Our guest blog today is by Lachesis author Louise Clark. Louise is a multi-published author and my predecessor at Lachesis Publishing. 🙂 Louise has published one title with us called Fighting Fate, a contemporary romance with some paranormal twists and turns.
Our ongoing topic is: what inspires your writing? Here’s Louise . . .
Up until a couple of years ago I had two cats, Brandy The West Coast Princess and Whisky The Travelling Cat. Whisky and Brandy were brother and sister and like all siblings they fought. If Brandy curled up on my lap for a snuggle, her brother Whisky would leave off whatever he was doing (usually eating) and hop up into my lap too. Since Whisky was larger than my lap, he usually pushed his sister off. She would rise, very dignified, and pretend she was leaving. I say pretend, because a scratch behind the ears or a rub on her tummy would be enough to convince her to curl up beside me on the couch so I could continue to stroke her. Whisky might kick her in the head (pretending to do it accidentally as he focused on finding the most comfortable position on my lap), but she’d show him her haunches and stay put. Once they were both settled, they would coexist quite happily, and snooze for hours, but it was that early stage where they fought for attention, when they came into conflict that reminds me of my writing process.
I write romances and romance is a character driven genre, so it is the characters who provide my inspiration. Character driven inspiration usually arrives at exactly the wrong moment. Like when I’m in the middle of a project that belongs to someone else. A new character, or group of characters, saunter into my subconscious and take up residence. Once they are there, they won’t go away, leaving me struggling to fulfill the needs of the characters in the current work in progress, while I listen to the new gang rant about whatever their issues are.
If I like this new bunch as people and their problems are interesting enough, they will get their own book. Sometimes they don’t. The trick is not to abandon the group I was working on initially. That’s where my experience with Whisky and Brandy comes in. Rub a tummy with one hand, scratch behind the ears with the other. Focus on one, but don’t forget the other. In writing terms, that means making notes on the new project, but actually writing the other. When the first story is finished, the new one will be ready for the writing process to begin.
The best part of the cuddle method is the pleasure it brings to all involved. Yes my wrist would ache from the repetitive motion of that endless tummy rub, but Brandy’s purr signified success and was an ongoing reward. Developing a new story while working on another has the same kind of benefits. The new story is all about giving the imagination free rein, allowing myself to play with new friends and the joy of discovery. Knowing that new stories are there to be told encourages me to continue with the often hard work of writing a novel.
It’s a never ending process and it all begins with inspiration. And a tummy rub.