Friday, July 27, 2012


Bolts of Inspiration

I’m sure you’ve all read those blog posts where authors giggle say giggle that they just don’t know what inspired them! Rainbows! Moonbeams! Whiskers on kittens!

This isn’t going to be one of those posts. First off, I don’t giggle. Second, my cat’s the jealous type. If he caught me even looking at kittens he’d turn my arm into chop suey.

My name’s Aleah Barley, and my new book (my first book!) is called Too Hot to Handle and it’s about a drop dead gorgeous LAPD detective and a spunky ex-car thief. On paper Jack Ogden and Honey Moore couldn’t be more wrong for each other, but the sparks between them are almost as explosive as the arsonist they’re trying to track down. The tagline says it all ‘He stole her heart, she stole his car.’

Like many other authors my inspiration is ethereal, hard to pin down. It’s like luck. The more you try to pin it down the less of it you have. However, occasionally it strikes like a bolt from the blue… usually when I’m reading something totally unrelated.

The hero of Too Hot to Handle is Jack, an overworked LAPD detective with a split lip, a badge, and a gun. When I developed him as a character, I was inspired by tightly written mysteries with snappy patter and clever foreshadowing. Robert B Parker, Lawrence Block, and Lee Child.

Jack’s a classic mystery hero. A ‘by-the-book’ police officer, but when going by the book means hurting someone he loves he discovers that there’s more to life than law and order. Honey is his perfect foil. A smart, sexy woman with a penchant for fast cars and a dedication to the people in her community.

In addition to having a sexy romance, Too Hot to Handle also has two hot-hot cars! Jack drives a Dodge Super Bee—mostly so I could make a joke about ‘classic American muscle’—but the truly incredible piece of machinery is the Volvo Sport that Honey helps ‘retrieve’ from a local chop shop. The Volvo Sport is a fiberglass roadster that I learned about while reading The New York Times. Only sixty eight of them were ever made, and only sixty seven of them survive to this day. Reading that article, I knew the Volvo Sport was the perfect piece of machinery to roll across the pages of my book.

Every day I try to read something new, whether it’s a book I’ve never seen before or a newspaper article on some unknown subject. That’s what inspires me!

What inspires you?

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