by Marilyn Turk
People often ask me where I get my story ideas.
Well, the simple answer is from God.
But for me, the ideas come when I’m reading about some historical event. I wonder what it was like to live in that place at that time. And I ask the question, “What if?”
I call myself a “literary archaeologist,” because while digging through history, I discover stories.
For example, in my book The Gilded Curse, I discovered that German submarines were very close to American shores soon after the country entered the war, posing a threat to shipping and to civilians. On an island where the wealthy elite of the country had their club, I wondered “what would happen if these submarines came close to the island?
When I was asked to write a sequel to the story, I investigated what other true stories happened that my heroine could become involved in. The landing of Nazi spies on Long Island provided another “what if.” What if the heroine unknowingly comes into contact with these spies and befriends one of them, thus Shadowed by a Spy was created.
My series, Coastal Lights Legacy, is set at four different Florida lighthouses. When I was looking for the stories, I read the history of various lighthouses in the state and noticed something significant happened around the four I chose at different times. So Rebel Light is set in 1861, Revealing Light is set in 1883, Redeeming Light is set in 1875, and Rekindled Light is set in 1869. And of course, I asked “What if” my character was there during that time?
I’ve been asked if my books have a theme, and although I didn’t consciously plant a theme, I realized they all did, which is another “God thing.” Some of the themes are trust, truth, hope and faith.
Have you ever read about an event and wondered, “What if” you had been there? The answer to that question might just be a book.
Multi-published author Marilyn Turk calls herself a “literary archaeologist,” because she loves to discover stories hidden in history. Her World War II novel, The Gilded Curse, won a Silver Scroll award. When readers asked what happened to the characters after the book, Marilyn wrote the sequel, Shadowed by a Spy. Her four-book Coastal Lights Legacy series—Rebel Light, Revealing Light, Redeeming Light, and Rekindled Light—feature Florida lighthouse settings. In addition, Marilyn’s novella, The Wrong Survivor, is in the Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection. Marilyn has also written a book of devotions called Lighthouse Devotions. Marilyn also writes for the Daily Guideposts Devotions book.
She lives in the panhandle of Florida where she and her husband enjoy boating, fishing, and playing tennis when time permits (and it’s below 100 degrees).