Ideas Cramming My Brain OR the Development of a Story

I have post-Valentine's sweet treat for you -- the funny, irrepressible, unsinkable Avery Flynn, author of the steamy Dry Creek romance series set in small town Nebraska. She is also chief cheerleader of our Kiss of Death RWA chapter. Avery's sharing how she takes her ideas and pulls together stories.

Her most recent release is A Dry Creek Bed (Book 2 in the series) and let me whet your appettite with an excerpt:

"I do believe I can arrest you for looking at someone like that. You've got to be breaking some indecency laws."

Taking a deep breath, she recovered her bearings. Mostly. "You're out of your jurisdiction, sheriff."'s Avery on her writing process:

Where does inspiration come from? Everywhere.

A Dry Creek Bed is Beth and Hank’s love story at heart, but the mystery surrounding them involves the trifecta of villainous motivations: revenge, land and greed. 

 First,  let me set it up a bit for you.

In A Dry Creek Bed, readers discover Beth Martinez still mourning the deaths of the grandparents who raised her after her parents died in a car accident. Beth has seen her share of tragedy, including having the dream of starting her own family ripped away from her. Though quietly in love with Hank for years, she knows they’ll never be together. Hank, now the Dry Creek County sheriff and divorced from his first wife who lied to him about her desire to have children, wants a family, something Beth can never have and can’t give him. Despite their mutual desire for each other and Hank’s determination to pursue her, she manages to keep him at a distance.

All Beth has left of her family is the home built by her grandfather. So when a mysterious developer makes an offer on the property, she refuses. Soon she’s receiving threats and can no longer hide what’s happening from Hank. Forced together by circumstances, it becomes harder and harder for them to rein in their passion. Suddenly, the stakes go higher. Coercion turns into murder and it’s up to Beth and Hank to uncover who wants the land and why—before they both end up dead.

I have to go back to one of my favorites, Gone With the Wind for the first nugget of inspiration for A Dry Creek Bed. In it Scarlett’s dad tells her it’s all about land and in Nebraska that’s true too.

My stepfather recently sold his farm and it was heartbreaking for him. He thought he’d be farming it until he dropped in the hayfield. That got me thinking about the importance of land and how it can tie families together. The question that popped into my head was: what if the land is the only tie you have left to your family, what would you do if someone tried to take it away?

From that developed the villain of A Dry Creek Bed, a mystery developer pushing people off their land. Beth is the only person standing between the developer and millions in profits. Verbal threats morph into vandalism which morphs into physical violence. It’s up to Hank and Beth to uncover decades-old secrets, revealing that all is not what it seems in their rural Nebraska home.

Inspiration strikes all the time and I have far more ideas rolling around my brain than I’ve had time to write - thank God for the little notebooks I carry everywhere. These ideas slow roast in my noggin for a few weeks, months, years until their time comes. Usually I know it’s time when the characters start popping up in my dreams. Then I know I have to get my butt in the seat and my fingers on the keyboard.

Thanks Avery for visiting & sharing! To learn more about her, check out

Now, how do you turn your ideas into stories?

Come on share, you might inspire someone! Also, I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate so one lucky commentor can get his/her hands on one of Avery's books (Up A Dry Creek is Book 1 in the series) and maybe a few other good reads :)


  1. Great interview! This story sounds like I would really enjoy it. Unfortunately, I am not a writer like both of you. I just don't have the imagination for it. If I was though, I would imagine that my inspiration would come from any number of things. For example, maybe a song, a show, a real life true love story. :) Thanks!

    1. Hi Tina!

      Writers are avid readers and love fellow readers :) Thanks so much for visiting!

      And you're right, you never what will spark the imagination and inspiration can come from so many thing.

  2. Great interview! I really enjoyed this. I like how Avery says the ideas "slow roast" because I completely identify. The big picture idea (I think X makes a neat concept for a story) takes time to percolate or stew in the crock-pot of my brain before it can become a story.

    1. Love the cooking analogies that both of you touched on & yes it takes time...sigh. :)

  3. Heather wins the gift certificate! Congrats :)

  4. Thanks for this! It's encouraging to know I'm not the only one whose ideas go rotisserie style for years before the meat thermometer says they're done. LOL