Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Inspires You?

With the bubbling up of my latest book idea, I got to thinking about that crazy thing called inspiration. I always find it interesting to hear people say they would love to write a book but that they can't come up with a good idea. For me, the idea formulation part of the process is the _easy_ part. I mean, I can come up with a million ideas just going to the mall and observing the nutjobs I run in to. (G) So, anyway -- I got to thinking about what inspired me to write my various wip's.

Child of the Mist was obviously inspired by the Outlander series. And NO, it's not fanfiction. LOL. I actually made a very concerted effort to distinguish it from DG's books. Whether I succeeded is another thing. (g) I read it now and I do a DOUBLE GAK at my poor attempts at dialect -- depending on when I wrote it, of course. LOL. It may be that first book that remains under the bed my entire life. But you never know - I do love my story and characters. It needs a major overhaul, though. Several friends are demanding I finish it _someday_ -- we'll see.

FAKING IT was obviously inspired by my own experiences with investigative work. My friends and family loved to hear my stories from UC and well, they always encouraged me to write a book. I actually thought maybe I'd write a nonfic book at some point, but heck, I'm not sure anyone would want to read that. Honestly, my experiences, while extraordinary to most people, would pale in comparison to most UC agents. So, fiction has allowed me the freedom to make things more interesting and HELLA funny. (g)

BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT is actually my first attempt to write according to market demands. I've always wanted to try YA -- mostly because I was a huge fan of Christopher Pike, etc. when I was younger. I read on an agents blog that werewolves were super hot, so I sort of melded an idea from when I was younger with a werewolves motif. Despite it's strange origin, it's become quite the book -- LOVE it.

Then I have my dream inspired wip's -- THE BRAEDEN and SHADOW WALKER. Both are straight from dreams -- with some elaboration on my part. Dreams are such a great source -- a dream also helped me flesh out COTM. My characters appeared and shed light on a gaping plot hole and introduced an entirely new character.

Then the latest idea from last night. Not ready to go into it yet, but I will say it was inspired by the Virginia Tech tragedy.

So -- what inspired you to write your particular genre/book, etc?


Carol said...

Hi Jen,

What a great question. Hmm, inspiration for COF? This is easy. I have always loved this time period. I read an article that mentioned a woman who lived during the American Revolution. The mention of her story was brief but very inspiring. I felt her story had to be told. Although it is a subplot in the story, it comes across very well.

As for the new wip, it started as a means to rid myself of the alternate ending to COF. It has changed so much it barely resembles the original idea, but I love the direction it's headed.

I have a few "ideas" in folders that stem from offshoots of present storylines. I'll get a wild tangent and think that will make a great story, but won't work in this book. So I jot it down for later.

I do wonder if I'll face the delimma of no idea to work with.

Jen said...


Well, I think the American Revolution is a fantastic time period. For me, historical has proven a very tough genre. I'm not sure I'm meant to write it. That said, the stuff leading up to the civil war intrigues me to no end. I may try my hand at it someday -- when I'll find the time, I don't know. (g) But my law history class had a speaker who described the building of the railroads -- the corruption, greed, murders, etc. involved -- gah, I think that would be a fantastic time to tackle. We'll see. :)

Anywho -- doesn't sound like you'll be running out of ideas any time soon. Same for me. LOL.