I know that I don’t write the typical stories. It’s one of the most common things people tell me (thankfully, right after “this is so good!”). But, it seems people want to know how I come up with these ideas. Well, the answer is rather simple: art.
The picture at the top was the initial inspiration for Rise of the Iliri. I stumbled across it somewhere, and it just moved me. The carrion birds, the military that doesn’t quite fit into any classification, and the demeanor of the riders… It all spoke to something special. Then my mind started to wander. How could someone become a part of that group. Once she did, what would that mean for her? Why are they so different?
In answering those questions, I came up with more and slowly began to imagine this world where people had been living for a very long time, but then I had to explain the world to myself. Naturally, history would be lost to the inhabitants as well. I mean, look at our own histories! A thousand years ago is still too much time to know the details. Two? Myths and legends. And that was the spark that set everything ablaze. Daydreaming over a picture became writing a book, which turned into a series. And now, well, here we are.
For my gladiators, it was the same thing. This picture made me think. The determination on her face. The anger. From there, I started searching out more images of female gladiators, which gave me more ideas, and the next thing you know, we have the Lion and the Wolf.
From Twitter to Facebook, and I can’t forget Deviant Art and my crazy Google searches, I’m always stumbling upon something. Then a friend makes a comment, someone else replies, and by the time it’s over, I have a new folder on my computer with a piece of an idea that will one day grow into a book.
Currently, it’s starting to out pace even my writing abilities!
But so long as artists keep inspiring me, I’ll keep writing books. I just love the act of thinking it out. There’s something about being a grown-ass adult who can spend hours wandering through her own imagination that’s rather liberating. At first, I worried about what people would think. No, not about me – because I’m already strange! – but about the topics I write. A martriarchal species? A pampered girl who isn’t a damsel in distress? Love, death, and hope? It’s all been done before, but I keep finding myself twisting things in a new way. Is it going to be too much?
In the end, I don’t care. I write the books I want to read. The books that others aren’t brave enough to tackle. From surviving abuse (Flawed) to the power of hope (uh, most of them) I just need one little seed to grow an entire world in my mind. From there…
All that’s left is to sit down and write.