posted on May 16, 2017 by Mary J. Williams


(Or How I Found My Muse In Music)

WHERE DO YOU get your ideas?

As questions go, writers probably hear this one as often as any. Not just from readers, friends, family, and casual acquaintances. We ask ourselves the same thing. Often. Sometimes on a daily basis.

The answer isn’t simple. I guarantee if you were to query 100 different authors, you would receive 100 different responses. Because like the books we write and our method of writing them, where we get our inspiration is an individual thing.

I can only answer for myself. For me, the majority of my stories begin with a song. Or rather, a song title.

Few things were set in stone when I sat down to write my first book. I don’t plot my stories. But I knew I was going to do a three book series. Standalone novels about childhood friends who, after ten years, are back in their hometown.

The inspiration came from a song by Lari White that was never a hit or released as a single. But from the first time I heard the opening notes, it has stuck with me.


Without hearing the words, the title alone is a great starting point for any writer. For me, I knew this would be book three in my series. The tread of the hero and heroines story weaving through the first two books, hopefully intriguing readers.

The fictional town of Harper Falls was born. As was my ongoing source of inspiration. Song titles. The other linking thread? Each song—each book—begins with the same word. IF I LOVED YOU. IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES. IF YOU ONLY KNEW. And the Christmas novella, IF I HAD YOU.

I recently published my eighteenth novel. Book one in a brand new series. FOR A LITTLE WHILE take place in the world of professional baseball. FOR ANOTHER DAY releases next month. FOR ALL WE KNOW and FOR THE FIRST TIME later this year.

Find a consistent theme. Something that makes your books memorable. That was one of the best pieces of advice that I received when I was first starting out.

So far so good.

If you would like to get a better idea of my muses, here a playlist I put together of all my book—borrowed from songs—titles.

Have a great summer. And happy reading.


Mary J. Williams

Mary J. Williams

It Has Always Been My Dream To Write A Book

And I always knew it would be a romance novel. When I was a teenager I assumed my book would have a historical setting, those were the kinds of stories I liked best, I even grew my hair long so I could be like the heroines in my favorite stories. But now I see myself and my books in the present dealing with the joys and sorrows of our modern world. Harper Falls is a place my imagination dreamed up, but it is based in reality. I grew up in Washington State and went to school in a small town on the Columbia River. Harper Falls is that town but an idealized version. I hope you enjoy reading about the town and the characters.

And as much as I enjoyed telling their stories, these books are not the end of my dream but the beginning.

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