Why would someone write a book with a pancake theme? Well, pancakes are awesome. They are an instant mood lifter. Really. Try eating them when your energy is on the negative side of the spectrum and just watch the needle on your moodometer zip to the uber-positive side—to the beaming-a-smile-from-ear-to-ear side. You simply can’t be down with pancakes around.
Hey, that’d make a great T-shirt.
And with pure Vermont maple syrup? Yowzers! You’ve got yourself a lethal weapon right there, folks. Add in fresh fruit—I suggest blueberries—and you’re playing with nature’s goodness in a way that will start your day out on the right foot. Or the left one. Your choice. Either way pancakes and real syrup are a power combination that will lead you to a successful day.
You know, if you don’t screw it up somehow. Pancakes and syrup can only do so much, people. The rest is up to you.
The idea for my new series, The Maple Leaf Series, just fell into place for me one day while spending time in the woods of Vermont. I have a chunk of property up there that I visit when I want to get away from the perils of suburbia. The first book in the series, More Than Pancakes, grew from seeing men—rugged, mountain men—trek across my land in the snow with sleds of equipment to work on the sap lines that course through the woods. I watched them on one frigid winter day in their knit hats, snow pants, fleece-lined jackets, and boots, and thought, “Now that’s sexy. I have to write about them.” It helped that they were solid, sturdy built men… with beards.
That one image, plus my love of pancakes and an obsession with pure Vermont maple syrup, shifted story elements around in my mind. The gears began to turn and an entire storyline presented itself within moments. I ran for my writer’s notebook, scribbled furiously for an hour, and knew who my hero and heroine were going to be and what would draw them together. Of course, I also needed something to get between them too. I always hate coming up with that part, because sometimes you have to make really bad things happen. It’s comforting to know, however, that in romance, love always prevails.
Rick Stannard is a quiet maple syrup company owner who loves his woods and his solitude. Lily Hinsdale is a hotel designer who craves city action. When Lily wants Rick’s land for a new resort, the two of them will have to fight for what they want. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll end up wanting the same thing.
And they’ll definite eat pancakes.
I wish all my stories just “fell into place” like Rick and Lily’s did. Sadly, that’s not the case. Not even close. Sometimes it takes many hours (days, months…) of daydreaming—or staring aimlessly into space—to come up with anything useable. Often what I thought might be useable turns out to be total trash. Thank the heavens for the “delete” and “backspace” keys on my laptop. They get used. Extensively.
Writing is such a puzzle sometimes. Making all the pieces fit, weaving storylines together, establishing a connection between reader and characters, creating a unified whole that satisfies and entertains or informs—these are the mountains writers climb every day with every book. So when things fall into place in our fictional worlds there is much celebration. High-fives and cheering ensue and it’s on to the next idea.
An idea we hope and pray falls into place.
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