READER FRIDAY: Tell Us About the Inspiration Behind Your Latest Work-in-Progress

Purchased from Shutterstock by Jordan Dane

Purchased from Shutterstock by Jordan Dane


Inspirations comes from many different places and can combine into a great story. Tell us about the inspiration behind your latest project. Why did you choose to write this story?

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She is the author of young-adult novels written for Harlequin Teen, the Sweet Justice thriller series for HarperCollins., and the Ryker Townsend FBI psychic profiler series, Mercer's War vigilante novellas, and the upcoming Trinity LeDoux bounty hunter novels set in New Orleans. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. To keep up with new releases & exclusive giveaways, click HERE

21 thoughts on “READER FRIDAY: Tell Us About the Inspiration Behind Your Latest Work-in-Progress

  1. Good question Jorden. I believe there are going to be some great answers given here. My latest work Operation Starlight, which I will Kindle, CreatSpace, and LuLu, this weekend was inspired by Avatar, the movie. There were enough similarities to set my butt in chair and end up with a novel. Like most of my writing, I’d get distracted, sometimes for years, and then sit down and scribble some more. Procrastination, hindsight… what is it good for. Absolutely nothing.

  2. I read ‘Armadale’ by Wilkie Collins years ago and couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of someone stealing an identity. My latest WIP is about a woman who steals the identity of a dead girl and builds a new life – or tries to.
    I write women’s fiction, not thrillers, so no one gets killed (but I’m learning a lot from you guys, so who knows what the future holds).

    • Whether you kill someone off or not, tying into an emotion that resonates with readers is important. Think of what scares you the most about that idea and get at the heart of it.

      Maybe someone from the stolen identity side comes calling to threaten her security.

  3. For the most part, I found the coolest murder method and wrote the story around it. Often that’s what happens to me. I start with the murder, then choose characters who will be most affected by it.

  4. My friend was traveling home from an assignment in Africa. He had top secret documents handcuffed to his wrists. I thought, what if his plane had an emergency landing or crash in some lawless African country, where it was ninety-five degrees and 110% humidity, and he couldn’t take off his suit because of the handcuffs?

  5. A new smartphone inspired my latest suspense novel. When I first got it, it did lots of annoying tricks w/o my knowledge or permission. Made me think, what if its unpredictable mysterious antics were not accidental, but were actually remote manipulations by a terrorist?

    After two years, I still have a love/hate relationship with the smartphone, but a novel resulted from it so I can’t stay too angry.

  6. No doubt about. My type of girl (then woman) was not, is not, the tall, lanky gal with long legs and basketball player height.

    I was attracted to the small girl, the small woman. My wife was to short–to small–to qualify for stewardess training or employment. (She was too small before flight attendants preferred to be called flight attendants.) Small, cute: I latched on to her without thinking twice about it.

    So, I reasoned, why not have a small, cute woman take on some of the suspected biggest critters on the American continent? That is why my protagonist finds herself trying to take away her godbrother from a bigfoot. And yeah, her husband calls her cutie rather than babe.

  7. It wasn’t just one thing. I wanted a paranoid feel a la The Big Clock/Now Way Out (minus the limo ride around the monuments). And what if Paige, or someone like her, from The Americans actually became a mole, like her parents and the Russians want her to. Where would she wind up and how would she get there? And what if she is the chief aide to the first woman president, in a Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton sort of way. And just maybe she is sleeping with another mole, but this time of terrorist variety, only she doesn’t know it. Yet. And then one perfect day a bomb goes off. Self preservation? Think about Dexter. So multiple inspirations from snippets here and there, not any one thing.

  8. Here is the short description:
    Hannah Victoria Ickin cannot call herself happy, after all that has happened recently. Discovering that her mother was an American spy; that she, Hannah, had two first names instead of just the one she had answered to her whole life; and of course her American citizenship in addition to her previous Soviet, now Moldovan identity. All of this had thrown her off guard, even if she had made peace with everyone involved. Or at least with those involved and close by.
    But Hannah is at least satisfied. Partly because those who caused the biggest heartbreak in her life were far away. Hans, who had manipulated her, was in Germany, and Liam, whom she still couldn’t quite forget, was back in the United States. The distance was helping.
    She could concentrate on her science and enjoy the state-of-the-art microscope she had collected from Germany.
    Why then today, of all days, had her sister decided to tell of her ambition to candidate for presidency? And that their father would be supporting her. Had he forgotten that her sister was just over twenty? How could someone so young be a candidate for not one, but two presidencies at the same time? In Moldova and Romania? Had anyone ever done this before?
    And why in the world would one of her uncles suggest that Liam (yes, that Liam!) should come to Moldova and keep an eye on her sister? Wasn’t the mess he’d been a part of in Germany, reason enough to find this a bad idea? Really bad?! Why should Hannah consent? Or help in any way?

    This book will be called “A President’s Sister” and it will be book 2 in series “A Life Upside Down”. I’ve self-published book 1 and prequel to the series so far.

    I think in book 2, there’ll be some kidnapping too. But need to figure out where and when and of whom exactly. 😉

  9. The inspiration for our current story, working title “The Brother’s Four Book 2”, is the time Boffin came up with the idea to prove that one can actually walk on water if one develops enough initial speed. Okay, well actually he more like proved one cannot walk on water without enough initial speed. Quite often proving a corollary is the same as proving the actual hypothesis. At any rate that same day we were able to get an accurate measurement of both the rate of submergence in ice cold Alaskan lake water of a living object approximately three feet eight inches by two hundred lbs (Boffin is very dense in multiple aspects), and of the length of time said object can hold its breaths. We also discovered a new shade of blue.

    And that is what prompted our next story.

  10. Some story ideas are spawned by several oddly unrelated inspirations but I love when an author discovers how they can merge into a plot. Love it, catfriend.

    • Thank you for asking me more on the story, Jordan! 🙂
      I grew up in Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union and discovered that many things from my life and those I know, which became very normal to me, were quite curious in Germany and Denmark where I spent last 20 years of my life. My father was an orphan of the World War II and he was a member of the communist party as many were in Soviet Union were. The school I went to was sponsored by KGB (each school had sponsors), and in beginning of 90s stories about spies were quite prominent in the movies and books. Then our opening to the west changed gradually the worldview for us.
      I had this idea to write a book “mocking” my life, using scenes from my life and what I know but putting it all on its head. Thus the series “A Life Upside Down”. My father, who died when I was 10 was not a spy, but I head a question, “What if he were a spy, how would I react when I found out?” Then the next came, “What if it is not the father who died, but the mother? And what if she was not from here, but from the other side of the Iron Curtain?” This was the idea for the Book 1 and prequel. And then the questions about supporting characters appeared. In case of the protagonist’s sister: She was calm and engaging and interested in politics. What if she went for presidency? And since many in Moldova have now two citizenships, both Moldovan and Romanian, what if she went for presidency in both? How would this change the life of her elder sister?
      So, concluding all this: My brain is a question generator. And when I try to answer all these, a story (or rather more than one) emerge. 🙂

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