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Monday, December 21, 2020

Lindsay's Christmas Viking - or how I was inspired for one of my romances

In the days before covid, when I would go to speak at Women's Institute meetings, I would often be asked, "Where do you get your ideas from?"

This blog explores where and how I develop my story ideas.

Where do I get ideas from?  Everywhere. But the main triggers are:

1. What if so-and-so happened? 

2. What happened next?

3. I tend to think in pictures and scenes, as if watching a frozen film. Sometimes a scene comes into my mind and won’t go away, and then I play with it and start from there.

4. I like to be interested in everything and everyone. As I write, I try to keep in mind that everyone has a story, that everyone can be a hero or ant-hero, even if they themselves don’t know it.

How I develop ideas.

1. Start with a scene, a frozen incident.

2. Develop characters I’ll enjoy writing about, often with interesting jobs.

3. Place the characters in a setting I can relate to.

4. Give them a plot that stretches my people.

5. Mix all these together in a chapter by chapter outline.

6. Write!

An example of this process is how I came to write my Christmas Romance, "Carrie's Christmas Viking." In this case, my inspiration came from an object, the figure of a Viking that had once belonged to my father-in-law. It was known in my husband's family as Eric, so I called him Eric, too.

As you can see from the photograph, Eric is wound about by a "chain", a silver-gilt necklance that was my mother's and that I playfully draped over Eric as a means of keeping the strands from tangling. Eric stood in my window for a long time and I knew I wanted to write about him, but had not found the driver of any story.

The chains of the necklace gave me an idea. A Viking bound, a Viking trapped, that was a powerful image, a heroic, romantic image. So my next thought was "Why is he bound? How is he trapped?"

The answer suggested to me was "Magic", and after magic, the craft of a witch. A witch whom Eric had angered for some reason. Since the witch in question was a good witch, my Elfrida from "The Snow Bride" "A Summer Bewitchment" and "One Winter Knight" I knew that Eric had tried to work against her and Magnus, her warrior companion. 

Those thoughts gave me the seed that became "Carrie's Christmas Viking," a story of romance and redemption.

To read it for free, see it on KindleUnlimited.

Or buy for just 99cents or 77p.

You can read "The Snow Bride" as one of six full length medieval historical romances in the box-set "One Perfect Knight." Only $2.99 for over 2000 pages, free with KindleUnlimited and just £2.25!

Happy Holidays!

Lindsay Townsend


  1. Thanks for sharing your process with us. I never know exactly how to answer that question, but I do share that "what would happen if..." thing. This sounds like the perfect seasonal read. Merry Christmas.

  2. Thanks, Christine! Many Christmas to you and yours!

  3. I love that cover!!!
    I tend to get my inspiration from some actual event in history that I start researching... then I imagine a fictional hero in that place. Of course, a strong heroine has to have a major conflict with him. And then the story takes off!
    Happy Holidays!

  4. I am glad to see a Viking story. The history of these different Norse people is very diverse, and it's largely untapped. Congrats on giving the readers such an interesting tale!!

  5. Thanks, Cynthia. I agree about a strong heroine!
    Thanks, Deborah! The Vikings were a fascinating bunch!

  6. Lindsay, I'm always so interested to learn how other authors work. And I love Magnus and Elfrida stories. This was really a good one. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! XOXO

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your process of finding inspiration then translating it into a story. It's always inspiring to learn how other authors work. Merry Christmas.

  8. Many thanks, Cheryl and Ann.
    Happy Holidays to everyone!

  9. You have quite an interesting process, Lindsay. "What If?" is a good way to get started for certain.
    I like the Viking statue of "Eric."
    I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas today.

  10. Many thnaks, Sarah!
    Today is Boxing day here in the UK. Happy Boxing day to you and yours!

  11. I am fascinated by your process of developing a story. Some parts I could relate to and some were foreign to my process. So cool to see how stories unfold in an author's hands. Doris

  12. Thanks, Doris! happy 2021 to you and yours!