Friday, 7 August 2015

Inspiration: A Hot Sexy Buttefly Named Eric by Samantha Bohrman

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In the beginning of a project, inspiration is a whimisical little butterfly. Sometimes I find it in a childhood memory. Sometimes it arrives while I’m bored in a dentist’s waiting room playing “What if.” The first glimmer of inspiration for Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality came to me while I was studying for the Minnesota Bar Exam. 

Each section of my study materials left its mark on my Ruby:
·      Property law: I imagined an elderly lady with a house filled with QVC purchases. Her children were fighting over them as if they were precious jewels.
·      Criminal law: The old lady became a co-consipirator in a bank robbery. My heroine, Ruby, leapt to her rescue. The arresting officer was a cute cop named Eric. Here’s Eric. Imagine him coming out of my head in a thought bubble.

·      Land use: A sexy zoning commissioner came to life and began flirting with my Ruby. He has brown hair and a chin dimple.
·      Professional ethics: I cut that section of the book. Incidentally, I skipped that class most of the time, too.

Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality is basically a fictionalized accounting of everything I was supposed to learn in law school. If you’ve ever been interested in going to law school, you should probably just read my book instead. It’s less stressful, significantly cheaper, and is filled with attractive people and sparkly shoes. It’s how life should be.

Inspiration changes during the revision process, though. I like revising because it’s time to flesh out the characters, accentuate the themes, and generally bedazzle the whole book. For Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality, I identified the elusive nature of the American Dream as a major theme. That’s when I decided to weave the Wizard of Oz through my work. I changed my main character’s name to Ruby, dyed her hair red, and moved her to Kansas. Previously, she went by Helen.

I’ve found that the more I work, the more ideas I have.  When I’m working full throttle my mind is like a satellite dish pointed at Planet Inspiration. It comes in better than HBO and it’s free.

So there you have it. Inspiration begins as a butterfly and turns into a satellite orbiting earth that I can access with my mind antenna. This might show another phase of inspiration, the phase where I’ve been in my own head too long and need a friend to say, “WTF is your problem, girlfriend! Come back to earth!” I love my friends.

Now that Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality is out in the world, I’m back to my own reality, but I’m already chasing a few more butterflies.


Shortly after graduating from law school, Samantha had three children and began writing books. She never looked back, but she suspects her husband has. You can often find her in the aisles of Target looking at scarves and forgetting to buy broccoli and eggs. If it's a good day she'll be holding a latte. If it's not, try not to stare. Ruby's Misadventures with Reality is her first book, though hopefully not her last. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at

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