My inspiration to write a novel began years ago in a Wyoming writers group. We’d heard dime novels were making a comeback, so we each decided to write one. How hard could it be? The books were short—one-hundred pages or less.
Though the resurgence of dime novels was short-lived, I now had a plot for a longer book. A young woman would tire of life in the big city—Pittsburgh, to be exact—and move to Wyoming. Sad to say, that was the entire plot. So, of course, my attempt to write the story quickly bogged down, because it was going nowhere. But I didn’t give up. Instead, I read books about writing, attended writing classes, workshops and conferences, joined another critique group, submitted early chapters to contests to receive feedback from judges—and kept working on the novel.
In the meantime, I wrote a nonfiction book about a street ministry and another about a prison ministry. And I began leading Bible studies in a women’s prison. That’s when the notion entered my head that the protagonist would be a young woman who’d just been released from prison in Pennsylvania. She would move to Wyoming to escape her past. But, of course, her past would follow her and try to drag her back to that former life.
As you can see, my inspiration for Winds of Wyoming did not come in a one-time “ah-ha!” moment. My path to formulating a believable plotline was indirect and my journey to publication long and slow, but I learned much about fiction writing along the way. Based on reader feedback, the result was worth the delay.
Although debut novelist Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, she and her husband, Steve, currently live in the neighboring state of Idaho. She enjoys the creativity and beauty that abound throughout her adopted state as well as opportunities to hike, camp, snowshoe and cross-country ski in the midst of God’s grandeur. Her nonfiction titles, both available on Amazon, are It's a God Thing! Inspiring Stories of Life-Changing Friendships and On a Wing and a Prayer–Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry. http://www.beckylyles.com