You never know where you are going to get inspiration to spark an idea that ends up as a plot point in a story. Two unrelated events become one story. A couple years ago a friend of mine was doing research for a story about wolves. Teri Wilson was writing what would become Alaskan Sanctuary.
I use to volunteer at a horse rescue center. So when she told me about her story I was jealous that I had not thought of a story about a wild animal rescue. She sent me pictures of baby bats that had been orphaned and suggested I write about them.
Here is a post that is full of the pictures she shared with me – you have to look at them. You will see why I had to write about these little guys that are so important to our environment. Also living in the Texas Hill County they are essential in keeping insects under control.
Orphaned Baby Bats At This Australian Bat Hospital Are Too Adorable
Along the same time, I was dreaming up stories for my Texas Hill Country Wild Life Rescue a student made an impact on me.
A really polite kid that I knew was struggling to stay in school would hang out in the art studio. I would try to get him to think past the moment we were in and to think about his future. He was falling behind and it didn’t look like he would stay in school
One day in the art room he told me he didn’t see himself, graduating. His father and his three older brothers and all end up in prison and not a single one of the had a high school diploma. Forget talking about college – he didn’t see himself finishing high school.
He was such a sweet kid – helping others when they needed it. There were times when I thought we would lose him, but he stuck to it despite the obstacles he faced.
Not sure who cried more when he walked the stage me or his mother. He is now working on diesel engines and stops by the studio every now and then to say hi and show me his latest drawings.
Many people in my life inspire bits and pieces of my fictional characters. From there I shape characters that walk across the page. I love creating stories that make the wrongs in the world right. To make sure no matter their past, everyone can have a new future. Being a romance writer I love to throw in a happy ending too.
I knew I wanted a hero that had been given a script in life that he thought he had to follow, but with faith in God, he stepped out of his family’s shadow and made his own path. Reid McAllister became that hero. With a degree in wildlife management, he received while in prison he would be taking care of my baby bats.
Stories of redemption and forgiveness of others and self, are themes I love to write. Throw in baby bats, a secret marriage and twins and ou with have my latest release The Texan’s Twins. It’s up to pre-order now and the book will be released December 19 with the ebook dropping January 21 (which happens to be the day before my 50th birthday).
Do you have a favorite theme or type of story that you pick up to read above others? Is there a type of hero you can’t get enough of? Here is one last baby bat video.
Hi Jolene, interesting connections!! I have to say, where I grew up, bats were not really seen as cute- they make a huge mess, eat our fruit and can descend on the local park in plague proportions!
The moment with your student…so great to hear he graduated and what great inspiration for a story.
Thanks for stopping by. We live close to the river and large amounts of bats fly from the caves in the hill country to the river. At our house we don’t have a mosquito problem due to the bats. Local groups are trying to educate people about the bats and thier impact on the environment. We have a bigger problem with birds when it comes to fruit trees. :)
Hi Jolene! Thanks for the background story on the Texas Twins. I am not fond of bats, because in Michigan they get in people’s attics and chew the wiring, which is sometimes causes house fires. One year we had one that decided he wanted to reside in a corner by our patio door. I was afraid it would fly in the house when I let out the dog. Finally through not to gentle persuasion the bat hopefully returned to the ravine and not the neighbor’s house.
As a retired teacher, over my 30 year teaching career I had risk students who where certain they would not graduate. Often all these at risk students need a listening ear and an encouraging word, somebody to show they cared for them as a person – not for their grades, etc. Going the extra mile with them is worth it. Living in a small community, I have had students stop me at the grocery store or while pumping gas and thank me. Some of them would make great story characters. Best wishes.
Our bats in Texas live in caves and people are encouraged to have “bat houses” on large properties. It keeps them out of the house but we still get the benefits of them. There are thousands of bats that live in caves and under a large bridge in San Antonio. There are actually stands for people to sit and watch the bats leave for the night to hunt bugs. It is a spectacular site.
Your students were lucky to have you. It is so much more that “teaching.”
Thank you for stopping by,
This sounds liks a great book! I love the baby bat idea.
The type of story I’ll pick up above others is a story about a single mom. I have always enjoyed reading about single moms getting happy endings. I also really like stories about friends becoming more.
Friends that turn into a romantic couple is one of my favorite and if the women is a single mom!! Score. :)
Lori Smanski says
that is so awesome with that young man. what a wonderful thing that you were able to help him. those baby bats are so adorable. I love how lil drac rocks himself. thanks for shairng
Jolene Navarro says
I never thought of bats as cute, but those babies! :)
Diana Wise says
The book sounds great! When my brother graduated high school, I felt we should all walk up with him. He struggled with a lot of things that weren’t his fault. When my mother got custody of him he was flunking out of everything. He couldn’t study or sit still. He was used to skipping school. My mom and step father told him if they had to escort him to each class he was going to go. For homework they set a timer for 15 minutes, all he could handle, and then he got a short break. We all helped him with homework. He managed to get enough credits to graduate. We all were ecstatic. God bless!
Jolene Navarro says
Sometimes it takes a whole family. So happy God put y’all in his life.
Lucy M Reynolds says
I like to read about orphans. My mom was put in an orphanage at age five.
Jolene Navarro says
Wow. Some family stories and what kids have to go through make me sad.
Those baby bats are so cute it almost makes me want one. I like how you combined several things to make a story. This looks like a great book.
Jolene Navarro says
Thank you. I have to admit I had never thought of them as cute. Thank you for stopping by.
Hi Jolene! Those baby bats are so cute!! I would love to be a rehabilitationist working with them. I think the little bat rocking himself to sleep is precious :-)
Since I read a lot of historicals, I love mail-order bride or marriage of convenience stories. Those I choose probably more than any other. Really, as long as the story is well-written, it doesn’t matter much what theme they are. I also like friends to more because that’s my own love story with my husband :-)
The only ones I really don’t like are love triangles and secret baby ones.
I never have like love triangles either. Secret baby totally depends on how it is done. So much emotion! lol. I LOVE the mail-order bride. I had a series of those planned but the historical line I started writing for closed. Thank you so much for stopping by. :)
If you are talking about Love Inspired Historical, then yes I am very sad about that line closing :-( It’s my top favorite of Love Inspired and don’t understand why. I know a lot of my reader friends are also historical fiction fans plus I also influence for quite a number of the authors who wrote for them. I’ve been praying God would open it here avenues for our wonderful authors!
I meant “open up other avenues” …..autocorrect strikes again!