When I finish one book, I usually wait a week before I start the next. This just gives me time to clear the past book out of my head and begin the process of plotting the next one. I usually write it in my head for several days before I actually put words on paper. During this time I like to have some fun with my three co-workers at the evil day job. These women are educated (two have doctorates) funny, and always full of good ideas. I start things off at lunch by saying, "I'm thinking about writing about..." It never fails, Elle, Carri, and Kris will jump in with some ideas about what I should add or leave out in the next story. Now given the fact none of them have ever actually read one of my books or any erotica story, some of their suggestions are pretty funny.
But one of my favorite things is when they help me pick names. Name of characters and the name of the book itself. Elle actually came up with the name Cowboy Combo for my ménage a trois and I loved it as soon as I heard it. Names of characters can at times be challenging. There is nothing that ruins a good book for me faster then a character with a name I can't pronounce, something that is so out there that it makes me cringe every time I get to it. I like names that are common, but not so common that every other person has that name. Shorter is always better, I have to type this name several times and a longer name is just time consuming. Sometimes I have been known to change the name of a character mid-book, thankfully Word makes this a simple process. When I throw a name out at the girls and they make a face, I don't use it. For example the story I just finished which will be named Cast in Stone, the second book in the series The Men of Tennessee's male lead was originally going to be named Darrell, but it got such a strong reaction of dislike from my three coworkers that I changed it to Beau. They were right once I started writing he became Beau. Thanks ladies :). Sometimes a character will just tell me what their name is and that just makes my job much easier. Piper in Cowboy Combo did this. Piper isn't a name I am that fond of, but that is what she wanted to be called. It's like having lots of children and trying to name them all. Names are important. They evoke images in my head, for example a Heather makes me think she is pretty before I even met her and Ethel not so much. Would Suzy be just as sweet as Bertha?