How Diane Burton came up with the idea for One Red Shoe…

I am thrilled to introduce the latest release from Diane Burton, partly because she’s a friend, partly because it’s a FABULOUS book, and partly because I had the privilege of editing One Red Shoe through The Wild Rose Press.

Thanks, Alicia, for having me back on your blog. I chose a topic with a question I think every writer has been asked.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Normally when asked where I get the ideas for my books, I freeze. I can’t really say this is the spark that started me on this or that book. Ideas are everywhere—newspaper or magazine articles, a tidbit overheard in a restaurant or doctor’s waiting room, television shows or entertainment news. Sometimes the idea will come to me as I’m trying to go to sleep or in the twilight just before waking.

With One Red Shoe, I know exactly what started this story. A writing exercise at my local RWA chapter meeting. We usually have a program with a speaker. This time it was writing on demand. One of our members set up this scenario: a train station, a person running toward you. Then we were given 10-15 minutes to write the scene. The first thing that popped in my head was a New York City subway station and a tourist. “The man limping toward her wore one red shoe.” Over many revisions of the story, that was the first line.

The story started to take off. Then I thought subways are busy places. Wouldn’t others see him? But what if they meet in the ladies’ restroom? That worked even better…or so I thought. I’m from the Motor City where we love our cars and public transportation is minimal. I’d used the Metro in Toronto and Washington, DC, but I’d never been in a NYC subway station. During a writers’ conference, I convinced some friends to take the subway with me. After much laughing confusion over one girl’s efforts to get through the turnstyle, we all got on the train. What did I discover on that memorable trip? New York subway stations do not have restrooms. Scratch that idea.

Like all writers, I’m always learning—whether it’s a conference workshop, a program at the Mid-Michigan RWA meeting, or a blog. The longer I wrote the more I learned, including that you have to begin your story in the right place. Not too early with a lot of backstory. But not so far into the action that the reader doesn’t know the characters well enough to care about them. So One Red Shoe begins before the hero and heroine meet. Just not in a subway station.

Thank you, Diane…it was so cool to hear how this story came to be. Those writing exercises can be very beneficial. And I love that you kept coming up with different scenarios and having to discard them because of logistics and other factors. 🙂

Now, for a little peek at Diane’s latest release: (Isn’t her cover AMAZING???)


Blurb for One Red Shoe:

Wannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?


For the second time in her life, Daria Mason came face-to-face with a man pointing a weapon at her. A pervert, with unzipped jeans, wielded a green box knife. Because she’d raced into the restroom without checking out the situation, he now stood between her and the exit.

She was at the end of the proverbial rope. After walking in circles, she finally found a restroom and nobody was stopping her from using it. Especially not someone playing copycat with that guy in the movie who wore one red shoe.

“I am having a really bad day,” she declared in the don’t cross me voice she used on her brothers. As soon as her words echoed off the hideous pink and black tiled walls and floor, she lowered her voice. “You are in the wrong place, mister. Now zip up and get out.” She pointed straight-armed toward the door.

The man shook his head and set the flimsy knife on the counter. “Lady, you have more guts than sense. You are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” His voice was even softer than hers. He eyed her with a look so dark and intense it paralyzed her like a hawk freezing its prey. She swallowed past the fear in her throat, certain it sounded like a gulp.

One Red Shoe is available at Amazon for Kindle : Click Here to Purchase

Thanks again, Alicia, for helping me celebrate the release of my brand new book.

About Diane…


Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing science fiction romance. Besides the Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

Connect with Diane Burton online




Goodreads: Diane Burton Author



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19 responses to “How Diane Burton came up with the idea for One Red Shoe…

  1. Alicia, I love your intro. I can’t thank you enough for liking my story enough to encourage TWRP to buy it. And that wonderful cover! Wow! Thanks again for having me on your blog.


  2. You are most welcome…I am truly thrilled that you came to me at TWRP, and that you had such a great experience with them.


  3. I remember that turnstile well! I was particularly impressed by how helpful New Yorkers were in getting our unfortunate friend through it. Research . . . one of the most fun benefits to our craft. Got ONE RED SHOE One Clicked and ready to read. Can’t wait to see how it’s changed from its initial inception.


  4. Those writing exercises are wonderful for getting the ideas going. And I know what you mean about having to change things when you find out the things you’ve wrirtten won’t work. Gotta love those rewrites! Congrats on the new release.


  5. Love writing exercises-especially with chapter mates and especially when they lead to wonderful stories like I’m sure this one is! Congrats on the release, Diane!


  6. Jessica Subject

    I love to hear how stories got started, and I think it’s awesome that you actually went to NY to do some research! That’s always fun when it’s possible. 🙂

    All the best with your new release!


  7. What a fun inspiring story. Everywhere ideas come from, there is a piece of us in them! I wish you all the best Diane!


  8. Reading the post was almost as much fun as reading the blurb and excerpt. I like the idea of starting your story at the right place. Can’t wait to read this one. All the best with it, Diane.


  9. Wow, love the premise, Diane! Can’t wait to read this!


  10. This is teriffic, Diane – I saw another post about it (probably at your site) and I love that this was a different excerpt! I’m piecing it together, since I’m too poor to buy it. lol Also, I think the reason I like your cover so much is that it reminds me of vintage crime noir. I never read that genre, but I loved those vintage pulp fiction covers. 🙂


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