Under the Influence
All great accomplishments start with inspiration. My books are no exception. Sometimes the inspiration is vague; other times it’s very, very specific. In this post I’d like to pay tribute to the various things that have “influenced” me along the way, particularly in relation to my recently published anthology.
So, let’s back up a bit, and start at the beginning. When I first started writing (which was during the second half of my college tenure, over a decade ago XD), I concocted the idea for the first novel, some ideas on a trilogy featuring elves, and a handful of short stories. Believe it or not, at that time “Love Bites” was actually a stand-alone story; I didn’t realize that vampire would turn out to be Alex until years after I had written it. Likewise, when I originally wrote the wedding scene from “A Wedding, an Afternoon Stroll, and a Little Book-Shopping,” I knew vaguely that it connected with my other elf-story ideas, but I wasn’t sure how or where.
Then life happened, and I didn’t work seriously on my writing until I was married and my husband and I were living in Austin while I worked and he did his master’s degree. One fateful drive to work at 5 am, and the story “In the Beginning” imagined itself into reality during my 30-minute commute. There wasn’t really a specific something that “inspired” the story, but I find it fascinating that a simple daydreaming session (while driving to work in the wee hours of the morning, no less!) could have such incredible consequences. It was that singular short story that suddenly connected all the dots and tied The Heart of Everything (and its sequel!) to the aforementioned trilogy as well as to “Love Bites” and “A Wedding, an Afternoon Stroll, and a Little Book-Shopping” and basically set off the entire story arc for “Love, Blood & Magic.” Thus the anthology was born.
From there, I can name several specific inspirations for some of the other stories. There’s a song by Joy Williams titled, “2000 Decembers Ago” that gave the idea for “Her First Christmas” (to this day that song is still a part of my Christmas playlist that I listen to every year). The movie “Timeline” from 2003 inspired the scene featuring the Earl of Derby in “His First Dance.” Even the setting for my Christmas short story (you can get a copy FREE when you subscribe to my newsletter!) had a source: namely, the movie “The Lion in Winter.” It all just goes to show that great stories can come from anywhere, at any time – you just have to be open enough to see it!
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.