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Guest Post/Giveaway by author Adria Cimino

Reality? Imagination? Or a Bit of Both? Where I Get My Story Ideas
By Adria J. Cimino

I’ve written about four strangers in Paris, magical parties and déjà vu, a woman facing workplace discrimination, and two perfumers on a quest for an elusive formula. Not all in one book! No, these are stories you’ll find in my four novels: Paris, Rue des Martyrs, Close to Destiny, The Creepshow and A Perfumer’s Secret.

And within each main story come other details, characters and anecdotes. People, even those who are the closest to me, often ask me “Where do you find your ideas?” or say “You’ve got quite an imagination there…”

My stories are usually the result of an encounter, a real life situation or my imagination combined with a real life situation.

For Paris, Rue des Martyrs, as I lived in a Parisian neighborhood, I wondered what would happen if some of the people I passed daily met and their lives entwined. A stay at a mysterious London hotel plus my overactive imagination resulted in Close to Destiny. After ten years working within the financial industry and much observation, The Creepshow, a story of the glass ceiling, was born. A Perfumer’s Secret started with my introduction to perfume in France.


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Now those are the basic ideas, but what really makes a story unique and interesting are the details and characters. I don’t come up with these on the spot. I’ve been collecting them all along. I’ll explain. In real life, I’m kind of shy. I observe a lot and store much of what I see and hear in my own personal “cloud” in my head. But it isn’t nearly as organized as the storage of most computer data! It’s more like what my grandmother used to call her “junk drawer.” Whenever I would look for something random, she would say “Go look in the junk drawer,” and usually I would find what I was searching for—or something even better. The same thing happens in my writing process.

As I write a novel, I may reach back into my own personal junk drawer and remember someone I saw at a café five years ago. It might be an attitude or expression that struck me at the time, and that will end up as part of one of my characters today. I love mixing and matching real life experiences, entwining them with pure fiction… and voila!

The junk drawer came in handy for my latest novel, The Creepshow. Through my years surrounded by fund managers, traders, investment bankers and business journalists, I had seen and heard a lot. I could recreate the personalities, environment and situations by an exploration of the junk drawer. A couple of early readers of The Creepshow have said “this doesn’t seem realistic.” Ironically, for this book, I relied less on my imagination than ever before.

Remember the old saying: Truth is stranger than fiction. And that is exactly why real life experiences, reshaped with a touch of imagination, make wonderful stories.


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About the Book:
(click the cover for more info)

The Creepshow

About the Author:

Adria J. Cimino

Adria J. Cimino is the author of Amazon Best-Selling novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs and Close to Destiny, as well as The Creepshow (release April 2016) and A Perfumer’s Secret (release May 2016). She also co-founded boutique publishing house Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. Adria is a member of Tall Poppy Writers, which unites bright authors with smart readers. She lives in Paris with her husband, Didier, and daughter, Phèdre. When she isn’t writing, you can find Adria at her neighborhood café watching the world go by.

Find her here:

Twitter: @Adria_in_Paris
Amazon author page:


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  • Reply Pauline Wiles

    I agree that truth can often be way stranger than fiction! I have gleaned several ideas from news articles which seem almost too bizarre to be true. I love the concept of your “junk drawer” – I must embrace that concept!

    April 12, 2016 at 3:35 pm
  • Reply Vicki Lesage

    The junk drawer! What a great concept!

    April 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm
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