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Thanks for stopping by on the Bluewater Bay Virtual Book Tour and a quick thanks to our host for the invite. I’m L.B. Gregg and I write m/m contemporary romantic comedies. This week, the second book in Riptide’s multi-author series Bluewater Bay is my very own contribution—There’s Something About Ari.
I fear the unknown, so when the good people at Riptide asked me to participate in the Bluewater Bay series, my gut reaction was to say ‘no’. Writing about a place I’ve never seen? That just wasn’t in my wheelhouse.
Drawing inspiration from the familiar surroundings of my hometown, I set most of my books in New England. The town of Smithfield has become a hallmark of my writing career and I’m comfortable there. I travel often, and far, and when I go away, I bring that vision of small town life in New England with me when ever and where ever I’m working.
Honestly, you don’t really have to do a lot of research when you’re writing about home.
So, I was afraid to say yes to this project because I have no connection to the Pacific Northwest. Not only that, I’d never been there. I didn’t know if my view of Bluewater Bay— which was pretty murky—would fit in with the series. I didn’t know if a story idea would come.
When I sat down to write—I drew a blank.
The number one question I get from readers (other than when is the next Romano and Albright book coming out?) is where do you get your ideas? Like there’s this mythical Idea Store, where writers purchase inspiration. I’m here to tell you, ideas can’t be bought. I may be inspired by music, or daily living, or conversation, or lurking on the internet, or life in Smithfield, but ideas only germinate into stories through the actual process of writing. Pounding out words, one at a time.
As a writer, when I don’t know what I need, I research. And if I can’t find what I needed, I make it up. I’m not a teacher or a nurse or a caterer, or a vet. I can’t sing, and I’ve never had sex in an airport bathroom or run a Bed and Breakfast. I don’t know shit about gardening. And while I’ve never been to Bluewater Bay, or seen the Pacific Northwest, I can write characters who have. I have always believed in my characters, and by listening to them, I’ve been able to tell their stories.
I had to trust that process. I feel like every single time I write, I have to remind myself of that simple truth.
Because, no lie, that’s where real ideas come from. Trusting your process.
I let Buck Ellis tell his story. He knew Bluewater Bay better than I ever would. He’d been born there. So, I sat down and put one word after the other, and my vision of Bluewater Bay emerged, growing as real to me as it was to Buck. And now, it’s just another place I’m comfortable calling home.
When not working from her home in the rolling hills of Northwestern Connecticut, author L.B. Gregg can be spotted in coffee shops from Berlin to Singapore to Panama–sipping lattes and writing sweet, hot, often funny, stories about men who love men. http://www.lbgregg.com
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 16th, and winners will be announced on November 17th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.