My guest today is none other than New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Caridad Pineiro.  Thanks for being here, Caridad!

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I think one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “Where do I get my ideas?”

Sounds like a simple enough question and yet the answer is far from easy.  Sometimes it’s an interesting story in the news.  Sometimes it’s a person who catches my eye on the street.  More often than not, it’s a character that starts screaming in my head and won’t stop until I listen to them.

I guess that’s one thing to warn people about – writers hear people in their heads all the time, but instead of needing to see a shrink we exorcise those voices by putting pen to paper!

Some of my best ideas have come about as a result of those voices.  I was actually in the midst of writing a book that was under contract when a very persistent female kept distracting me.  I knew she was strong, but conflicted.  A loner and yet capable of great love.  She was kick-ass and because of that she immediately became Diana, like the warrior goddess.

But I had a book to write and pushed Diana out of my mind until a few days later my husband and I were going out for an anniversary dinner.  We had a delightful waiter named Ryder.  Suddenly Diana started screaming again, almost as if to let me know I had found the mate for her.  A solicitous and caring man.  One who could love her and never leave her.

Wait a second . . . Never leave her.  That was impossible unless . . .

Unless Ryder was immortal — a vampire.

From those scattered thoughts DARKNESS CALLS was born and Diana Reyes and Ryder Latimer came into existence.  DARKNESS CALLS was the first of over a dozen novels and novellas in THE CALLING vampire series.

Something similar happened to me as I was trying to work on the concept for a new paranormal – SINS OF THE FLESH.  I wanted a story set in the real world, but with different paranormal elements.  I searched in my mind for days until I realized that the answer was sitting right on the shelf in an old college text book – a genetics text book.  It was not only a class that I had enjoyed in college, it was a subject that I had kept up with over the years.

Putting my scientist brain back on, I started playing around with the idea of what would happen if non-human genes were introduced into a person?  What kinds of powers could they have?  How would that happen and why?  Most of all, what kind of person would allow that to happen to them?

Suddenly a woman came into my mind.  One who would die without extreme medical intervention.  A woman filled with passion and courage.  She needed a classy and exotic name – Caterina.  And she needed a unique profession – a celebrated cellist.  She also needed a man who would challenge her vision of herself and what she wanted out of life – Mick Carerra, a mercenary with a heart of gold.

SINS OF THE FLESH was born from that brainstorm and so was the next book in the series – STRONGER THAN SIN – which will be ou

t in October 2010.  But I also knew that I wanted to do more than just two books about what happens when monkeying around with genes creates new people with incredible powers.

A short while ago the entire process started all over again for the next books in the SINS series.  Who would be my heroine?  Hero?  What would be their powers?  Was the story going to be darker than those from before?

Thinking time again.   But as much as I wracked my brains, something was keeping me back.  Not writers block because I couldn’t start writing.  It was more like thinking block.

Where would I get my ideas?

This time I opted to take some time away and see new things.  Visit new places.  Go to some museums and other locations that might somehow break that thinking block.  As I stood looking at some ancient artifacts, something broke free and a glimmer of an idea came to me.  Before I knew it, I was back at the computer, fleshing out the mythology for a new book.

So there is no easy answer to the question of where a writer gets their ideas.  They come in all different ways.  You just have to open your mind to all those different possibilities!


New York Times and USA Today bestseller Caridad Pineiro wrote her first novel in the fifth grade when her teacher assigned a project – to write a book for a class lending library.  Bitten by the writing bug, Caridad continued with her passion for the written word through high school, college and law school.  In 1999, Caridad’s first novel was released and a decade later, Caridad is the author of over twenty novels and novellas.  When not writing, Caridad is an attorney, wife and mother to an aspiring writer and fashionista. Caridad’s November 2009 release, SINS OF THE FLESH, is the first book in an exciting new paranormal suspense series from Grand Central Publishing.  Look for STRONGER THAN SIN in October 2010. For more information on Caridad, please visit www.caridad.com or www.thecallingvampirenovels.com