Feature Friday Welcomes Sarah M. Anderson

Where did the story idea come from/process

“How do you come up with your ideas?” That’s a question I get a lot, and it’s a fair one. I do, in fact, have a lot of ideas.

Boy, for my first book, A Man of His Word, I had a great answer to that question. I’d been raking leaves and had this vision of a cowboy who gets his hat shot off by an Indian princess who rides out of the woods wearing a buckskin dress. True, it took another seven months before a plot that could fit that opener materialized, but still—it made a great story. An idea comes to the unsuspecting author, unbidden, magical—just waiting to be told.

It’s all very mystical, isn’t it?

So here we are, back again, this time with my second book, A Man of Privilege. And man, I wish I had a great, author-communing-with-the-Muse story to tell you.

But I don’t.

This time, I can safely say that I hadn’t even considered James Carlson as a hero. Yes, he was handsome and yes, he was authoritative, but to me, he was a resolution to a problem. It wasn’t until my editor, the awesome Stacy Boyd, read the whole book and emailed me notes. The very last thing she said was, “Loved the ending! Would love to see books for Carlson and Yellow Bird.”

(An aside: Thomas Yellow Bird, the Lakota FBI agent who lurks throughout two books? Yeah, I’d written him specifically to be a future romance hero. So far, his story has proven to be slightly elusive. Damned sneaky FBI agents. So freaking hard to read!)

She’d like to see a story for Carlson. And I had absolutely no story for him.

But this is where the weird part of being an author kicks in. I swear, it wasn’t more than an hour of caffeine-fueled brainstorming (so named because it feels like my brain is storming) that I knew Carlson would meet a former hooker who had cleaned up her act and that she would turn his whole world upside down. I already had the basics of his personality and history laid out. I just needed to shake him up.

So I did. The result, A Man of Privilege, was a wild ride to write, and I think it’s an even wilder ride to read.

So what do you think? Is it best to wait for inspiration to strike, or is it best to get an assignment? I’m giving away a copy of A Man of Privilege to one lucky person who answers that question! Plus—bonus—every week I’m giving away one of these handcrafted (by me!) book necklaces from everyone who commented throughout the week! Check the Authorial Moms blog every Sunday to see if you were the winner!

A Man of Privilege by Sarah Anderson

She isn’t what he expected.

Blue-blood lawyer James Carlson is working on the case of his life.  After winning this trial, his career will be set.  He won’t let anything…or anyone… alter his course.  Then he meets his witness.

Maggie Eagle Heart makes him question everything–his family, his goals, his future. Because she’s the one woman he wants, and she’s the one woman who is completely off limits. Yet even as he struggles to keep their relationship all about business, he can’t deny the attraction is mutual–and irresistible.

James has always done what is expected of him…until now.

About Sarah:

Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. With a lifelong love of horses and two history teachers for parents, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves out in South Dakota among the Lakota Sioux.  She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go.

When not helping out at school or walking her rescue dogs, Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and American Indians, all of which is surprisingly well-tolerated by her wonderful husband and son.

This post is brought to you as part of the A Man of Privilege/Distinction Blog Tour.  For a complete tour schedule and rules, visit www.sarahmanderson.com. Comments on this blog will be entered to win a signed copy of A Man of Privilege.

Next tour stop is July 14: Wild & Wicked Cowboys


A Man of Privilege is available! Visit your favorite bookseller, at Amazon, or for the Nook.


9 comments to Feature Friday Welcomes Sarah M. Anderson

  • Heather McKenna

    I guess if you are assigned to do it you have no choice. Looks kike both ways worked out for you. Make sure you do not do a book about very hairy men though,lol.

  • You don’t like hairy men, Heather? *grin*

  • Heather McKenna

    I really should proofread before I send things. GEESH!! I do not like hairy men. I am pretty sure you agree to disagree on this all of the time. LOL That is why I like you so much. :-)

  • That’s a good question for anyone working on a writing career. It’s tempting to wait for creative inspiration to strike, but can be difficult to make progress that way! I am a freelance journalist in addition to my creative writing, so that journalist part of me craves an assignment. It’s a fun challenge! But, meanwhile, it’s good to keep some free time available so when inspiration DOES strike, you aren’t too swamped with assignments to use it.

  • Dana,

    You’re so right–if life were perfect, we’d all just sit around and wait for the Muse to kick it into gear! But alas. Sometimes, an assignment works great!

  • Tough question. My current WIP was inspired by, of all things, the Yankee Candle website. The scent descriptions transported me back to Texas and a new book came about. Other times, I enjoy the challenge of an assignment. It’s a different thought process and has me off in another direction. As and author, I have to say a healthy mix of both. :)

  • Dana, you were the winner of A Man of Privilege! Email me at message AT sarahmanderson DOT com! Thanks!

  • Robert Burns

    If we’re to answer your challenge question. I have to say both. Inspiration does play a very good role in building and creating things but I have to also admit that necessity also plays a big part. There are times that inspiration comes but necessity own and the other way around. Sometimes, both come at once and they can mix together. To cut the story short, I have to say that I have to pick both.

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