Breaking through Writers’ Block

People often ask how writers come up with story ideas. Really, we don’t always know. Sometimes they’re inspired by music, kimberlydean_Ghost_Flute_200x320movies, or current events. Other times, they’re just suddenly there in our heads. The idea for Ghost Flute, however, came together for me much differently than any other story I’ve written. At the time, I was struggling with writer’s block. It had gone on for well over a year.  I couldn’t brainstorm no matter how hard I tried. My creative well was dry, and too many people were telling me what to do and how to do it.

Then one day, I was sitting at the computer, just staring out the window. My house backs up to woods and a small creek. It was sunset and the sky was in that hazy in-between stage. I started wondering what was back there that night. All forms of wildlife make their homes in those woods. It’s a very pretty, natural setting that can take on an entirely different personality at night. Once darkness falls, owls cry, raccoons scream, and trees creak in the wind. Watching the woods as dusk fell, I was suddenly caught by the feel of the nocturnal world coming alive. It was a sensual, spooky feeling, and it got my stalled brain churning again.

As much as the feeling intrigued me, though, I still didn’t have a story idea. The only thing I was sure of was that it tended towards the paranormal – but not vampires or zombies. It was closer to the earth, more primal. Suddenly, I remembered a book I own on Native American mythology. I love folklore and myths, but I don’t think I’d ever cracked the cover of that particular book. I did that night, and I stumbled across the inspiration I needed.

Suddenly, everything came together for me – the setting, the story’s vibe, and the characters. The story’s plot was so strong in my head, I could practically touch it. It was exciting to have a break-through like that, especially when I’d been struggling so badly. I started writing Ghost Flute the next day, and the story that ended up on the page is very close to what I saw in my imagination when I looked into those darkening woods.

Some writers insist that writers’ block isn’t real, but I can tell you it is.  Sitting down and forcing myself to write didn’t help; it only made things worse. What I really needed was to stop pushing, get other people’s voices and opinions out of my head (most important!), and let the inspiration come to me.

Ghost Flute excerpt

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Another Excerpt from Ghost Flute #multiculturalromance #paranormalromance

“Thank you for the ride,” she said.kimberlydean_Ghost_Flute_200x320

She stood, aiming the key for the keyhole, but went still when he braced his palm against the doorframe, close to her head.

“I don’t need a flute to tell you I want you under my blanket with me,” he said quietly. “I’m not shy.”

She stood motionless but, in the moonlight, he could see her breathing hard. Her eyes were focused determinedly on the door, but the pulse in her throat pounded wildly.

“What do you have against me, Serena?”

Her gaze flashed to his. Her eyes were wide, yet the vibe he was getting off of her wasn’t fear. Not totally. She stood her ground, not backing away from him, but he saw how she pressed her thighs together. It was a tiny, sinuous move, almost imperceptible.

But he saw it.

And it made the erection in his jeans nearly burst through the zipper.

She might be a little scared of him, but there was more to it than that.

He moved in closer. She turned sharply to face him, but he backed her up against the door. Planting both hands flat on the wooden surface behind her, he trapped her. Her breath caught, and he let his body press against hers. She shuddered, and her hands came up to his shoulders, yet she didn’t push him away. It gave him the opportunity to just feel her.

And she was perfection. Soft skin. Warm curves. Hard nipples. For a moment, it was the only thing in his head.

She might not trust him, but she wanted him.

“Why are you afraid of me?” he asked. “What have I done?”

She gave a tiny shake of her head. “I… I can’t get involved with you. It’s just not in me.”

It felt like it was in her. He brushed his nose against her temple. He could get addicted to her skin. He wanted to feel it all over him. “I won’t hurt you, Little Feather, and I won’t let anyone else either. Stay with me tonight.”

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Ghost Flute Release Day! #newbook

Ghost Flute is now available for sale through the Kindle Select program with a bonus epilogue added.  Readers enrolled in Kindle Select can read the story for free.  For those not enrolled, it’s only 99 cents to download.

kimberlydean_Ghost_Flute_200x320Ghost Flute

Genre:  Multicultural paranormal romance, short story

The bad boy next door or a ghost lover from ages past? When Serena Little Feather returns to the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation, she finds herself caught in a dangerous love triangle. Chayton Arrowhead is dark and sexy, but she’s been warned against him. Yet at night, she hears a flute playing behind her house. The music is haunting and seductive, rousing feelings of lust and need.

Legend told of a Sioux warrior who’d lured many women with his flute music. The young brave had tossed his conquests aside until he’d been found dead with a knife in his stone heart. It was said that the brave’s spirit still roamed the countryside, playing his songs and looking for love. Every so often, a pretty girl responded.

Right now, that pretty girl is Serena. With her body ablaze and her mind spinning, she must choose a lover to ease her restless nights. Will she fall for the hot-blooded outcast or submit to the erotic call of a ghost?

Ghost Flute excerpt

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Contest Winner + Survey Results

Lindsey A was the winner of the newsletter giveaway.  Congrats, Lindsey! I hope you enjoy the Dream Weaver stocking.

Also, here’s what everybody is reading right now:

Paranormal Romance   22%
Romantic Suspense   19%
Other   19%Historical Romance   15%
Contemporary Romance   12%
Erotic Romance   6%
Nonfiction   3%
Who’s got time to read?  2%

Going Deep available at more retailers

Going Deep is now available through more online retailers.  Remember, this book is erotica, not erotic romance.  There’s a difference!

Going Deepkimberlydean_Going_Deep_web

Genre: Contemporary erotica
Release: 2004/2015
ISBN 0352338768

Football players and cheerleaders – there’s just something about guys in tight pants and women in short skirts. As a cheerleader at Southern Dominion University, Brynn Montgomery had fought her attraction to the football team’s star receiver, Cody Jones. She’d been dating the quarterback, Rex, but Cody had always been there, watching and waiting. On one fateful night, Brynn had finally submitted to Cody’s desires. She’d given him her virginity, only to have Rex catch them and a full-blown sex scandal erupt.

Ten years later, Brynn returns to the university to teach and, hopefully, restore her dignity and reputation. That proves to be difficult, though, for Cody is now the football coach for the Dukes, and Rex is the manager of a rival team. Soon, Brynn is caught up in the action between the alpha males again – the clash of pads, the shimmer of pompoms, and the lust of healthy athletes. Rex uses her guilt to get close to her, but it’s Cody who’s the most dangerous. This time, he’s determined to score – and score big.

Going Deep excerpt

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Decisions, decisions…

When I finish a big project like a full-length novel, the time afterward is interesting.  75% of me is thrilled to just get caught up on daily life.  I’ve straightened the house and even cleaned the carpeting.  I’ve restocked the refrigerator and sworn to get back to eating healthy (no more Monster cookies to “help” me write).  I’ve hit the gym and gotten a massage.

But my creative side is churning again in the pleasant way.  When I get deep into a book, the creativity is very focused and intense.  Right now, I’ve got random story ideas bouncing around my brain.  I’m considering what project to pick up next.  Do I dive straight into Courting Gossip (the next Courting book!) or do I squeeze a shorter project in there first?  Should I work on getting some of my older titles back on the market?  Should I put some blogs together?

It’s a short breathing time before my next deadline, but I think it’s important.  How do you refresh and regroup after you’ve completed a major milestone?