Friday, October 4, 2013

Sweet Treason by Gail Ranstrom: Guest Post



I write Mystery/Suspense/Romance, and I get some of my best ideas from watching TV and movies.  Even old movies and re-runs.  My current release from Entangled, SWEET TREASON, was inspired by a movie that is over 10 years old.  A question, a chance remark or a desperate plea will trigger something in me and I’m off and running with a new idea.  I have a file filled with them.  It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of show I’m watching.  Some of them very good and some of them no one would ever believe.  But it’s all fertile ground.

You know what I mean.  Omar Sharif turns to Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia and says, “Thy father sired thee on a scorpion.” (Actually meant as a compliment in this instance.)  And I’m off and running.  An Arabian heroine who is a figurative scorpion with a potent sting.  An English hero who probably deserves a poisonous sting.  Yeah, and then they.... 

So, here are the programs/movies that have yielded some pretty darn good ideas for me. 

#5 – 48 Hours Mystery / Criminal Minds   This one is a two-fer because they have much in common.  ‘They’ say that truth is stranger than fiction, and they’re right.   Holy cow – the things that people will do for love, money or revenge!  About 98% of the time, you know who did it and why, but that other 2% astounds me.  Twisted reasoning and sociopathic behavior is foreign to most of us, thank God.  And writing these characters can be quite challenging. 

#4 – TOUCH – I love the ‘innocent-citizen-caught-up’ trope.  How does an ordinary person react in extraordinary circumstances?  Will they rise to the challenge?  (Think of Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone)  Add this to the ripple effect in TOUCH of the unknown ways in which our actions affect other lives, and the possibilities are endless. 

#3 – Covert Affairs – There’s nothing like a feminine but lethal heroine.  I love the element of the outside enemy, and the enemy within. She’s fighting a war on two sided.  I love Nikita, but Annie is a tad more vulnerable.  There’s always an element of doubt as to whether she will be able to make the tough decisions.  And then there’s Augie. 

#2 – NCIS – Where do I begin?  This program is going into their 11th season and it’s still fresh.  I’ve learned a lot about unrequited angst from watching Tony and Ziva.  McGee and Abby.  I’ve watched the quiet courage, strength and dignity in Gibbs.  Compassion in Ducky.  And the story lines are compelling, if not entirely original.  But I don’t really expect entirely original after 10 seasons.

#1 – Revenge – I can’t even keep up with the twists and turns of this story, and one question keeps cropping up.  Is this is about revenge?  Or is it about justice?  Just what is Amanda hoping to accomplish?  And if I’m to be honest, even though I haven’t got an ax to grind, I’d go after Victoria on principle—I don’t like mean or arrogant people.  I don’t even quite know if I like this program, but I know I have to keep watching.

So there you have them.  Where do you get your inspirations?  Your best story ideas?

(Can anyone guess which program/movie inspired SWEET TREASON?  hint:  It’s a movie)

Passion and deadly secrets…

On the run from British troops, American Revolutionary War spy Ryan Straughn forces Emily Nevins to hide him on her English farm. But Emily already keeps secrets that could mean her demise if discovered. Nevertheless as the long night wears on, attraction sizzles and they give in to unexpected passion, sure they’ll never see each other again…

Deception and desire…

A chance encounter in London society stirs heated memories of their sensual night together. They begin a heady dance of suspicion and desire. Though sympathetic to the struggling Colonists, Emily cannot trust a traitorous spy who may expose her dangerous intrigues. And Ryan risks his very life by trusting a woman privy to his true loyalties. But they are unable to deny their need for one another, even as Emily’s secrets are about to be exposed, and the noose around Ryan’s neck grows tighter.

Betrayal and love…

And now someone has discovered both their secrets. The price of silence? Betrayal. Of their causes, their love, their futures. In the end, lives will be lost and sacrifices made. Their choice is impossible. Which will they surrender—their lives…or their hearts?

Gail has been a seamstress making waitress uniforms for a German Beer Garden, Inventory Clerk at the UofM, an Advertising Account Coordinator and PR writer in a crazy high pressure office, and a Commercial Property Manager in the Los Angeles area. In between, she’s partnered in an Antique business—don’t ask her about Antique Auctions.

Finally, she was tempted by a vocation where she was in control of the next crisis, and could solve it, too—writing.  She is the author of ten novels, three novellas and a brand new release, SWEET TREASON, from Entangled Publishing.


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