Several people have asked, “What inspired Agnes’s story?”
Lakeside Sweethearts is the story of two longtime best friends who work together on a community project and try not to risk their hearts.
When I introduced Agnes in Lakeside Family, my second novel, as a secondary character, I didn’t expect to write her story until several readers commented how much they loved her character.
I needed to get to know Agnes and figure out who she was and where she came from. Little did I realize her sass and sarcasm masked a broken heart and feelings of unworthiness…feelings many of us may have struggled with a time or two.
Ian had been introduced in Lakeside Family as Josie’s insurance man. I didn’t expect him to be the hero in my next book, but in Lakeside Family, I had hinted that he was in love with Agnes.
So, as I brainstormed, different questions ran through my head…
Why was Ian still single?
How well did Ian and Agnes know each other?
What about her drew his attention?
How did Agnes feel about Ian?
I remembered a friend suggesting I write a “boy next door” novel. I considered Agnes’s friendship with Ian and realized he was the perfect boy next door, and that cemented their relationship. They had been best friends for over twenty years. Although they’ve been there for each other since childhood, their timing has always been off.
A wonderful woman in our community has a heart for helping women overcome addiction, and she started a community project to create a transitional home for paroled females overcoming addiction.
Her House of Hope project inspired the external conflict in Lakeside Sweethearts.
Ian’s sister will be released from prison, and his family is restoring an old house into a transitional home for paroled females—Agape House.
He asks for Agnes’s help, and she’s so willing until she learns the house they purchased for their project. Now they’re asking the impossible. After all, the place they plan to restore into a house of hope is nothing more than a house of pain for her.
As I wrote this story, expecting a lighthearted, fun read, I realized Lakeside Sweethearts is more than a sweet Christian romance about two best friends falling in love. It’s about God’s unconditional love for each one of us and his restoration of the broken pieces in our lives into something beautiful. After all, He makes everything beautiful in its time.
Your Turn: What kinds of stories do you like to read about? If you’re a writer, what inspires your plots?