Hey everyone! Today I have a brilliant guest post from author R.S. McCoy, who published Sparks last year. My review will be up on the 23rd. Here she talks about writing inspiration.
In order to be successful, writers have to be able to draw inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. Some say that the best writers have more than five story ideas each day. For my recent publication, a new adult paranormal romance novel called Sparks, I drew inspiration and influence from many areas of my life, but not always in the way I expected.
Perhaps it’s because of my childhood in Austin, the ‘Live Music Capital’, or maybe I inherited some of my dad’s eclectic music taste. Either way, I have always loved music. Sadly I was not graced with an ounce of musical ability, but that hasn’t hindered my true love. On a bad day, you can find me on the highway with my windows down and playlist blaring.
Some authors require silence to write, but I subsist on a healthy diet of rock. While writing Sparks, I noticed that songs by the Neighbourhood would put me in a frame of mind that seemed to suit the novel best. Their lyrics often describe intense relationships, but their style is smooth and easy. Whether writing novels or songs, combining a fabulous story with an original delivery is key, and the Neighbourhood helped to keep me on track.
It can be said that every child loves animals to some degree. I, however, managed to turn an obsession with the Little Mermaid into a degree in marine biology before turning to the professional industry of aquariums. I am Scuba certified, have swum with piranhas, and been stung by corals and sea urchins. My son’s first word was ‘ishy’.
Besides the physical connection with animals, I enjoy the idea that they are symbolic of greater themes. Owls are wise. Leopards are sly. The main character of Sparks, a teen boy named Lark also has an ability with nature and animals. He encounters bears, elk, hawks and rabbits, but each represents a physical animal as well as a symbol of the scene.
I didn’t marry a history buff just for the boring speeches in the car. History is dotted with fascinating cultures such as the Aztecs, Mesopotamians, Chinese and Indians. The world of Sparks features nations that were inspired by ancient civilizations.
In Sparks, the Nakben people live on the Nakbe Islands and could be considered a mixture of ancient Mayans with traditional Hawaiian cultures. Their clothing is just a swatch of fabric around the waist and they value physical strength and cunning. They were some of my favorite characters and settings to write!
In a few months I’ll be celebrating my seventh wedding anniversary. In those years, my husband and I have weathered a natural disaster, a cancer diagnosis, a new job and a new baby. It hasn’t always been easy but there is no doubt that I am with the person I should spend my life with. And my poor characters will just have to get used to it.
A romantic at heart, I always enjoy a good love story. Since becoming one of those love stories myself, I find it difficult to write a full length novel that doesn’t include similarly smitten characters. They have a funny way of growing up and getting minds of their own, falling in love with people you hadn’t planned on, but one way or another, mine always do.
Truth be told, a good writer can find inspiration anywhere: a stain on a table top, a leaf on the ground, a star in the sky. Most surprising is the way inspiration comes along and seeps into your stories without you ever realizing until it’s too late.