By Sharon Clare, author of Love of Her Lives
I’m a gardener. I get such a kick out of planting seeds and watching stuff grow. I can walk around my garden and croon over a plant’s growth spurts like I crooned over my kids’.
Much like life, every story starts with a seed, too, one seed of an idea, one thought, one image.
I had a moment like that with my paranormal romance novel Love of Her Lives, a moment when a character seed started to sprout.
It started with a few misplaced things. Every time I went to grab something I needed that was supposed to be in its place, it wasn’t there. This happened a few times over a couple days, and it was odd stuff, things I couldn’t imagine my family touching. I kept thinking, I must have put my nail file somewhere else or lost my earrings or used up all the fresh basil. How did the car keys get over there?
One day it was a book mark. There’d been a bookmark sitting on the kitchen windowsill for a long time. I knew it was there. I saw it every day. So into the kitchen I went to grab it.
It wasn’t there.
Ack! No way. Another thing missing? This was getting weird. I looked around the kitchen. Did someone move it? I knew without doubt that bookmark had just been there. I wasn’t distracted or losing my mind, someone was messing with me!
As I had that thought, the bookmark fluttered to the ground in front of my feet. I snatched it up and growled, “Thank you!” It took me a couple seconds to realize that wasn’t normal. Bookmarks don’t appear out of thin air.
If this had been the first time in my life I’d experienced the unexplained, I might have been unsettled. Instead, the seed of an idea began to sprout. I started to imagine a character that messes with people. I started to envision Finn, the Elvin trickster in Love of Her Lives. Finn likes to play games with humans.
As I began to write the story, Finn took shape as a thorn in the side of the hero Calum. But Finn couldn’t annoy Calum without a reason. He needed a purpose for his games.
I also have a bit of an interest in kindergarten-level quantum physics. Years ago, I was intrigued by a segment in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know that showed how emotions affect the shape of a water molecule. You can watch that segment here: Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Water Molecule Experiments. To sum up, we project love and the molecules are beautiful, we project a negative emotion and, well, not so pretty.
Another seed began to grow.
I had a reason for Finn’s games. Finn is concerned because there’s not enough love on Earth, and the energy we release with negative thoughts affects the powers in his world, but none of the elven folk believe that us measly humans could have such an effect, so Finn starts match-making to bring more love into the world, tip the scales, and prove his point. (Taking a breath, the ideas steamroll sometimes.) He has a theory to prove, but ultimately he’s a trickster and loves to be entertained, so things don’t go smoothly for the humans he targets.
In a nutshell, that’s how Finn sprouted to life. So how does your garden grow?