Friday, September 10, 2010

Stephanie Draven Guest Post and Giveaway

Where do you get your ideas?

As a new author, I don't get asked a lot of questions aside from, "Who are you, again?

But in those rare moments when a reader blinks up at me with adoring eyes, the question that almost inevitably issues forth is, "So, where do you get your ideas?" This is not only the most frequent question, but also, to my mind, the weirdest. Because doesn't everybody get ideas? It's not like you have to go shopping for them, right? They usually pop up unbidden somewhere inconvenient, like in the shower. So, what I assume people mean when they ask me this question is, how do I come up with the unique combination of paranormal creatures, hot button contemporary issues, and naughty sex play that makes up the Mythica series that I write for Harlequin Nocturne.

It's the combination that's important, because each of the ideas I've come up with separately aren't as spectacular all by themselves. Oh, I know. I'll write about a daughter of a god who has daddy issues. Or, what if I write a book about a girl who can see right into people's souls. Or what if I write about a guy who can take on the appearance of any person who has ever hurt him, and he uses this ability to get revenge? Or what if I write a love story about two people who have abandonment issues and use it to parallel the famous story of Calypso and Odysseus? Taken on their own, these ideas might not be able to support a whole story, but mix them together, and that's when I start to sound like I'm creative!

The truth is that I wanted to write a series that didn't have vampires or werewolves or more traditional paranormal creatures. I wanted to go back to basics, take our most ancient myths, and update them. I didn't have to invent a hydra--a serpentine monster with a thousand heads who couldn't be defeated, because any time a warrior cut off one of those heads, two more would grow back. What I had to do was put a human twist on it. Thus, my hero was born--a man who could take on the appearance of anyone who had hurt him. And because he's a tortured hero, lots of people have hurt him. He's a modern day arm's dealer, an adaptation of the hydra into what we would think of today as a monster. 

To get to that point though, I read ancient mythology. I love the old stories, and they really spark the imagination. I also like to scan the news. When I was writing POISONED KISSES, there were a lot of stories about arms trafficking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I think romance readers--like most other readers--want to learn a little something every time they pick up a book, but they don't want to be hit over the head with it. To that end, I like to embed a little awareness of the world into my books.

Another source of ideas for me is reading other people's books. I like to see what other authors have done, and done well. Sometimes I'll even pull out an old journal of mine from before I found my own happily ever after, so that I can remember what it was like to be single and looking for love. Ideas are everywhere. In the past and in the present, and one of the things that I've enjoyed in writing for Harlequin Nocturne is the encouragement I've received to write truly innovative romance.

So I guess my question is, where do you get your ideas?
Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories.

She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!

A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves. Stephanie also writes historical fiction as Stephanie Dray and has a series of forthcoming novels from Berkley Books featuring Cleopatra’s daughter.


He can wear the face of anyone who has ever hurt him…
This former soldier-turned-gun-runner thinks his true identity is safe, but a mysterious woman is about to force him to face the tragic past he thought he left behind.
She can disguise herself as the only woman he’s ever loved…
It’s not easy to be a Daddy’s Girl when your father is Ares, Greek God of War. To thwart her father and all those who serve him, Kyra intends to assassinate a modern day hydra. To kill him, she needs to seduce him, but Marco Kaisaris isn’t the monster she thinks he is–and even if he doesn’t break her heart, he may still be the death of her.
Can they see past each other’s masks to find a love that’s more than skin deep?



To Enter - Leave a comment, with your email, and be a Minding Spot Follower

  Follow Stephanie on Twitter
  Friend Stephanie on Facebook
Answer Stephanie's Question - So I guess my question is, where do you get your ideas?

Winner announced September 26th




    Follower!!! (toryaslim822)

  2. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I am following your blog.
    I am following Stephanie on twitter.

    I get my ideas from those what if? questions. I am constantly playing the what if? game when watching movies or having a conversation. Those questions end up taking a life of their own! =)

  3. Mandatory Entries:
    I am a Minding Spot Follower!

    Extra Entries:
    I am stalking your every tweet on Twitter!
    I just sent you a Facebook friend request!

    I get my ideas from a mix of my reality and how I wish for things to get played out. I've been through some interesting things, but those experiences alone won't translate well in a book or blog post unless a little fiction mixes with it.

    Awesome giveaway. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

  4. Thanks everybody! I should note that there's an additional launch party give-away on my website too, if you'd like to stop by.

  5. I am a Minding Spot follower on GFC.

  6. My ideas come from past experiences and reading/following/watching the experiences and ideas of others.

  7. Great giveaway!

    GFC follower


  8. I enjoyed the post. It's always fun to hear how an author gets their ideas and how that results in a book. I'm looking forward to reading Poisoned Kisses.


  9. This book sounds like one I'd like to read!
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

    Extra entry
    I get my ideas everywhere!

  10. GFC follower.
    caliblue7 at gmail dot com

  11. i follow you gfc
    tcogbill at live dot com

  12. follow on twitter

  13. I get my ideas from talented frinds, my mom, my husband, and the internet, and books

  14. I am a gfc follower. Thanks

    giveawaymommy at

  15. New follower. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Sue B

  16. I follow your blog and please include me in your giveaway


  17. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    I am a GFC follower.

  18. Please count me in. I follow by GFC.


  19. I am a follower. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  20. I get ideas from other artists, life, and dreams. :)

    I'm a follower
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  21. I get my ideas from books of course!



  22. I'm a FB Fan~ Jennifer L.

  23. I love to hear about all the interesting things that inspire authors to write these amazing books. I would love to read this one.
    I am a gfc follower.

  24. I'm a follower :) THank you!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  25. Nice! Thanks for the intro.
    TLR33960 at hotmail dot com

  26. I'm a GFC follower (Kristina Barnes)
    Twitter Follower @frazzletastic

    I usually get my ideas from random things I see. Like trees, or clouds. I space out and it just comes to me. I get the best ideas driving and in the shower.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win!


  27. I'm a follower!

  28. I"m a follower!

    cwilliams127 at gmail dot com

  29. I'm a follower.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

  30. This sounds like a very intriguing book. I would love to read it.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  31. I follow Stephanie on Twitter as BookOwner.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  32. I like Stephanie on Facebook as myself.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  33. I get a lot of my ideas from everyday life, the news and informative shows on tv.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  34. Sounds like a great book!

    New follower!

    I get my ideas from dreams, pictures, doing research! You name it!

  35. Also, new follower on twitter!

  36. can't wait to read this....have had my eye on this title for some time!

    i'm a Minding Spot Follower

    i friended Stephanie on Facebook

    i get my ideas from all over...sometimes it's the silliest little what-if scenes that play out in my head, and sometimes i don't even know where in the heck they come from! :)

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  37. gfc follower

    I get most of my daydreams from something I read or seen on tv

  38. awepomepost cant wait to read the book!

    to answer ur question iget my ideas from everything my sons the voices in my head all of that

  39. following steph on twitter


  40. I'm a follower! Thanks for the giveaway!!!


  41. I am a GFC follower (smccar145). Thanks for the great giveaway.

    I get my ideas from my real life. I like to see how things can connect to real life experiences.

  42. I follow as oreo_93

  43. Aloha!!=)

    I get my ideas when I am sleeping. Any time I am looking for a solution or an idea.. I think about it all day long and then it'll come to me in my sleep!=) I love it!

    I am a follower of this blog as well as Stephanie on Twitter @lll808


    Mahalo for the giveaway and post!

  44. I am a new follower and would love to be entered.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  45. I am a GCF follower

  46. Great giveaway! I, usually, get my ideas from books and tv.
    I'm a GFC follower.
    I follow Stephanie on twitter.


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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