I think if there is one question I’ve heard more than any other, by far, it is ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ One of my friends always answers with, “Well, there’s this little shop on 51st in New York, and they have them on sale two for the price of one.’
Actually, the answer is much easier than that. The answer is everywhere.
Yeah, fine, you’re thinking. That’s like saying ‘What kind of music do you like?” and answering the same way. But the truth is that inspiration can come from everywhere. You just have to know how to look. More appropriately, if you don’t mind a good fishing megaphore, you have to know how to reel it in.
I’ve stopped and started writing several times in my life. And what I realized each time was that it took a lot more effort to start looking for inspiration again at the beginning, and that it got easier as it went along. In fact, it got so easy that after time it became not so much, ‘Where do I find my ideas?’ as ‘Stop me before I plot again.’
Take A Prince of a Guy. I was watching Prisoner of Zenda one night. Not the color version with Stewart Granger, but the original black-and-white classic with Ronald Colman. Talk about romantic adventure. (If you haven’t seen it, please do. I promise you’ll thank me)! If you haven’t seen it, an aristocratic Englishman on vacation finds himself impersonating a prince who has been kidnapped. There is love, longing, action, elegance, wittiness and best of all, swashbuckling. (I’m a sucker for swashbuckling.) Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to update the story and make the lead a woman instead of a man?
Nice, but not enough. I didn’t want to just rewrite somebody else’s story. And then I saw a piece on a Day in the Life of Prince Charles. And I admit it. I laughed a bit. I’m afraid I’m too American. Royal protocol makes me giggle.
And then it hit me. Not just adventure, but comedy. For an English aristocrat to play a royal isn’t that far a stretch. But what if the person is instead a secretary from Brooklyn? What if she just doesn’t get royal protocol? What if instead of invisibly fitting in, she starts to upend century’s old tradition? What if the prince, one of the most correct men in the world, finds himself more and more intrigued by this new wind blowing through his homeland?
And so was born A Prince to Die For. Casey Phillips comes to Moritania to visit the place her family is from. Prince Eric van Lieberhaven talks her into impersonating a kidnapped princess. And yes, hilarity ensues. And romance. And adventure. Easy, right? You just need the right inspiration.
When New Yorker Casey Phillips visits the tiny country of Moritania, she simply wants to see where her ancestors came from. Instead, she’s mistaken for a princess.
The real princess has been kidnapped, and Crown Prince Eric von Lieberhaven insists Casey—a dead ringer for the missing royal—step into the princess’s shoes until she can be freed.
As Casey upends royal tradition, Eric finds himself hoping the cheeky American never returns home. But can a secretary from Brooklyn really find happiness with a prince?
About Eileen Dreyer
New York Times Bestselling, award-winning author Eileen Dreyer has published 38 novels and 10 short stories under her name and that of her evil twin, Kathleen Korbel in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, mystery and medical forensic suspense. A proud member of RWA’s Hall of FAME, she also has numerous awards from RT BookLovers and an Anthony nomination for mystery. Eileen spent 16 years as a trauma nurse and is educated in trauma, forensics and death investigation. She is now focusing on what she calls historic romantic adventure in her DRAKE’S RAKES series, the latest of which, TWICE TEMPTED, is out now. A native of St. Louis, she still lives there with her family. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.