For me, one of the hardest parts about writing a regular blog is finding a topic. While trying to decide on a topic for today, I started thinking about the stories in my head, most specifically what sparked my novel Kyreen. As I have mentioned in my personal blog, not only did I take a very long time to finish up the manuscript, the journey to the story and even characters was a windy one as well. Basically I developed the concept for this novel in the early 90’s, wrote the first three chapters in the mid 90’s, and finished the manuscript in 2008. Over the years the proposed book did change a bit. For example, originally my plan was to write Tyra’s story. Then I had the idea of writing Ursula, Tyra and Kyreen’s stories as a trilogy. In the end, Kyreen’s story called to me the strongest. Once I finish up her three books, I may visit other characters in the series for stand-alone novels, but only after I dip my pen into the science fiction realm for a couple of stories that are screaming for attention.
In looking back, I am fuzzy on many of the details, like the actual year and moment the story blossomed in my imagination. The catalyst for my protagonist, however, is forever fixed in my mind, and, as it happens, in my bedroom. The model from which I designed Tyra, Kyreen’s mother, was an image from a poster I had in my office, a Patrick Nagel print of a woman and a horse. I was unable to locate a photograph that I could share on this blog, so here is a link to the actual picture. There was something about the pale skin, ebony hair and sharp angles of the woman’s face that triggered a description of the Calanian people. As for the horse in the poster, I used this horse as Collin’s horse in the story because I have always been drawn to chestnut and sorrel horses, probably since my most favorite summer was spent at a riding camp and my most favorite horse there was a big chestnut gelding named Ranger. I find myself holding onto that old poster because it is a reminder of the story and it sparks my imagination.
I also find inspiration in nature, especially with this first book since takes place in some different geographical locations. Whenever I drive through the windy mountainous grade north of Chattanooga, my brain begins to think about Calan and I get the urge to begin writing. The same thing happens when I am walking through a quiet woods.
I would love to hear from other writers. What inspires your stories?