It's special to have a return guest. Today, the talented HM Thomas joins us for Muse Monday on Discover... She's sharing her answer to a question all authors are posed often. Read on and enjoy!
Thank you, Brenda, for having me back on your blog. I’m so glad to be here talking about where I get my ideas for books.
Thankfully, I’m one of those lucky writers who usually doesn’t have to look too hard for story ideas. That’s not to say that I don’t have to beat my head against the desk sometimes to get those ideas to work—it’s just that the initial seeds seem to be everywhere I look. I listen to people’s conversations, I hear songs that don’t tell me enough, I watch strangers, especially other couples, trying to figure them out . . . and I dream.
Many of my stories have come from a kernel of a dream, a flash of memory from sleep that haunts me until I have no other choice but to ask myself what the rest of the story is.
was no different. While on vacation with my family at the beach I had a dream about a tidal wave that hovered over me as I stood in the sand. When the wave finally crashed, I was submerged in water, fighting for my life and surrounded by dead bodies. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with water. On the one hand, it feeds my spirit and my creativity. And on the other hand, I’m convinced it will be my downfall. I respect water and its power, but I also fear it. Because of this fear, I have dreamed of tidal waves for years.
But this dream was different. The vision of me standing on shore with the wave looming over me followed me through the day. It tapped me on the shoulder while I fed my baby, and whispered my name as I played on the beach with my preschoolers—it demanded my attention. And so I started asking “who was this woman standing on the beach?” “Was she afraid?” “Why did she stand there facing something so much stronger than herself?” “What kind of woman would do that?”
And Dr. Cameron Crawford was born. In Island of Secrets and Scars, Cameron flees her old life after an attack that kills her unborn child and alters her relationship with her fiancée. Although she’s afraid of the ocean, she ends up on an obscure island off the coast of South America. Years later, a plane crashes on her island, and she must call for doctors to help care for her friends and family. Ultimately, the plane crash proves to cause more problems than she anticipated, when it draws people from her past to the island, and with them comes threats to her new life and the secrets she thought she’d buried in the sand beneath her.
Even from the shore, Cameron heard the happiness in Esme’s voice when she replied, “Everyone is well. The others are helping Aimee with the garden this morning. Where’s Arabella?” she called as her husband cast a net into the water with long-practiced efficiency.
Cameron turned back toward the rocks, surprised her daughter hadn’t already appeared to see the Huntes. Esme and Brodie were as close to an aunt and uncle as the girl would ever have. She never missed an opportunity to chat with them or finagle a trip on their fishing boat.
“I don’t know. She—"
The rest of her reply died on her lips as the sound of an engine split the peaceful silence around her. She raised her gaze to the sky, where a plane approached. Aircrafts weren’t unheard of over their small island, but since the modest airstrip on the big island sat on the opposite side, most planes rarely traveled in this direction. And when they did, they were much higher than this one.
From the plane came a haunting click click click—a sound Cameron had hoped to never hear again. Suddenly, a face flashed into her mind. The same face she’d seen in her dream just hours before—that of the young, helpless boy who’d stared at her from across a jungle with regret and fear in his eyes before fire erupted between them.
Her heart lurched into her throat, keeping the scream bubbling inside her from escaping. As she swung her gaze from the plane to her friends’ boat, fear grabbed hold of her with talon-like fingers.
“Esme,” she screamed fruitlessly. Her voice couldn’t compete with the sudden explosion overhead.
The plane blew apart, sending metal and flames shooting through the air. Cameron stood, frozen, as a tire flew past her. Pieces of the plane’s body dropped into the sea. A small wave swelled, coming toward where she stood rooted in the sand.
“Move,” her brain screamed. But she couldn’t stop watching.
Finally, her body responded, and she turned and sprinted
toward the rocks. Water licked at her heels, then rose to her calves. Fear
gripped her, trying to keep her immobile as the water splashed against her
legs. Until she’d moved to this island, she’d avoided the ocean at all costs.
She didn’t trust any of the elements. How could anyone trust anything so
powerful and unpredictable? But, as she’d learned in Africa, avoidance didn’t
equal safety. Her back still bore the scars of the fire
Betrayed by her fiancée and reeling from an attack that killed their unborn child and left her injured and scarred, obstetrician Cameron Crawford flees to a remote island in search of the healing and peace that elude her. Six years later, she thinks she’s found both serving as the island doctor and raising her young daughter.
Dr. Ian Gauthier has never stopped searching for the fiancée who disappeared six years ago. He’s all but given up hope of ever actually finding her, until a plane crashes on a remote island, and he and his team of doctors are called in to assist the island’s doctor—the woman he’s mourned for half a decade.
Cameron thought the plane crash would be her biggest obstacle, but the accident draws two men from her past to the island. While one man threatens the fragility of her still healing heart, the other threatens the safety of the family she’d die to protect. In order to save one, she may have to sacrifice the other.
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