Do you ever wonder where an author's ideas come from? Do images of grand writing rooms with picture-perfect sweeping views set just across from an aged writing desk pop into your head? Stepehen King is one of my literary idols, and I always picture him in that spectacular yet creepy Victorian manse in Bangor Maine, (that is enclosed with a wicked-cool wrought-iron fence with a spider web gate and dragons for posts!) in a darkened library, at a desk with an old type writer, fingers flying as he creates the horror magic that he does. (Athough I'm sure he's joined the Techology Age and writes on a computer!)
Most writers carve out their writing spaces, and some are set up just so. Others camp out all day at Starbux or Barnes and Noble, sip coffee, and write amongst the crowd. Me? I change locale. One day I might be in the office (it's messy, nothing glorious there except my most cool Day of the Dead skull I bought in San Antonio with writer pal Kim Lenox/Lily Dalton, my "knight in shining armor" named Tristan (he wears a Halloween hat and a sign because I LOVE Halloween), and my comfy purple fuzzy writing chair. Another day I'll flop on the couch and write there. Another day I'll write on the front porch, depending on the weather. No matter where an author writes, though, they have a muse. And that muse has a voice. And sometimes completely off the wall things feed that muse.
To date, I haven't written a pirate book, or a contemporary book set at the beach, but having grown up in south eastern coastal Georgia, the beach inspires my writing. Something about it makes my muse sit up and take notice. I just recently spent a few days at Jekyll Island, and it was glorious. Small and hardly ever any people there. I love it! The first of my Dark Ink Chronicles series is set in coastal Georgia, in Savannah and Charleston, where the sea is close and part of the setting, yet not "at the beach".
My latest Dark Ink Chronicle, BLACK FALLEN, which releases this December 31st, is set in the haunting aged city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Now THAT'S a place that feeds my muse! I've been there countless times, and all over Scotland and in the Highlands, and it's never enough. Each time I visit I find something new that inspires my writing. The scenery. The history. The crumbly castles. The delicious accent! The cobbled streets and tight "closes" (alleys) of the old city. The mouth-watering fish n chips! Just being there conjurs up countless ideas and not just for my Riley Poe books. Traveling with another writer friend is a muse-feeder, too. I've trekked many a haunted moor with writer pal Leah Marie Brown, and plan to follow Jack the Ripper's bloody trail in London soon with my long-time writer pal, Kim Lenox/Lily Dalton. We also will be hitting Washington Irvings' Sleepy Hollow along the Hudson Valley in New York this October. Just being there feeds the muse!
Music, movies, and pictures also kick the imagination into high-gear. I listen to everything from Maroon 5 to the Harry Potter soundtracks! When I watch Jason Bourne kick serious butt, my muse yells at me "Make Hero kick butt!". When I watch Stand By Me, I am inspired to write a story about bunch of friends! And lastly, I always have a story board while working on a novel, tacked with printed out images of who I think looks like the hero/heroine, the setting, the secondary characters. Weapons. Anything!
So if you're an aspiring author, listen to your muse. You don't have to be sitting in a 700 year old castle to write a story set in a castle. But you do have to be inspired. And if you're a reader who just enjoys your books, there's a little insight to how that story you love so much is born.
What feeds YOUR muse?
Now....a giveaway! I will give a signed three book set of The Dark Ink Chronicles, including books 1-3: Afterlight, Everdark, and Eventide. That way you'll be all caught up on the series when BLACK FALLEN releases in December! Interntional and US commenters are welcome!
I'll have Lee choose the two winners, announce them, and then collect your mailing addresses. Good luck! And if you've not given my Dark Ink Chronicles a try, I hope you do and you like!
Visit my websites and drop me a line! I write YA for Scholastic Books, with my first release coming June 2013, FOREVERMORE, set in the haunted Highlands of Scotland, as Cindy Miles. And I write Riley Poe's Dark Ink Chronicles, with BLACK FALLEN, #4 in the series, releasing December 31, 2012! www.ellejasper.com, or www.cindymilesya.com