The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn by Amber A. Logan will release November 15 in the Paranormal Mystery genre.
Cracked doesn’t always mean broken.
Grieving her mother’s death, Mari Lennox travels to Kyoto, Japan to take photographs of Yanagi Inn for a client. As she explores the inn and its grounds, her camera captures striking images, uncovering layers of mystery shrouding the old resort—including an overgrown, secret garden on a forbidden island. But then eerie weeping no one else in the inn seems to hear starts keeping her awake at night.
Despite the warnings of the staff, Mari searches the deep recesses of the old building to discover the source of the ghostly sound, only to realize that her own family’s history is tied to the inn, its mysterious, forlorn garden . . . and the secrets it holds.
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Meet the Author:
Amber A. Logan is a university instructor, freelance editor, and author of speculative fiction living in Kansas with her husband and two children—Fox and Willow. In addition to her degrees in Psychology, Liberal Arts, and International Relations, Amber holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.
Brainstorming Story Ideas
By Amber A. Logan
One of my favorite parts of the writing process is brainstorming new story ideas. Before I start on a new novel, I like to come up with a half dozen ideas and then get feedback from my agent on what makes sense for the market. So every once in a while I get to gather up all my notes and create a story idea list.
I am a huge plotter, so a lot of my discovery process comes before I put any words on the page. Whenever I have a spark of an idea, I jot it down in an “Ideas” file in the Notes app on my phone; sometimes it’s a cool setting, or a bizarre item, or a specific type of character. For example, I have “an illness where the only treatment is a hallucinogenic drug” and “Roman curse tablets” and “creepy water spirit someone is indebted to” written on my list, along with various stories I may want to retell (The Scarlet Letter, The Velveteen Rabbit). I also have lengthier paragraphs of vague plot ideas that have occurred to me while driving, at the grocery store, etc.
When it comes time to compose my story idea list, I pull up my “Ideas” file and start connecting dots. Would any of my cool settings be an intriguing backdrop for one of the classics I want to retell? Can the creepy water spirit be tied together with the Roman curse tablets somehow? Could The Velveteen Rabbit involve the illness where the only treatment is a hallucinogenic drug? (Ok, now my mind is running down a weird little rabbit hole—pun intended.)
Sometimes these odd combinations don’t go anywhere, and that’s totally fine—I just let them percolate longer. But sometimes they spur a fantastic idea, and I start outlining a plot at a furious speed. Those are the ideas that make it onto my story ideas list that I send to my agent. If I’m not excited about the concept, I won’t be excited about writing the novel. And if there’s one thing I need to have in order to successfully shepherd a novel through every step of the process, it is passion for the concept at its heart.
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