English Lake District and Ireland. She’s also interested in musical theatre and tracing her family history.
Where do you get your ideas?
This is a question I’m often asked, and I invariably have to say, “I’m not sure.” For most of my novels, I start with a vague idea about one character, or sometimes two people, and my mind asks ‘What if …?’ The story then develops from there.
I can’t usually pinpoint the moment when a seed plants itself in my mind, but in the case of my November release, ‘Her Only Option’ I can tell you exactly when it was conceived.
On the afternoon of Thursday 7th October 2010, I was on the sundeck of a Nile cruise ship. It was moored at Aswan, after sailing upstream from Luxor, where we’d visited the Valley of the Kings. There are so many cruise ships that they have to be moored four abreast and, as they’re built to roughly the same design, their sundecks are level.
So I’m lying on my sunbed and I start to wonder if it would be possible to vault over the rails and the 3 or 4 foot gap from one cruise ship to another. Not that I’d any intention of trying it, of course. My days of vaulting anywhere are well and truly over! That evening, when we were on the sundeck again, after a visit to the bazaar in Aswan, I asked one of the friends we’d made on the cruise. He wandered across to the rail, studied the distance for a moment, and said, “Well, I wouldn’t try it now, but I could have done it easily when I was in my twenties or thirties.”
So it was possible! Until that afternoon, I’d hadn’t even thought about writing a novel set in Egypt but now my mind started working overtime. Within a short time, I’d dismissed the idea of my hero and heroine being on separate cruises because when the cruise ended, they’d have to go back home, and now I knew I wanted to keep them in Egypt. It didn’t take me long to decide that my heroine could be a cruise ship tour guide.
And what about the hero? I’d loved our visit to the Valley of the Kings earlier that week. It was the culmination of a long-held dream and more than exceeded my expectations, especially when we actually stood in Tutankhamen’s tomb. It was fairly easy, therefore, to decide that my hero could be an archaeologist, working in one of the tombs in the valley.
Of course, that was only the beginning, and I still had a long way to go before the novel finally came together. It went off in a different direction than I’d originally imagined and, in fact, the hero never did that leap over the rails. He did, however, first see the heroine lying on the sunbed of the neighbouring cruise ship.
Blurb: Neve Dalton loves her job as a tour guide on a River Nile cruise ship as much as she values her independence. She isn’t ready to settle down with her Egyptian boyfriend, despite his repeated proposals and his father’s desire to see him married.
Nor is she ready to meet Ross McAllister, a compelling and fascinating archaeologist. She struggles against her growing attraction to him until she can no longer ignore what her heart is telling her. This is the man who sets her soul on fire.
When she starts receiving cryptic messages, and Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings is threatened, Neve has to make a heart-breaking and life-changing decision which she feels is her only option.
Can they discover whose enmity is forcing them apart before it’s too late?
Excerpt: (from the scene where they meet at a party and he tells her about the first time he saw her.)
“Want some kofta?” He ladled the spicy lamb onto both their plates before moving on to the stainless steel chafer containing rice. “You and Joanne exchange ships next week; she’s on the Nadia and you’re on the Amirah. It’s a good thing I found out, otherwise I’d have had to practise vaulting over the rails between the sundecks.”
“Easier to go down to the lobby where they have the gangplanks between the ships.”
“Yeah, but not half as much fun. I even considered doing it last week when I first met you.”
He spooned rice on to her plate until she put out her hand to stop him. A vision of him vaulting the four-foot gap between the rails of the sundecks came into her mind and she gave a quick chuckle. “Last Monday I’d probably have been willing you to drop down into the gap.”
“Ouch! That bad, was it?”
She smirked. “The first impression was not good, no.”
Even as she said it, she thought of the impact his masculine body had on her when he’d stood at the rails of the Amirah. Yes, she’d been attracted, but had dismissed him as a cruise ship Casanova. Since then, what had happened? It wasn’t simply because he was the renowned archaeologist that her opinion had changed.
It was because she’d enjoyed their conversation about Ancient Egypt when they were in Senhotep’s tomb. She’d felt safe with him even when the lights failed. She’d melted at his kiss. Yes, admit it, Neve, you did. She’d been unable to stop thinking about him during the sail up to Aswan, and was thrilled when he appeared at Abu Simbel. Their felucca sail had been a natural culmination to what had been happening to her all week.
She’d started to fall in love with him.
You can find all of Paula's books on Amazon at:http://www.amazon.com/Paula-Martin/e/B005BRF9AI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website or blogs.
Group Blog (with 3 other writers): http://heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com