Pinging Back . . .


Kathryn Jane’s post from January 8th, The Magic of Story, resonated so much with me that I just had to “ping back” to that topic today. I’m a big fan of Nora Roberts (okay, so she’s my idol, I’ll admit it), and I begin each day by posting one of her quotes on Twitter.

Nora says story is magic. I, like Kat, agree. And it is brilliant.

Many of my own story ideas came to me in the middle of the night, just like the one Kat talked about in her blog here–including my present almost-finished work in progress, CIVIL HEARTS.

In fact, one of the first story ideas I ever had came to me on a sunny, Sunday morning about twelve years ago, when I was lying in bed. Floating in that place between waking and sleeping, the plot, the characters–everything came into my head. I jumped up and ran to my laptop to outline the story before the idea went away.

Unfortunately, this story idea has not yet come to fruition. I say “not yet” because it’s still alive, in multiple forms and variations, in my thoroughly backed up computer files. I’m just not good enough a writer yet to do it justice. It will be, when it happens, my “magnum opus.”

art-2000984_640I hope.

As for CIVIL HEARTS, the story came to me in the wee hours of a restless night when a memory from my distant past came drifting into my brain like an errant cloud. You see, many years ago we toyed with idea of following some close friends of ours who had moved to Birmingham, Alabama. We even went so far as to go around with a realtor and look at homes in the area.

One of those we visited was an 19th-century antebellum-style home that had been left empty for many years. The house spoke to me. (Was it the house? Or the spirits still living there?)

Now, decades later, those spirits finally found me in Massachusetts, a mere 1200 or so miles away, in the middle of a sleepless night. They whispered in my ear, bringing back my visit to that house, complete with visceral, crystal-clear details: sights, sounds, smells, and a presence.

A “presence” that became the ghost of a Civil War soldier who still lives there . . . in my imagination, and in CIVIL HEARTS.

Coming soon.

Yes, Kat, story is magic. And magic is supernatural. I have another confession to make: sometimes, I get a little creative help from my supernatural friends.


Claire Gem is an award winning author of contemporary romance & supernatural suspense. You can find out more about her work at her website & on her Amazon Author Page.


16 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharon Wray says:

    Beautiful post, Claire. And I totally agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post! I’ve also awakened with potential storylines. I agree with you and Kat: story is magic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Claire Gem says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Joanne!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, Claire, fascinating post. Especially your last line. LOL I’m sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claire Gem says:

      🙂 Ghosts are my muses 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathryn Jane says:

    Love it! Especially the help from your supernatural friends, and how cool to have a magnum opus waiting in the wings. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claire Gem says:

      Sometimes cool, sometimes intimidating, Kathryn. I’ve started that “magnum opus” more than a few times, come at it from different angles. Just haven’t nailed the right approach yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. vicki says:

    I love it when an idea comes and the words flow out my fingers to the keyboard and the screen. It is magical. And all of it comes from you and me and is uniquely ours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claire Gem says:

      Yes, that “uniquely ours” part is really magical, Vicki.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pat Amsden says:

    I agree, Story is magical and I love it when stories come to life in my mind. I can’t wait to read yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claire Gem says:

      Thanks, Pat. I’m working on the last quarter of the book now. I’m “over the hump” and can’t seem to type fast enough to keep up with my brain!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Claire, maybe your supernatural friends are also your muse. She’s telling you to “write the damned book already” and quit thinking you’re not good enough. #thebaneofeverywriter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Claire Gem says:

      Wow, McKenna, strong words! EXACTLY what I need to hear 🙂 Thanks so much. I’ve have to check out that hashtag. I’ve never heard of it before.


  9. I love this post! As Vicki says, “It is magical. And all of it comes from you and me and is uniquely ours.”
    Most of my books start with a single line. Like you and Kat, I’ll be almost asleep after reading 2-3 chapters of whichever book I’m on (right now J.R. Ward’s Blood Vow- so good!) and a line will pop into my head. I hurry to get it down and then the next morning rub my hands in glee (okay, open my computer and stare at the screen until I’ve had my coffee :)) then start the world-building, which is fun and scary at the same time!
    Can’t wait to see the cover for Civil Hearts!


    1. Claire Gem says:

      It’s a real jolt, isn’t it? I think that’s why I write. It’s an adrenaline rush. I have the cover for Civil Hearts made, but I’m holding back on a reveal because I’m not sure of a release date yet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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