The Forbidden Bean Origins

Ever wonder how authors come up with ideas? I’ve worked in a chain coffee store for years, and don’t get me wrong, it’s a great job with great benefits, but after five years there I kept thinking, there’s got to be a way to make money from this. Hmm. Wonder if I could write a book incorporating some of my experiences. One day I took the “what ifs” I’d been fooling around with and sat at a table in a local Starbucks (with a caramel macchiato as I recall) and started exploring the possibilities. Transcribed below are the actual notes I wrote that day:
Urban Fantasy 4/8/08
Starbucks – espresso – reaction – gives special magical powers.
Short stories?
Darrell’s check.
She solves problems of customers.
But what gives HER the special powers?
An allergy?
Her body chemistry?
Something she adds to the espresso in the right combination?
Her apron becomes a cape
She finds a bag of beans buried in the back room – that says DO NOT TOUCH or DO NOT USE.
Peaberry blend
The glow? The sparkle?
Maybe she eats a coffee bean and when she does she’s magically transformed into Super Barista.
What problems can she solve? She can help her other barista co-workers as well as customers.
Lots of short stories here.
What are problems?
Maybe she creates connections for people w/problems who can solve them. Or does she solve them herself? Is she the conduit/catalyst?
Job loss
The Economy
No money for college
Natural Disaster
Car Trouble
Gas prices
She finds struggling people and finds a way to help them.
No, she gets severe ESP so she knows things about people she shouldn’t know. John Edward type stuff? Death related. She can see ghosts or angels. Communicates with other worldly beings (make them up?)
She becomes other worldly temporarily. Solves crimes? Brings criminals to justice? Must be a downside for her. After effect is either detrimental to her physically or emotionally. Maybe she disconnects from her “real” life and becomes more and more involved in other world. Why doesn’t she stop? Because she’s addicted. Maybe a weekly or monthly addiction? What happens if she doesn’t get her fix?

This is how the book that became The Forbidden Bean began. It took almost four years, feedback, rejection and criticism from fellow authors, agents and editors before I said, “Screw it!” and published it myself.
I now have pages and pages of notes and ideas for subsequent books in the series I call Grinding Reality. (Tee is assistant manager of a coffee store. Thus the series title.) I am working on the second book in the series which might be entitled Cool Beans. There’s a preview of it at the end of The Forbidden Bean.Looking for something different to read? Here it is.
Grinding Reality Book One: The Forbidden Bean by AJ Tillock
An excerpt and buy links are on my web site:

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