After my eight-week African vacation, I discovered my writing mojo was nowhere to be found. Perhaps it disappeared somewhere on the plains of the Serengeti. I can see how trotting through the jungle after Stone Age Bushmen who are bent on demonstrating their hunting skills might cause this to happen. Or I may have frittered it away on the beaches of Zanzibar with one too many Tusker beers. It could be that my elusive mojo seeped away during an 18-day tour of South Africa with 15 other fun-seekers, all of us plus two guides jolting along dirt roads on a safari bus called ‘Marula’. Whatever the cause, the fact remained that somewhere along the way, I’d lost confidence in my ability to write an entertaining, original, or halfway intelligent book, not to mention pick up the loose threads of promoting my existing books.
It seemed my creative juices had dried up or seeped away. I was rudderless. Alarmed. Perplexed. I hoped it was merely vacation overload, but secretly, I feared my muse was dead. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to quit writing?
Thankfully, even in my darkest hour, a glimmer of sanity prevailed. In spite of being brain-dead, jet-lagged, and cranky, I dragged my sorry self out to my monthly Ottawa Romance Writers Association meeting, where a group brainstorming session was scheduled. Hey, I had nothing new to brainstorm, but maybe I could help someone else who had the germ of an idea.
ORWA writers are an amazingly supportive group. When I confessed my problem, they rose to the occasion with sympathy, reassurance, and humor. Using a set of foam brainstorming dice, we got started. Here’s the gist of what emerged from the session: A humorous paranormal romance featuring a hot firefighter hiding his fear of fire, a con-artist pet psychologist operating a lucrative scam in a small town, and a matchmaking dog. Now for the good part: the dog is actually a former womanizing playboy who broke so many hearts that when he died (horrible death, not sure how yet), was reincarnated as a dog (represents loyalty and faithfulness) whose karma requires him to help people find their soul mates before he is allowed to return in human form.
I see this as a series. At the beginning of each book, the dog (a POV character with a poorly-suppressed inclination to lick his parts, mainly because he can, but also because it feels so good) will wander into the protagonists’ lives (different hero and heroine for each book) as an adorable stray to help them find true love, and will disappear at the end of the book.
I would like to pose a question: Does anyone have a great doggy name I could use?