I’m often asked how I come up with the ideas for my stories, and I never quite know how to answer that. Stories and characters come to me a lot of different ways. Sometimes characters just pop into my head with personalities and pasts all intact. Then it’s just a matter of coming up with a plot that will work with that unique individual. Other times a show I’m watching or book I’m reading will spur on an idea. Or a life experience of mine will fuel a storyline. Oftentimes, though, it’s a combination of a lot of these things which I form into one idea.
However, this book was different. I know the exact moment I came up with the storyline for this book. It was last summer and I had brought my kids to the gym. My daughter was swimming, my son was in the basketball court playing a basketball game, and I was laying out by the pool reading a book. I looked up from the pages to check on my daughter and my gaze landed on a teenage couple in the water. The guy was teaching the girl to swim. I was mesmerized. He was so kind and tender with her as he held her in the water. I found myself wondering about them. What was their story? Why did this teenage girl not already know how to swim? What was their relationship like?
And just like that HEAD ABOVE WATER took shape in my mind. I wanted to write a story about a love like that. About a boy who would teach his girlfriend to swim with encouragement and gentleness. The couple in the book looks nothing like the couple at the gym, and I never did find out their story, so any similarities would just be coincidences. But that couple definitely inspired me.
With the basics of the story in my mind I set out to come up with characters and Tag and Harper came very easily. Their back stories, secrets and tainted pasts took time. In fact, I didn’t learn of Tag’s until halfway through the rough draft. But that is typical for me. I hope you have enjoyed their story as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
And if you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? 😉