For What It's Worth

Friday, July 19, 2013

Freedom Road Blog Tour: Guest post and giveaway!


Welcome to my stop on the Freedom Road Blog Tour with a guest post from author Tia Souders. Don't forget to fill out the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post to be entered to win the Win a Freedom Road Prize Pack!

Coming Up With Novel Ideas

The single, most commonly asked question is, “How do you come up with ideas for your books?” I, personally, have never gone looking for an idea. In fact, I actually have a handful of stories on the backburner, just waiting to be written. Where do I get these ideas? How do they just come to me?

In some ways the answer is easy, but there’s no magic formula for creating the basis of a good book. I find that ideas and/or inspiration for a book are all around us. Usually, a spark of an idea comes to me. It’s always very vague (hence the “spark”), but often comes from a snippet on the news, a talk show, a board game, or a conversation with someone, etc.

For my novel, Waiting On Hope, an image of a woman, so distraught, so desperate and depressed, she wanted to end her life came to mind. I, then, asked myself what would make her want to end everything. Rape came to mind, and so my idea started.

Developing the idea is more difficult and doesn’t come as easily. Brainstorming an entire plot is also another thing altogether, but the method I use to develop an idea, is one many authors use, including NYT bestseller Jodi Picoult. The “what if” method. “What if her rapist was her best friend’s husband?” “What if she found out she was pregnant?” “What if her best friend had been trying to conceive, unsuccessfully, for years?”  I asked myself “what if” with each scenario, until I had begun to develop the plot line and several points of conflict. This is a very effective way of building on ideas, and was, in fact, how my novel Waiting On Hope was born.

The idea for Freedom Road came from a conversation I had with someone about a movie. I had this image of a girl who formed a relationship with her elderly neighbor and there were secrets among them. Then, I had to figure out what this girl’s dream was, which I decided would be to play the guitar at Juilliard. Then, I asked myself, “What if she had one less finger?” “What if it was an accident, or not so accident caused by her father?” etc.

Three of my favorite ideas are for books I have yet to write. One I got from a snippet on the Today Show, another from a board game, and the third from a story that was somewhat folklore about a local business in my area.

The point is, I glean ideas from everything around me. It just depends on what strikes me and gives me that instantaneous spark. I always know it when I see or hear it, and it’s always exciting!



mail-1**FINALIST, USA Book Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2012**
**FINALIST, Next Generation Indie Awards, Young Adult Fiction, 2013**
**Second Place/Quarter-Finalist in the YA category of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards**

A father’s selfish demands, broken booze bottles, and unconscious mothers are everyday fixtures in eighteen-year-old Samantha Becker’s life. Armed with her guitar and music to keep her comfort in a volatile world, Sam’s one dream to study classical guitar at Juilliard may very well be her salvation. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” Sam’s ability to play the guitar dies along with her dreams of attending the renowned school. Losing all confidence in her future, Sam hides behind the emotional barriers that have protected her for years.

Just when Sam has given up, a budding friendship and an unexpected romance give her the hope she needs, forcing her to reevaluate all she’s ever known. With fresh conviction, Sam battles her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury. But will it be enough? Julliard auditions are almost here. Time’s running out, and Sam must re-learn to play the guitar or give up her dreams forever.

On SALE for a limited time! ONLY 99 Cents!

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Author Bio:

T.M. Souders was born in Johnstown, PA and grew up in the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh.  She graduated in 2004, from Youngstown State University, with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women’s Studies.  She is the author of bestselling women’s fiction novel, Waiting on Hope, as well as the novelette Dashing Through The Snow, and the three-time, award-winning YA novel, Freedom Road. She is the founder of The Serious Reader, a site dedicated to connecting with readers one book at a time. She currently lives in rural Ohio with her husband and children. You can visit the author and chat at her site  

GIVEAWAY – Win a Freedom Road Prize Pack!


    One 15oz. "I Love Freedom Road" Fan Mug
    A pair of purple teardrop earrings
    A CD of Samantha Becker's (the main character's) favorite Indie Music
    Sam's favorite YA book, "Revolution" in hardback by Jennifer Donnelly
    Earbuds
    A red, reusable cold drink tumbler with straw
    3 pack of mini notebooks with pen
    4 pack of mini candles
    3 pack of flip flop car air fresheners
    Candy: Mike 'n Ikes, Peanut M&M's, SweetTarts
    TM Souders bookmark & a personalized note from the author to YOU!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Wow I wish I could take part, lost of cool stuff to win :)

  2. I love that stories come from all over. It doesn't matter what you're doing but, all of a sudden, you turn around and see something that sparks an amazing idea that turns into a story. So cool.

  3. Oh the what if game. I think that is a fun way to look at stories even when it is as dark as the one you talked about. Sounds like an interesting book!

  4. I've never heard of authors using "what if", but that sounds brilliant, and like a natural progression.
    Thanks for sharing this really insightful post!

  5. Thank you, Karen, for having me on your wonderful blog! And thank you everyone for the comments, if you read the book, I hope you enjoy it!