I think this is the question fiction writers get asked most often: “Where do you get all the ideas for stories?” My answer is usually a very short, but unhelpful: “Everywhere.”
It is true, though. I do get ideas from stories from everything and everywhere…
The Idea for the No Shame series
The idea for the No Shame series started when I was visiting Boston with my family. I’d been there before, years ago, and I love that city. It feels European to me, a little more like home than many other cities, since I’m from Europe originally.
When I was walking the famous Boston Freedom Trail, I encountered a real Bostonian who chatted me up. Boy, I had to work really hard at understanding him, because his accent was so thick you could slice it up.
Then over lunch, I talked to another guy, also a native Bostonian, who joked about my Yankees cap. Granted, it wasn’t the smartest choice to wear in Red Sox territory, but it was the only cap I had at the time, and it was stinking hot. But we got talking and he shared a little about his love for Boston.
I was intrigued.
I started doing a little research into Boston culture, and became fascinated, and that’s how the first seed for Indy, the main character in the No Shame series, sprouted. I didn’t want to do Boston as a setting, though. I wanted to yank a Bostonian and place him elsewhere…in New York.
That’s how the story started, with a man on the run from his mobster ex, just trying to survive…until he found love, or rather, love found him. I wanted Indy to be a survivor, someone who had been through hell, but came out not only alive, but kicking. Everything after that happened because of the choices Indy made. Ultimately, he chose to stay and to open his heart…and to love.
From the first idea for this story, I knew I wanted friendship to be at the center of it. Indy has such a big heart that he can’t help but draw people toward him, and his biggest wish was to be part of a family. I wanted him to have that family…by creating a unique family with his best friends.
What was a surprise to me as well, was that this idea for one book became four. Originally, Indy was supposed to fall for Noah. The big protector and the survivor—I figured these two would be perfect for each other (start reading Indy’s journey in No Filter, book one)
But then Josh appeared and stole my heart…and I wanted him to be happy, too (read his story and more in No Limits, book two). He’s such a sweetheart! With Josh and his background came Aaron, who needed a man who could look past his arrogant outside to see the hurting man underneath. Thus, Blake was born (his story gets added into No Fear, book three) and with him his brother Brad and his best friend Charlie, and these two fit together…but something was missing.
Of course, the Fitzpatricks had to fuck everything up, which left Indy no choice but to take a stand…and that introduced Miles, our hunky FBI agent. He completed Brad and Charlie, and that’s how one book became four (get their story and finish Indy’s journey in No Shame, book four).
The ending of No Shame made me very happy for him, and I hope you’ll feel the same way.