This month we’re talking story inspiration! I love finding out where the inspiration for my fav books and characters came from. Sometimes inspiration comes from the most amazing places 🙂
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
I find inspiration everywhere! It could be from a photo, listening to a song, or watching a clip on YouTube. I’ve been inspired by real-life newspaper articles: tales of love, and heroes, and heartbreak. One of my stories was inspired by a cover – I saw a pre-made cover for Rustic Melody and just knew I had to have it. That smiling face on the cover inspired the character of Adam and the story came from there. You can check out my Pinterest if you want to see some boards showcasing the inspiration behind my books ~ Nic
Like Nic, I find inspiration everywhere. I’ll be watching a movie and find myself wondering how the plot could be changed with the addition of a certain character, or if the whole story was moved to a different setting. Same with books. I often piece together ideas from different books to create my own version of a story. I’ve also been inspired by news articles and magazine articles. I have a folder full of clippings. I also really like to write from prompts–either a line of dialogue or a picture. I’ve probably written close to a hundred flash fiction pieces based on a single evocative image. ~ Kelly
I also find inspiration everywhere. Hearing about someone with an interesting career path and imagining what drew them in that direction. Reading about someone doing something heroic and creating a backstory for them. Seeing a movie and thinking about who some minor secondary character might meet that would rock their world and how they’d be changed by putting obstacles in their way. I keep clippings and snippets of dialogue and scenes in OneNote, and pull them up when I’m deciding what to write next. ~ Jenna
Everywhere. The world is a fascinating, colorful place. The key is paying attention. It might be from a snippet of conversation (many writers are good at eavesdropping). A person with an interesting face might speak to me as a possible character too. If I pay attention and am aware of ideas, they will often find me. I have endless lists and limited time to write, so the issue for me is often what to choose to focus on. ~ Skylar
What’s the most unusual thing to have inspired a book?
Perhaps the most unusual thing to inspire a book was heartbreak. You know that feeling when you hear or see something so sad and just want the person to have their happy ending? I’ve had stories that have come about because I’ve wanted, no needed, to write that happy ever after. ~ Nic
Cheez-Its. I was standing in my kitchen one day, shoving handfuls at my face, and I imagined someone walking through the door while I had a mouthful of cheesy goodness and cracker crumbs all over my chin and shirt. It’d be an awkward way to meet someone, right? After washing my hands, I ran upstairs and wrote exactly that, and the scene became the first chapter of Building Forever (Oct 2018), which was known as the ‘Cheez-It’ book for the whole time I was writing it. ~ Kelly
Handcuffs. I read a blog about a dating couple who agreed to hold hands for an entire day. They posted about how it helped them get to know each other even better but also created a level of intimacy that was uncomfortable at times. It made me wonder what would happen if two strangers had to do the same thing. That turned into Stuck with You, a story about two college students who are handcuffed together for a sociology experiment. ~ Jenna
Two stories had unusual inspirations. One was a silly thing and one was a real-life tragedy. The Holiday Hoax was inspired by a ridiculous conversation on the radio. A girl, gripping about her supercritical mother, joked about creating a fake boyfriend to keep the questions about her single status away. It was cute and I began to think about how much fun a romance for MM would be with a fake holiday boyfriend. A more tragic inspiration was when a friend was training for the Aids Bike-a-thon and was the victim of a hit and run. He survived but had a severe stroke, and this one bad moment changed the course of his life. Although my story did not follow the plot of a hit and run or use my real friend’s actual details, I did explore the shock and pain of watching a friend unexpectedly suffer a tragedy… Life can change so rapidly. And sometimes those changes are unfair and cruel. How to find happiness and love after a horrible event occurs is something that I related to and hoped others would relate to as well. The book that this inspired was Here for You. ~ Skylar
What was the inspiration from your most recent story?
My most recent story – my upcoming release Lies & Deception (release 26th June) – is about an undercover police officer infiltrating a bikie gang. It was inspired by a sign I saw on a pub in Sydney. The sign was a notification that bikie gang colours were not permitted to be worn into the premises. This law is one of the anti-bikie laws introduced in New South Wales, aimed at reducing illegal bikie activity. It got me thinking about motorcycle clubs and the rest is history. Click here if you want to find out more about the book. ~ Nic
My upcoming release To See the Sun (Aug 13, 2018) was inspired by a book I read as a judge for the RITA Awards in 2016. The book I read couldn’t be more different–it was an inspirational historical romance about a woman who arrived in Montana as a mail-order bride, only to discover her intended had passed away. I really enjoyed the premise and immediately started thinking of mail-order groom plots. I decided to set my story in the future, in a galaxy that might or might not be our own, and to have my mail-order groom be a fugitive from justice. The rest just rolled on from there. I’m super excited about this book because it’s one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever written, and it also gave me a chance to write science fiction–something I always enjoy. ~ Kelly
My new release Heartbeats was inspired by an article about the options for LGBTQ couples looking to start a family. Between adoption, foster care, surrogacy, raising biological children from prior relationships, and so on, family comes in many forms. Heartbeats is about two men who hope to build their families via surrogacy, only to find that “their” premature twins were promised to both of them. The rest of the Connections series is about other definitions of family. ~ Jenna
My last release, Rim Shot, is NA friends-to-lovers story about two college roommates. One is a star athlete and the other is a poor academic. After talking with so many friends who got into debt over student loans, I wanted to have a character struggling with paying for college. The idea was it have a realistic feel for this student. At the same time, I read an article about athletes and doping. The article discussed the pros and cons of trusting these tests to determine guilt or innocence—Rim Shot was born! ~ Skylar
We’re going to be doing a lot more Behind The Scenes posts so if you have any questions you’d like answered, let us know in the comments and we’ll hopefully get to them in the near future.
Happy reading xx