Creativity: It’s Everywhere, All Around by Elisabeth Barrett
“Oh. My. God.”
These are not the words you want to hear in the delivery room when you’re giving birth. But they were indeed the words spoken by my ob/gyn as she helped to bring my little son into the world.
“What?” I gasped, still in the throes of agony. “What?!”
Alarmed, I looked over to my husband, who was staring, wide-eyed at the baby. It was several long minutes before our son was handed to me, and as soon as I got him, I was staring too. Like most babies, he had ten fingers, ten toes, and the cutest little mouth I’d ever seen. He was remarkably normal looking in every way but one—he had a huge swath of bright orange hair covering his head. I’m talking day-glo, like someone had taken an orange highlighter and colored in each strand. I’d never seen anything like it, and apparently, neither had the doctor. Here’s a picture of him a few days later (although this shot doesn’t do his hair justice):
Over time, it’s morphed into the deepest, most beautiful shade of orange/red you can imagine, and his long, lustrous eyelashes are a perfect match. Here’s what it looks like now:
One day as I was staring at the marvel that is my son’s hair, it hit me. It was the perfect color hair for a character I had percolating in my brain—Avery Newbridge, the gentle social worker who returns to town to help out her aunt at the Star Harbor Inn. Avery’s had a setback at work and is taking some time to figure out her career and her life. Unfortunately, she keeps getting distracted by sexy author Theo Grayson, who has taken a room at the inn. Avery spends most of the book trying to keep up her defenses, while Theo spends his time trying to tear them down. Of course, no one can resist intelligent, quiet, and rugged Theo…not even Avery.
Avery’s hair was also the inspiration for the title: Blaze of Winter. She’s a flash of passionate color in the otherwise-winter-white landscape. But there’s where my real-life inspiration ends. There is no facet of my toddler’s personality in that of my romance novel heroine (fortunately for Theo and Avery), but just using the hair color was a great way for me to get the ball rolling.
A few months ago, Manga Maniac Café’s Julie interviewed me as part of my blog tour for Deep Autumn Heat, the first book in my Star Harbor series. During that interview, she asked me one very interesting question: What are your greatest creative influences? I gave a long-winded answer that concluded with: “life observations.” I was telling the truth. My creative influences are all around me, and it’s just a matter of figuring out which ones I can use to tell a great story!
Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter (coming September 10, 2012). Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
About Blaze of Winter:
Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.
Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.
Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.
View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd: Click here.
One commenter will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of BLAZE OF WINTER. Contest ends September 10th at midnight (EDT).You’ll need a NetGalley account, and to answer the question below: What are your creative inspirations?
Didn’t win? You can order Blaze of Winter and Deep Autumn Heat from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below