Lesfic author Laina Villeneuve discusses where her ideas come from and the strange interaction that made its way into her new novel Cure for Insomnia
Many of the ideas for my lesfic books are drawn from my own experiences and interesting or funny things I’ve heard people say. I’ve written before about the experiences that have contributed to my books, and the same was certainly true for Cure for Insomnia. (To read more about the story of meeting my wife lead and my new book, check out parts one and two of “Science is Sexy.”) In my newest lesfic romance, Karla Hernandez is a research scientist in a diabetes lab. Her mentoring of young scientists provides the answer to her troubled sleep patterns. Some of the ideas I incorporated into this book have a very clear genesis while others are harder to place.
I don’t fully trust my memory and often jot down a brief conversation or anecdote that might make its way into a story. The thing is, I rarely go searching through those notes. I did to write this blog and found a bunch of things I hope to use someday.
For example, once my sister said, “Sex is sex.” Our mom answered, “Shows what she knows.”
One exchange I don’t recall, like this one:
“We’ll be there before you know it.”
“What? We’ll be there and I won’t know it?”
Who said that? One of my children, I think. I wrote it down thinking it will make good dialogue someday.
I absolutely do remember that I got teased so badly by my peers in high school when I drove my grandma’s Ford Tempo to school for a week. She had a vanity plate that said LEZ TMPO. Her name was Ellie. But not one of my peers read “Ellie’s Tempo,” not one.
I never dreamed that I would be able to use the experience that sneaked into Cure for Insomnia. More than twenty years ago, I sat down with the director of human resources at the college that was hiring me full time. I thought it was a temporary one-year position and was utterly shocked when I saw the words Tenure Track at the top of the contract.
“Oh, yes,” the woman said. “You will absolutely get tenure. Unless you have sex with a goat in front of the library at noon, you’ll have tenure in four years.”
Being the person I am, I talked about that with the other new hires. The director had not given any of them that warning. One woman said that the director told her she’d get tenure if she didn’t pop movies in and go back to her office for the class session. I guess she looked at me and thought I might have a weakness for goats.
I’m just tickled that whatever trick of memory brought the goat one back at just the right time. It earned me a coveted happy face from my editor in the first round of edits for Cure for Insomnia. When you get to the bit about the goat in the story, you’ll have some insight to where we authors come up with our ideas… At least some of them!