Friday, February 12, 2010

Hey! I’ve Got an Idea! by Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar

This Fortifying Friday, author Andrea Boeshaar shares how personal events have spurred ideas for her books. As you move into your weekend - whether you spend time in front of the computer, or time re-energizing in various ways - let Andrea’s experiences inspire you to come up with fresh storylines of your own.

Hey! I've Got an Idea!

“Where do you get your ideas?”

People ask me that all the time. Unfortunately, there’s no pat answer. Ideas for my stories come from many different sources. Sometimes a movie. Other times a newspaper or magazine article. Oftentimes a personal testimony from someone at church might ignite my muse. But frequently I get my ideas from personal experiences.

Take, for example, my novel Promise Me Forever (Barbour Publishing). I came up with the idea when my husband and I attended a wedding and the groom didn’t show up! No lie! That really happened!

As my husband Daniel and I climbed into our minivan we felt awful for the bride and speculated as to why the groom didn’t appear. As we talked, I started thinking…hmm…
Minutes later, I turned to Daniel, and said, “You know, this would make a really great story.”

In the weeks and months that followed, I filled in character sketches and began writing. The result was the birth of my book-baby called Promise Me Forever. Incidentally, writers can find a free character chart on my website:

The inception of my novel The Haven of Rest (Barbour Publishing) occurred when my mother told me about the old gas station in the small town where she’d grown up. She remarked about how sad it was that the filling station now stood abandoned, along with the building the once housed a Laundromat and my great Uncle Edwin’s second floor apartment. I knew of the filling station, and a nostalgic chord was plucked somewhere deep inside of me. Again, I dreamed up characters and plotted a romance around the gas station and the tiny town of Tigerton, Wisconsin. It wasn’t long and The Haven of Rest was born into print.

Another of my novels Love Finds You in Miracle, Kentucky was actually titled How Far Is Heaven and one morning when I woke up I had the entire book’s characters and much of the plot in my head. You might say I dreamed it, although I like to think God gave me the idea while I slept.

Ideas for stories can come from just about anywhere and at anytime. So be alert. Be aware. Relax and take nothing that happens around you, and in your life, for granted. There’s probably a story lurking somewhere in your corner of the world.

In 1994, Andrea Boeshaar's first novel was published. Since then she's written numerous articles and devotionals. Andrea has also published inspiration romance novels, women's fiction, and novellas. In the year 2000, Andrea cofounded the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She served as its vice president and then, later, its CEO. In 2003, Andrea joined the Hartline Literary Agency and worked as a literary agent. She saw much success. But then in 2007, Andrea realized she was more of a teacher/encourager than a sales person. She left the agency and became a certified Christian life coach. Now, in addition to her writing, Andrea enjoys encouraging others to use their God-given talents and gifts to their fullest. Her next novel, Unwilling Warrior, will be released in May 2010. Find out more at


  1. Andrea, I like to read about what inspires writers. Your books sound like great reads. Keep being inspired.

    Because of Christ,

  2. Delightful article, Andrea!
    I doubt you remember me, but I've been wanting to tell you for a couple of years that I'm represented by Hartline because of you.I met with you at Write to Publish in ?? You weren't interested in representing my self-published book, Hungry River, but said you liked my writing and story, and to contact you when I had another book. When I was ready to do so, I discovered you were no longer at Hartline. But Diana was, and now she's my awesome agent! That story is a bit like how you get your novel ideas, isn't it?! Anyway, thanks for encouraging me to submit to Hartline another day. . . Blessings! Millie Samuelson :-)

  3. Nice to see you here, another side of your work that doesn't always come out of the woodwork during interviews and author chats.
    Meander Scar

  4. I feel "normal" now :-) I have a lot of ideas that come from asking the questions just like Andrea.

    Thank you,
    Angie (another Christian life coach.)

  5. Thanks Andrea for the article. I love reading stories from other authors. They usually mirror my own in some way or another.


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