From the desk of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy, written overlooking her backyard on the site of what was once a flourishing fruit farm in what passes for suburbs in a small Ozark town...history immortalized forever in In Love's Own Time.
Although we're still days away from the solstice and thus the official start to summer, the season has settled in over these Ozarks in full force. As I celebrate the recent release of my first two full length historical novels, In The Shadow of War and Guy's Angel (both from Rebel Ink Press), the most recent of my twenty or so eBooks (some also available in paperback), I'm often asked where I find my inspiration.
It's a hard question to answer because my response would be "Where don't I find inspiration?"
I spun stories as long as I can remember, made them up and enhanced them with what adults often called my colorful or even wild imagination. Inspiration for each of my novels and many short stories has come from everything from a dream to a stray thought or even a "What if?". In Love's Own Time came out of my desire to learn about the provenance of my new home when my husband and I bought a house at our current location five years ago. I soon learned the subdivision was once Speakman's Fruit Farm and also the property tied to a large brick house in town, one remisicent of the house where I grew up, and one long a mystery. The first summer I lived here, I began writing the story, shelved it for awhile when I went back to work (at the time I worked in education) and pulled it back out later to finish.
My ideas spring forth as an image of a man in punk leathers running along a busy Tulsa street into Miss Good Samaritan. A visit to a car show and a GTO much like the one a long ago significant other once drove sparked the idea behind Love Never Fails, a second chance at love story. My desire to marry the boy next door - in my case, he lived next door to my auntie - inspired A Patient Heart.
Each of my titles had a simple start somewhere. Thinking about inspiration my mind turned toward the Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower, located on Inspiration Point over near Branson, Missouri. If you've heard of the place, it's more likely you've heard about the amusement parks and theaters and other fun venues which make it a family travel destination. But long before it grew and expanded, my grandparents vacationed in the area - something which had a great deal to do with my next up release coming in August, Heart of the Ozarks.
I doubt anyone will ever put up an Inspiration Tower in my backyard or name it "Inspiration" anything but the one over Branson way marks the spot where author Harold Bell Wright camped as he wrote his best selling classic, The Shepherd of The Hills back in 1907.
He actually wrote a number of other popular novels in the day but Shepherd of the Hills is the one which remains a bestseller today. It painted a vivid picture of the then little known Ozarks. The story includes romancae, drama, tragedy, and triumph. The book continues to sell today and has been translated into at least seven languages. On the Shepherd of the Hills farm, a live production plays each night during the summer season with a huge cast. Landmarks from the novel including Old Matt's cabin can be seen on a tour of the farm. Visitors can also ascend to the top of Inspiration Tower (and yes, they do offer elevators) for a birds-eye view of the Ozarks.
Recent inspirations led me to write about sin eaters, Dragoons, and a troubled Iraqi war veteran named Devlin.
And here are some more pictures which have - or soon will - inspire me to write!
A Page In The Life: http://leannsontheimermurphyblogspotwriterauthor.blogspot.com
Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy: http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot
Seanachie Stories: Tuesday Tales And More: http://seanachiestories-tuesdaytalesandmore.blogspot.com