The Birth of Book Ideas by Cara Putman

Shadowed by Grace Banner

Cara Putman


Today, our Guest Author is Cara Putman, who agreed to chat with us about The Birth of Book Ideas and share with us her creative process for her newest book, just released this month–Shadowed by Grace.


Shadowed by Grace, Monuments Men Series

Shadowed by Grace, Monuments Men

When a book is born, there’s a scary moment, hour, or week. As an author, I sit at the computer with the germ of an idea, a blank document page, and a blinking cursor. Somewhere, somehow, I have to find 90,000 words that will communicate a story that will captivate me…my editors…and eventually readers.

And it all starts with a blinking cursor on a blank screen.

Really it starts before then.

A germ of an idea comes from somewhere.

For Shadowed by Grace, that spark came when I saw a non-fiction book at the library. All it took was the cover photo: a clearly WWII soldier holding a painting. As I read some of the stories of the Monuments Men, my imagination began spinning questions. What would it be like to be a sculptor, museum curator, or architect who joins the army to help protect art and architecture?

Many of these men were not soldiers, but others had been in the reserves. Some came in as privates after basic training, others as officers because they’d already been in one of the services.

Still a fascination won’t be enough to fill one page let alone more than 300 pages of a novel. But as I play with an idea, eventually characters show up. When a hero or heroine arrives, I play with them until I know what his or her journey will look like. With Shadowed by Grace, Scott Lindstrom showed up first. Once I knew who he was, I started developing a heroine who would compliment and challenge him. I didn’t expect the book to become Rachel’s story.

And eventually, if I come back to my computer often enough the story is written and makes its debut into print and e-versions.

About the book:

Rachel Justice is desperate to save her dying mother. She doesn’t want to leave her, but she accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy and photograph war images. No one knows her photography is a cover and that Rachel is really seeking to find the father she never knew, hopeful to get some help with her failing mother. Dedicated to her mission, Rachel is focused on completing it. Soon, though, she finds her priorities and plans changing when she is assigned to Lt. Scott Lindstrom, on mission as a Monument Man. Their meeting will have far-reaching consequences. Will this derail her plans? Will she ever find her father? Is her faith enough to carry her through?

Read the first chapter here.

You can purchase Shadowed by Grace, at Christianbook.comBarnes & NobleAmazon, Lifeway, and anywhere else books are sold.

Connect with Cara on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreads.

Book Giveaway


CONGRATULATIONS to Dana McNeely who won the signed copy of Shadowed by Grace


16 responses to “The Birth of Book Ideas by Cara Putman”

  1. Amyc says:

    Lovely post with Cara. Interesting how she came up with the idea of this book.
    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  2. Jackie Mcnutt says:

    I found it amazing that Cara was able to develop her book from the cover on a non fiction book at the library. truly God has given a great Blessing to all authors to be able to create books that reach so many peoples lives.
    Thank you Mona & Cara as you both are among that group. I enjoy your writings.

  3. Barbara Thompson says:

    It’s amazing to me when a writer like Cara sits at a computer with a blank page and a blinking cursor, but over a period of time there will be a great novel.

  4. Norma Downing says:

    I liked the way she got her idea from a picture. It shows her imagination and creativity.

  5. cynthia fernstaedt says:

    Interesting how even your thoughts on a book change as it unravels. You found the character, then developed his heroine and it becomes her story.

  6. Camille says:

    That a single picture could inspire an entire novel is incredible, can’t wait to read it and to also see the movie Monument Men.

  7. Rhonda Lovell says:

    I can not wait to read this book. As I’m getting older, history is becoming more fascinating to me. I can only imagine how this young lady is feeling, desperate to find a father she never knew, yet knowing her mother is ill at home. I hope to win this book. Thank you so much for your writing.

    God Bless.

  8. Love to read this sounds so good. Enjoyed the blog.

  9. Patty says:

    I think the ideas would not be to hard to come up with, but writing 90k works would be daunting! Thanks for sharing Cara.

  10. Dana McNeely says:

    It’s interesting to hear that a seasoned author still has those scary moments. Best wishes, Cara, for your book’s success.

  11. Nancy says:

    I have not read your books. This one looks so interesting. I would be excited to win it!!! You can pick Me Me Me

  12. I am fascinated with an author’s idea process and find it so amazing!

    What I found most interesting is how Cara described transforming an idea into a novel. As she said, “A fascination won’t be enough to fill one page let alone more than 300 pages of a novel. But as I play with an idea, eventually characters show up.” I love that after her hero, Scott, showed up, she developed a heroine who would compliment and challenge him.

    I can’t wait to meet Scott and Rachel!! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of SHADOWED BY GRACE!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  13. This book looks soo good. Would love to read.

  14. Mona Hodgson says:

    Good to see you all here! Blessings and Happy Reading!

  15. Mona Hodgson says:

    Thanks so much for the intriguing post, Cara. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Blessings!

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