One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is "Where do you get your inspiration?"
It comes from many things, anything that moves me emotionally. People, music, a poem, another story, a storm, an argument, a walk in the woods, a movie, a game night with my kids. So much of it becomes a character and then the things around my character and sprinkles my stories with reality, yes even my fantasy.
My first book, Whispers of Insanity was begun when I was still in high school. I hated watching people judge others on their grades or their clothes or social status. Myself, I stood outside it all, not being the "in" crowd or the "out" crowd. The character in Whispers of Insanity grew from all of that to become one judged and misunderstood.
My second book came from a nightmare. The first scene in the first chapter of Gone Before Dawn (currently out of print, but I'm working on its reissue) is an embellished version of a nightmare I had. Nightmares have plagued me from as far back as I can remember. As a kid, they petrified me, as a teen and adult, I love them for story ideas and they've leant much to each of my books.
My Manipulated Evil trilogy and third story came from many different things. September 11th, the confusion and turmoil after, started it. A little of the tolerance issue I had with my first book went into the main character. The loss of one of my best friends happened while I was still writing Scorching Eden. He inspired my character, Jove, and I never got to share that with him. The soul searching after, that is what drove Scorching Eden to its finish. You know, what are we all doing here anyway?
My third story, sixth book, Rise of the Arcadians , now available, was inspired by Global Warming and human nature - what I've gotten out of studying ancient cultures - and family. I may be an only child, but my extended family is rather large. So Desire became the outcast of her huge family, but still affected by it.
My fourth story, Among the Ancients - or third, since it started before Rise, but is still yet unfinished was also inspired by global warming and mysteries such as the Bermuda Triangle and ancient cultures.
My fifth story was inspired by a small tale I came across in Sumerian myths and also by their Kings list. The brothers Enki and Enlil their hand in creating mankind, the Kings list and the impossibly long life spans of the first Sumerian rulers. What if? What if it wasn't myth, what if the life spans weren't impossibly long? And the story Daughter of Gods was born with Starlight following, now 40,000 words long and exploring the emotions of the characters touched by the gods and how they change. And that's where I'm at right now. That's why I'm a walking zombie from lack of sleep, catching myself talking to myself as my characters act out their scenes in my mind. I go to bed at night, exhausted, and all night my characters act out their story for me. The challenge for me is to feel refreshed and find the time to type those scenes out. Over ten thousand words in the past three days.
Meanwhile life goes on, taxes done, cars break down, bills come in, homework, laundry, dishes, friends over, birthday slumber party to plan, basement to finish before I can get a fully functional office. Somehow, it's all happening at once on this conveyer belt of life.