Strangers on a Train: The Origin Stories
Ruthie Knox: Hi, Ex Libris readers! Stella has generously offered us a chance to drop by and talk about our new release, a linked series of novellas called Strangers on a Train. This series was born on Twitter, of all places. One day I saw a link to a Tumblr called Hot Guys on the Train, which is exactly what it sounds like. I shared the link and got to talking with my writing pals Samantha Hunter, Serena Bell, Donna Cummings, and Meg Maguire about how many great story ideas the Tumblr was generating for us. There’s something so fertile about this idea of being attracted to a man on a train and secretly taking his picture. We decided that very day to put together a story collection – five shorts of about 20,000 words, which, taken together, would be as long as a full romance novel. A few months later, it was done!
Big Boy by Ruthie Knox
Mandy doesn’t want romance, but monthly role-playing dates with her stranger on a train—each to a different time period—become the erotic escape she desperately needs. And a soul connection she never expected.
Big Boy, was a joy to write. I think my initial idea had something to do with the woman with the camera getting caught by one of the men she was secretly photographing, but that story didn’t go anywhere in my head. Meanwhile, I had this hilarious brainstorm that I should set my story at the National Railroad Museum, which is here in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where I live. I was going there all the time with my son. But the more I thought about it, the less funny and the more awesome it sounded. A hero and heroine who met after hours at the train museum for role-playing dates – how cool is that? But they didn’t know each other’s real names or anything about each other because . . . reasons. I was off!
Samantha Hunter: Ruthie has covered how we came up with the idea on Twitter, and my initial story idea hit me right then, in that Twitter conversation (in fact, I think I was brainstorming a story idea based on the blog before we even talked about doing the series…then the conversation sort of took off). But those first ideas were extremely different than what Tight Quarters ended up being, as often happens.
Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter
Reid isn’t happy about the mix-up that saddles him with a claustrophobic roommate on his New York train tour. Then his weekend with Brenna progresses to a weekend fling, and so much more.
Back on Track by Donna Cummings
A wine tour isn’t enough to take Matt’s mind off his baseball slump—until sexy, funny Allie plops into the adjacent seat and tells him three things about herself. One of them, she says, is a lie. Then Allie lets slip one truth too many…
Encountering her workaholic ex on her commuter train is the surprise of Amy’s life. Especially since Jeff seems hell-bent on winning her back.
At the end of Caitlin’s commute, her extended flirtation with a handsome stranger finds them facing a frigid winter night locked in an unheated subway station.
Ruthie Knox | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Serena Bell | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Samantha Hunter | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Donna Cummings | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Meg Maguire | website | Twitter | Goodreads
Have you ever had a random idea that turned into something bigger and cooler than you ever expected? Or have you ever developed a crush on someone on your commute?
Tell us your Stranger on a Train stories in the comments! One random commenter will win a set of all five Strangers on a Train stories in the digital format of your choice. (Ebooks only.)