Today I welcome Nina Pierce to the blog.
Isn’t it nearly the first question every author is asked, “Where did you find the inspiration for this story?” And the answer I always give is everywhere and nowhere.
Everywhere there are the “what ifs” around you. “What if a virus killed off nearly all of the human population?” (Healer’s Garden, Ellora’s Cave) “What if vampires had a secret society for policing rogue vampires?” (Shadows of Fire, Liquid Silver Books) “What if someone was a wolf shifter and didn’t know it?” (Bonded Souls, Ellora’s Cave) Okaaaaaay, so maybe you don’t ask yourself those questions, but that’s the kind of thing that rolls around in my head. I’m always imagining the “what if” of other dimensions or characters or places. From these odd ball thoughts the nugget of an idea forms and voila! A story is born!
Of course if your synapses don’t fire that way there’s always the overheard conversation at the grocery store between mother and daughter…
“Seriously Mom, he’s just, I don’t know, the same age as Uncle Todd.”
“Well, I wouldn’t go that young.”
“But he’s my law professor.”
“And he’s very single and he has a great butt I might add.”
“Ewww. Definitely TMI.” (A pause.) “You’re seriously going to do this?”
“It’s just drinks honey, not a marriage proposal.”
Oh, yeah, that is definitely going to become a book some day. I just can’t resist the idea of a younger man with an older woman. And the daughter already gave me all kinds of information about the fact that the man is the same age as one of her uncles and then he’s her professor. Oh, the conflicts abound with just that snippet!
Inspiration also comes from my adventures in traveling. I had the pleasure of visiting Sedona, Arizona and going on a jeep tour over and around the red rock formations. Between the remote location and the stories of extra-terrestrials shared by our guide, I couldn’t stop my brain from running through all the possible romantic suspense scenarios. “What if they found a body?” “What if it’s an alien?” Man, I just went all over the place with ideas that day. And yes, I still enjoyed the tour, but mostly because our guide was a handsome character in and of himself with a rich back story of high school loves, alcoholism and divorce. (Which I got him to share because I’m that curious about people.) He’s going to show up in a story some day.
Then there are the story ideas that spring to me from the newspaper headlines (usually the suspense part of my stories) or the songs on the radio (the romance plot).
But those nuggets only get you so far. It’s from the nowhere of my imagination the characters start forming and their troubles begin to surface and before I know it I’m on the journey of discovering another story. And it is a complete discovery for me. I’m what authors affectionately call a “pantser”, which means I have no outline. No idea (or very little) of where I’m going or what’s going to happen next. It’s all very organic. But that’s a post for another day.
The point is inspiration is all around you. All you have to do is take a few minutes and truly look for it. So here’s a question for all of you … where do YOU find your inspiration? What makes your muse dance for joy?
I want to thank Marc for letting me take over his blog today. It’s been a lot of fun.
Nina grew up in a house of readers. So falling in love with books was only natural. In her early teens she discovered love stories. And we’re not talking about the Judy Blume young adult stories. Nope, she cut her teeth on the queens, Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts.
Of course since then, she’s branched out to reading all kinds of genres from science fiction to mystery, medical thrillers to historicals and Nina has too many favorite authors to list. But through it all romance has remained her favorite genre. Now, reading about lovers isn’t enough for her (though she still devours books). The characters of her imagination beg to have their stories told. Nina finally put fingers to keyboard… and a new career was launched.
A native of Maine, Nina resides in what she affectionately calls “the great white North” in potato country with my high school sweetheart and true love of thirty-four years, her three grown children and a menagerie of pets.
You can find all her books at http://www.ninapierce.com. And you if you want to follow her musings join her on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/nina.pierce) or twitter (http://www.twitter.com/ninapierce).