Thursday, September 18, 2014

Title Inspiration Can Be Found Anywhere


Hey there, Jillian Chantal here. I write under a couple of names and this week, as Sherry Fowler Chancellor, I have a book coming out from Black Opal Books called Senior Assassin. It’s based on the Orient Express, the train that traveled across Europe from Paris to Istanbul from 1883. It ran continuously for many years but stopped going to Istanbul in the 1970s and stopped altogether in 2009. It’s back now but run by a different company – it still uses the rail cars from the 1920s and 1930s- which is super cool.

As a writer, I take in all the things around me and save them either in my head or in a lot of notebooks and journals. I actually have a folder called titles where I have a list of things I’ve heard that might make a good one. When my son was a senior in high school, they played this very dangerous game (which I was not really on-board for, by the way) called senior assassin. In this game, the kids were teamed up into twos and each paid $5.00 to play. They all had water guns and when their prey was hit by the water, they were considered dead and out of the game. Last man standing was the winner of the whole pot of money. It took a couple of months for it to be over. We’d sometimes get calls that someone was on the way to try to get my son and so he would hide out.

My son ended up as the second to last man – his former partner got him- since they were the last two, they then had to go after each other.

The scariest parts of this game were the dog chases, the jumping off roofs and all the crazy situations they found themselves in- this was why I was not happy about the thing. BUT, it gave me a great title for some future story. A story I wrote last year in August.

When I got the contract for this story, I told my son about it and he said, “You completely stole that from the game we played in high school.”

I said I did but my story had Nazis and spies in it not high school kids.

He said, “Same thing. Some of the ones I had to take down were spies and some were Nazis.”

Now, of course, he didn’t mean that literally since we all know the Nazis were much worse than any high school student. LOL

My motto is to always be alert. There may be a story idea lurking. or maybe even a super title that can inspire a tale.  

I will give away an ebook copy of this book to one commenter and a ebook copy of any of Jillian Chantal’s back list to another commenter. My website is www.jillianchantal.com and the winner can choose the book from there.  Winner announced on September 30, 2014.

Here is the blurb for the story:

Her dreams of a trip across Europe on a luxury train hadn’t included murder…

In 1937, with the clouds of war looming on the horizon, librarian Fiona Vancleave dreams of luxury train trips involving exotic places and romantic interludes. But when she wins a trip on the Orient Express, she quickly discovers that things aren’t quite as she envisioned them. While romance might be a possibility with fellow passenger, the enigmatic Winchester Barrington, IV, Fiona doesn’t know if she can trust him, especially when she finds herself suspected of murder. Alone in a foreign country, facing possible jail time or even execution is certainly not what she had in mind when she booked her trip.

He’s a spy, searching for an assassin, but he hadn’t expected to find romance…

Winchester Barrington, IV, scion of a wealthy Connecticut family, boards the Orient Express, ostensibly for a pleasure trip from Paris to Istanbul. In reality, he’s a spy for the United States War Department on the trail of a master assassin. His mission: to find and capture this elusive executioner. Among a growing list of suspects, including an Oxford Don, an American entrepreneur, a Chicago gangster, and two mysterious Turkish men, Win finds himself attracted to Fiona, a shy librarian who may actually be his quarry.




For the month of September, Southern Magic celebrates their Readers Luncheon being held November 1 in Birmingham, AL. NYT bestselling author Sylvia Day is the keynote speaker.  Come back and visit every day. Each post will be giving away a book or gift card! At the end of the blogfest, a grand prize winner of a Kindle Fire HD will be picked from everyone who comment during the month and be announced September 30.

To register for the luncheon, go to 
http://southernmagic.org/luncheon.html. Each attendee will receive a bag of books and author swag, sit at a table with one or two published authors, and opportunities to win baskets full of goodies.


Jillian Chantal lives on the Florida Gulf Coast which she calls her little piece of paradise. She writes Romantic Adventures with an International Flair.

Sherry Fowler Chancellor writes sweeter romances than Jillian.  

19 comments:

Layna Pimentel said...

This sounds fantastic, Jillian, and very entertaining.

Don't you just love when some of our best ideas come from our kids.

Jillian said...

thanks Layna. I DO love the inspiration from kids and thanks for the kind words about my story. It was def. fun to write. I love spies!!

Charlotte said...

Jillian. Wow! can't wait to read your book; I love International romance suspense. I also keep a jot 'em down notebook. I love the way the mind or heart can bump into ideas and turn them into amazing art. I once wrote a song using only old time song titles. It was actually pretty funny and my family and friends were thoroughly entertained. Children also say the cutest things which I find very inspiring. Best wishes to you.

bn100 said...

Nice blurb

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Jillian said...

how cool that you did that song, Charlotte. I bet it was awesome. Sounds like a great idea. Love that you keep the jot em book too. A great tool, right?

Thanks for the nice compliment on my story.

Jillian said...

Thanks for the compliment and for coming by bn100

Meda White said...

This sounds amazing and I love where you got your idea. It's funny how something seemingly small or insignificant can spark a big idea. I hope you sell a million. :)

Jillian said...

Thanks Meda. AND I do love how little things can lead to super stories. thanks for the good wishes!

Naima Simone said...

LOL! I love the story of how the plot of your book came about. That's so cool. And you're right. Story ideas can come from anywhere. Although, I wish title names would come easier. I stink at title names! :-) I usually hit my critique partner, Debra Glass, up for one, and she comes through. Hee-hee!

The blurb sounds fab-u-lous! Like a movie on TCM that would hold me captive. Only with a kiss that lasts longer than 3 seconds. :-)

Jillian said...

Naima- I normally have issues with titles, too. I have a friend who is a superstar at them so when I can't think, I send the synopsis to her and she comes back with like 60 options. No exaggeration. Lol.

Wouldn't be awesome to have a TCM movie of one of our books? Thanks for that awesome compliment.

Jillian said...

And you're right about the 3 second kisses on that. Channel. Lol

Callie James said...

LOL! Sorry, I'm just now commenting. I would tell him he is really reaching if he wants to say you stole that idea.

And everything is up for grabs when you live with a writer. Pthththth.

Ha!

Jillian said...

Lol Callie. He was stretching it wasn't he? And yeah, he knows it's all up for grabs. Lol

Larynn Ford said...

I got a title and an idea for an entire book from one song. It is amazing where our ideas come from.

Jillian said...

That's awesome, Larynn. I've done that too. Twice, well, the idea for the book, not the title. Lol. I love music as inspiration.

Shadow said...

Your story sounds pretty awesome! Im definitely on aboard! hehe! :P
That train sounds really cool! Id love to take a ride in it. I bet its amazing! Fun game! I see why you didnt like it. Scary thought your son could have gotten hurt, tho i do think its fantastic it inspired a pretty awesome book! Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed your post! :)

Jillian said...

Thanks for the kind words and the pun, shadow! And yeah, the game was dangerous but they had fun and I got a story from it.

Jillian said...

I'm so bad, I totally forgot to draw my winners. Callie James, you win an e-copy of Secret Assassin. and Naima Simone- you win an e-book of any of Jillian Chantal's back list. Congrats and sorry I was late!

Jillian said...

Winners please email me at Jillianchantal@gmail.com so I can send you your prizes