The answer may be different for everyone. I've answered the question about the inspiration behind Eye on the Ball so many times in blog posts and author interviews. I think a better question would be to ask where did I get the idea for the series Playing for Glory from? The answer to that is totally different.
The first seed for writing romance novels about rugby might have been planted years ago while I listened to radio broadcasts with my father and the rest of the family. It might have been spending Saturdays driving from one game to the other watching my three brothers until we ended up at Loftus for the big game of the day, Northern Transvaal against whatever other team. It might have been planted on a cold and miserable November day in Edinburgh, cheering on the Springboks played against Scotland at Murrayfield. Or getting up early and staying up late to watch the World Cup, fighting with my team and for them.
No, that is also not the answer. Those were just hours and hours of research.
I believe that the first seed was planted while sipping champagne on the Fourth of July in 2016, on a boat cruise down the Hudson, watching the fireworks. A chance meeting with a young rugby player from Jersey who was my fellow passenger on the cruise, might have been the instigator. I don’t know his name but when he learned I’m South Africa, he mentioned the Springboks and that set us off talking about rugby. I discovered that night that rugby had become a global game.
I still did not know then that I was going to write about it, or that there was a romance novel somewhere buried in me. That only came on the flight from New York to OR Tambo when I could not sleep. After a couple of days overcoming the jetlag, I seemed to unpack the muse with the rest of my luggage. For six months I wrote almost non-stop until I felt brave enough to show my work to a writing coach. I still needed to do a few re-writes before I submitted Eye on the Ball and the series, Playing for Glory to publishers. But now, only eighteen months later, Eye on the Ball was released on 19 March 2018.
It just proves that you need to keep your eyes open. Be receptive. You may never know where you'll get your inspiration from.