Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Elle Jasper - What Feeds My Muse

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!, or


marybelle said...

Inspirational & creative people feed my muse. I get a whole "I can do that" vibe. It's exciting to just jump in & give things a try.

Scarlet Wilson said...

You set your book in Edinburgh? Fab, I'm a Scot and love reading books set in this country. And you're absolutely right about the fish and chips - only bad thing about Edinburgh?? They give you salt and sauce with your chips instead of salt and vinegar! You need to go to the other side of the country for salt and vinegar!

Eli Yanti said...

i always wondered with the author's ideas came from and i think that's a great talent :)

i think music, movie, novel feed my muse :)

Karen H in NC said...

I haven't had the pleasure of reading your books. Thanks for the generous giveaway.

Lory Lee said...

I love Maroon 5 too. :D Online games, music and beautiful scenery feed my muse

CrystalGB said...

Hi Elle. Love the covers to your books. Music and nature feed my muse.

Pat Cochran said...

It's music for my muse! BTW, books set in
Scotland were among favorites when I began
reading romances waaaay back in the day!

Pat C.

erin said...

Thank you for a fabulous post and giveaway! Congrats on the newest release! I'm a bit behind, I've only read book 1 but I remember loving it :) The covers are all so gorgeous!!!!

Maureen said...

I am inspired by music or a beautiful day. It really depends.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

*yadkny* said...

Hi Elle!

I do often wonder where an author's ideas come from. Thanks for sharing what feeds your muse:) I am just a reader who enjoys the finished product that muses like yours produces. It is interesting to read about what works for certain authors and just how finicky sometimes those muses can actually be:) If I had a muse (maybe I do and just don't know it yet) I imagine music, movies, and pictures would also be it's inspiration.

emaginette said...

Thanks for the support and kind words. I'm sure you already know how much they means to someone still battling to get the great story on the inside out.


Barbara E. said...

What a wonderful post, I love getting some insight into how an author gets inspired to write the fantastic stories I love so much.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Chrisbails said...

What a great post. Everyone has their own muse. What keeps them going and doing what they love or know that they have to do no matter what. My kids are my muse. I do everything for them. I go to work for them, I get up everyday and take them to school, I do housework and keep their laundry clean.
Elle is a new author for me and would love to checkout this series. Great covers, girl is very beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

pamerd said...


Great post about what feeds your muse and keeps you going. I have your first book and need to catch up to the rest so this would be wonderful.

Thanks for the chance

megblod said...

I am diffenitly going to check out your books.

Michele L. said...

Loved reading your blog Elle! Fun to have you here! What feeds my muse is definitely soft jazzy music, a breeze blowing in the window from outdoors which rejuvenates the spirits, my favorite drink/snack and a comfortable chair. What a nice prize you offered! Have a fun week and take-r easy!

molly.frenzel said...

This was an awesome post. I haven't read this series yet. It's been on my TBR for awhile and now I'm really itching to pick it up. Thanks for the giveaway!
molly dot frenzel at gmail dot com

Na said...

The great thing about this world is that inspiration can be found everywhere. Halloween can be a pretty good place to start too. I do think everything has their own muse and places where they are most inspired :)