Tag Archives: writing inspiration

Has a fictional character ever inspired you in some way? by Jacqui Morrison

THE-VIGILANTE-COVERJacqui Morrison is a crime thriller author. Her suspense thrillers include Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. You can purchase both books at Lachesis Publishing. But that’s not where it begins and ends with Jacqui. You see, Jacqui works with victims and witnesses of crimes. Her passion for working in the law started at at a young age, when she was inspired by a character in a popular TV show . . . 

Barbara Hale as Della Street from the Perry Mason TV show

Barbara Hale as Della Street from the Perry Mason TV show

Della Street (Barbara Hale) was my favourite character from the television show Perry Mason (which ran from 1957 to 1966). From a young age, I knew I wanted to do something with the law, little did I know that my love of law and justice would turn into a passion for writing courtroom dramas.

At the young age of ten, I’d voraciously watch episodes of Perry Mason, an American TV show about a fictional lawyer. I’d sit down in front of our black and white television and devour every minute of the legal show.

152417593I loved the character Della Street and I erroneously thought she was also a lawyer. Her classy style of speaking, combined with perfect outfits, made for a healthy obsession. I think I was her number one fan.

Perry Mason TV show

Perry Mason TV show

I was so obsessed with what I learned on Perry Mason that I would talk non-stop with my dad about the show. He humoured me as only a father can. I was so enthralled with the show that when I heard that a small provincial courthouse was within walking distance of my house, I wanted to sneak in and watch a real live trial!

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyIn Ontario, Canada, where I lived in the 1970s, they brought courts to small towns because not a lot of people had cars. That’s why there was a courthouse that doubled as an arts and craft venue on other days. I never got up the nerve to enter the court, but I know I dreamt about it. My early fascination with courts and Perry Mason eventually led me to become an an author of crime and courtroom thrillers. It’s a fascination that will always inspire me, both in my work and in my writing.

You can get The Vigilante. on amazon, barnes and noble, koboYou can also purchase Kaitlyn Wolfe: Crown Attorney on amazon

Connect with author Jacqui Morrison online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

 

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Filed under COURTROOM DRAMA, craft of writing, CRIME, CRIME THRILLER, DETECTIVE, Lachesis Publishing, MYSTERY, POLICE PROCEDURAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, SUSPENSE, SUSPENSE THRILLER

The Very First Book I Ever Wrote by Alison Bruce (romantic suspense author)

Alison Bruce has an honours degree in history and philosophy, which has nothing to do with any regular job she’s held since. A liberal arts education did prepare her to be a writer, however. She penned her first novel during lectures while pretending to take notes.

In the interest of veracity, I didn’t pen that novel in either history or philosophy. In fact, it was before attending university and the program wasn’t liberal arts. Ryerson is a university now, but when I attended it was still a Polytechnical Institute. I was taking Home Economics because I didn’t make it into the journalism program.

51WZTkQj29L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The course was Nutrition. It was BOR-RING, not because I had no interest in food and food science, but because I already knew quite a bit of the material. Not all of it. In fact, I think the only reason I got a passing grade was because I had perfect attendance. My attendance was perfect because the class was a great opportunity to write.

I was in my science fiction phase. I had read everything by Robert Heinlein, Asimov’s Foundation series, Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Frank Herbert’s Dune plus a selection of other classic SF books and even more humorous SF. I was also a Star Trek fan and had written some fanfic for the amusement of my friend and family.

The friend was my BF Nancy. The family was my sister Joanne. I did not have a wide audience at this stage of my career.

Inspiration came, as it still does sometimes, in dreams. All the day dreams and what if scenarios that bombarded my brain during the waking hours would scramble and sort themselves out into mini-movies in my dreams. Sometimes I was watching the scenes. Sometimes I was part of them. Sometimes I just knew stuff that had happened to fill in the gaps. Taken together, they made up plotlines with more holes than Swiss cheese. But they gave me a start.

I had plotted out this dream-inspired story start to finish, with notes for a potential sequel. I had about fifty pages written, in longhand, stored, with my plot and character information, in a clipboard folder. The day’s class notes were in there too, but I cleared them out every day to leave room for my novel. One day, between Nutrition and Chemistry (a class I didn’t dare write in) I left the whole kit-and-caboodle in the second floor washroom of the Quad.

I went back right after Chemistry but the clipboard was gone.

That was the end of that novel.

I don’t remember the details of the story. The loss was so traumatic. It had to do with a youth program that covered for the gathering of a team of special kids that would go into space. That much I remember because, a year later, I heard about the Canadian youth program Katimavik. It gathered young adults from ages 17 to 21 and sent them to different parts of Canada to engage in community projects. The spiel was almost exactly what I’d made up for the program in my novel.

Naturally I had to apply. Who knows, I might have been selected for a special program like my main character.

I wasn’t. However, I did start my second novel in Katimavik. It gave me something else to think about while doing a particularly disgusting job. I still haven’t finished that book–though it has been plotted out a dozen times or more–but that’s another story.

A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison BruceAlison Bruce is the author of  A Bodyguard to Remember, a romantic suspense with a light touch. This is Book 1 in the Men in Uniform Series for Lachesis Publishing.

You can get your copy of  A Bodyguard to Remember at Lachesis Publishing as well as amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

You can connect with Alison on her website and on facebook and twitter.

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Filed under books and reading, Lachesis Publishing, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

What Inspires Your Writing? by Richard Blackburn (YA paranormal time travel author)

Today’s author guest blog is byDAWN OF THE SENTINEL COVER Lachesis Publishing author Richard Blackburn. Richard has written a three-book YA time travel/adventure series for Lachesis Publishing, called Guardians of the Gate, featuring a university student who travels back to Medieval England only to discover she has some amazing powers she never knew she had. Book 1 is Dawn of the Sentinel. Book 2, Return of the Sentinel, will be out soon.

What induced me to be a writer? I mentioned in my last submission to this blog, that my father was a great story teller. I remember one time I was sitting by the fire with my older brother and sister, listening to a scary story about a Bugane, the big, nasty creature that lives in the caves to the south of the Isle of Man. Nobody has seen one of these beasts and lived to tell the tale, but in winter storms you can hear it moaning as the wind whistles through the caves in the south of the Island. When it was time to go to bed, I was the youngest, so I had to go first. In those days, there were none of the modern light switches that let you switch it on downstairs and off upstairs. It was either on or off, and our family couldn’t afford to leave lights on. So I was the shivering little figure climbing the stairs on my own in the dark. And that’s when I heard the Bugane. It was on the landing above where my room was, shuffling along and muttering as it went. I was a scaredy-cat kid and I knew I was done for, but then I came over all cold. I clenched my fists and thought, uncharacteristically, ‘If I’m gone, I’ll do my best to take you with me.’ So I crept up the rest of the stairs and when the shuffling footsteps were just around the corner to me, I jumped out. ‘Yaaaa’ I shouted but immediately realized it was my grandmother. She was on her way to the bathroom, carrying a full bed pan. Well, I got into trouble for the wee on the wall and the wee on the ceiling, but she didn’t get into trouble for sounding like a Bugane and frightening me. That’s when I decided that if ever wrote stories, it wouldn’t always be the grown-ups who’d win! And it gave me an early insight into the power of story telling.

A few words about my writing: I’d been making up stories for my own children for years and later for my granddaughter. I didn’t consciously decide to become a writer. It was when I was making up yet another yarn that it came to me. I realized that this was the story I’d like to make into a book. The last fiction I had written was in school, forty years ago. I’d worked for the government for a long time and I wondered if this had crushed any writing skills I might have had before. So I took a short course in creative writing and was encouraged by my success. I’d been told never to have family members as beta readers but my daughters are very objective and my wife has never been reluctant to criticize me, so I asked them to read the first couple of chapters. I felt very vulnerable. This was from my heart and I felt if they hooted with laughter, I’d never lay finger on keyboard creatively again. But they were happy to be brutally honest and after I’d explained the meaning of ‘constructive’ criticism, we did well as a team. So, now I had a number of decisions to make. I’d invented the original story for children, but I lifted the age group slightly. The subject matter, then, had to be acceptable to teenagers. I personally don’t like swearing, so I was happy to keep that out of the book. I also know nothing at all about romance, so that was out as well. By this time I realized that these decisions had made the book more acceptable for school libraries. In Australia we have reading competitions in most states, and any book included in the reading list had a distinct advantage for sales. So I included this as part of my decision base for when I was mulling over the direction of the plot. Another decision concerned historical accuracy. My books are set in the first half of the fourteenth century, and things were a lot different then. I could either gloss over facts and concentrate on general description of the action, or put a lot of research into letting my readers see how things actually were. I’d even seen TV programs supposedly about these times, including phrases like, ‘I suppose it’s just not your cup of tea’ and the way Hollywood portrayed Henry VIII was hugely inaccurate. And I’d been around so many castles, I knew that forks were not used in England at that time, that potatoes, tomatoes and green beans hadn’t arrived from South America or pumpkin and turkeys from North America. I found out that the word ‘thug’ couldn’t be used because the Thuggi religion was only discovered in India in the late 1700s and that the Irish sheriff, Mr. Lynch, didn’t hang his own son without a trial until much later than the period I was interested in, thus making the word ‘lynched’ unusable. And, yes, it did take a lot longer to write the story, but I enjoyed the research. So those are a few of the factors I found I had to decide on my way to writing my first book.

And the rewards in writing: Before my first book was published, I was worried. What if people didn’t like it? I’d written a blurb that said how good the story was, but was that false pretenses? If people paid good money for my book and didn’t like it, I’d be devastated. I should have had more faith in my publisher, of course. It wouldn’t have gotten this far if it had been that bad. But I’m a worrier and didn’t think of that. Once my first book had been published, I started using my weekends to do book-signings. I had a vast poster made of the cover picture and on my table I set out my chainmail vest and helmet (my wife won’t trust me with a sword!) and copies of the book. I had a short blurb rehearsed for general enquiries (‘what’s the book about’) and a longer version for people who displayed more specific interest. I didn’t sit down but stood and smiled and said ‘hello’ to thousands of people. And it worked. And because I’d written the book the way I did, with no swearing, romance or sexual content, I’d had it (and eventually all three books) included in the New South Wales Premier’s Reading Challenge for high schools. This was a huge advantage in Australia. It was after the second book was published that I had people coming back for more. I was interviewed on TV and featured in newspapers quite a few times. I visited high schools and gave talks on writing, and this was incredibly rewarding. I was getting back far more than I’d put into it, not money wise (no way!) but in finding that I’d given people such enjoyment.

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Filed under Lachesis Publishing, PARANORMAL, TIME TRAVEL, writing, writing craft, writing your book, YA, YA PARANORMAL, YA Time Travel, YOUNG ADULT FICTION

What Inspires Your Writing by Lori Lapekes (contemporary romance author)

FOR A SHORT TIME COVEROur guest blogger today is Lachesis Publishing author Lori Lapekes. Lori is the author of the Lachesis contemporary romance called For a Short Time about a young woman who goes through many changes in her life, including realizing whom she truly loves.

Our ongoing topic is What Inspires Your Writing – welcome Lori Lapekes . . .

Hmmm, where do I get my inspiration to write . . .

An inspiration from real life I’m a bit embarrassed to admit came from fictionalizing an old friend in order to, well, “fix” her somehow through much trial and error in the novel to make her a better person. Yet later I was terrified she’d read the novel one day and recognize herself, and I wasn’t sure how she’d take it.

During that time I happened to read the blog of another author, (a very popular author,) whose antagonist in his latest novel was a dragon of a woman who was not only inspired from someone he knew, but patterned directly after her. At a book signing party, he was horrified to see her arrive, book in hand, and march up to him. Certain he’d get a verbal tongue lashing and a threat to sue; he could barely stand to look at her as she stood above him.

Then, she grinned. Sincerely. And said it was a truly fantastic novel, and she particularly liked the witchy woman character . . . she was such a vivid character, where did he ever come up with her?

Hah!

I could imagine, very well, that author’s relief, as well as confusion, I’m sure! And I was no longer afraid that the real person behind the inspiration for my main character in For a Short Time would be toilet-papering my house or keying my car. She never did connect herself with the character in the novel, and even promoted it a bit for me on Facebook. To my relief, just as my character in the novel, she did turn out to be a much kinder, more empathetic woman in real life.

Another inspiration began with disturbing dreams; a recurring dream without an ending. The dreams were near-nightmares from a real life drama, and to have closure, I needed to write it out. That book became the college tear-jerker, The Gingerbread Boy, and its feel good sequel, The Cinnamon Girl.

And yet another time, while standing in line at an estate auction in the country to buy my items and leave, I became aware of a tall young man in front of me with flowing brown hair, wide shoulders over a blue flannelled shirt, and an easy smile. There was just something about this man. Perhaps it was the calm, sunny afternoon in the country blended with what seemed like an ancient wisdom and mystery in the young man’s eyes . . . and I had it. Just like that he became the main character in a novel that had been percolating in my mind for some time, but I’d needed more inspiration for the hero. That novel became Secrets of Catalpa Hall.

I’m now working on a funky new adult novel, something of a switch for me. The inspiration for this came from vividly recalling my own days out of college, and the odd bunch I roomed with. One roomie in particular actually sort of becomes the novel, but I’m certain she’ll never know, that was many moons ago. But I also believe it may be the most fun, whimsical story I’ve ever written, even if it has murder, mayhem . . . and a potential maniac nicknamed “Goggleman” as a main character!

Connect with Lori Lapekes on her web site and on facebook.

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Filed under CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, Lachesis Publishing, LOVE STORY, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVEL, ROMANCE NOVELS, writing, writing craft, writing your book

What inspires your writing? By Jacqui Morrison (suspense thriller author)

THE VIGILANTE COVERJacqui Morrison is our guest blogger today. Jacqui has written two suspense thrillers for Lachesis PublishingKaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney and The Vigilante. Her books delve into the gritty underpinnings of society.

Today Jacqui shares what inspires her writing . . .

I am a visual person and a people watcher. The best writers I know have an extra spectator quality: the ability to be at an event and to be able to observe and participate. Once I heard that term for the first time I had an ‘ah ha’ moment, I was not alone; there were other people like me. I embraced my quirkiness as a gift.

As a child I was a dreamer and imagined entire mansions full of secret staircases and hidden rooms. Doesn’t every child dream in colour? If not they should, it’s fun. Those early dreams morphed into daydreams, which turned into detentions for not paying attention at school. I’d love to go back in time and let those teachers know that daydreams inspire my novel writing.

kaitlyn-wolfe-crown-attorneyI saw a woman (a stranger) walking across the road in my town in northern Ontario, Canada. The stranger was of Aboriginal descent, proud, beautiful and serene. Her features, high cheekbones combined with piercing brown eyes, enchanted me. I knew one day she’d become a character. The chance encounter with the stranger, who I never saw again, percolated in my sub-conscious and she became the protagonist in my novel Kaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney. The story of an Anishnaabe woman who experienced multiple tragedies as a youth, rose above her circumstances and became a Crown Attorney only to be foiled by defense lawyer Maxine Swayman known as ‘The Barracuda”.

Maxine Swayman, my reoccurring antagonist, is a red-haired, spitfire of a woman with beauty, poise and intellectual brilliance. She’s manifested from my Irish heritage and the plethora of strong females I have known throughout my life. Maxine’s personality comes from watching lawyers on Court T.V. on television, in court in real life and from my imagination. Maxine Swayman is the antagonist in both my novels Kaitlyn Wolf Crown Attorney and The Vigilante

I’m inspired by well-known authors including: Peter Robinson the author of the Inspector Banks mysteries, Agatha Christie, Linwood Barclay, and Margaret Mitchell, to name a few.

Mysteries, my genre of writing, are like a puzzle. If you lose one or two puzzle pieces you’ll never fully complete the picture. It’ll haunt you.

Mysteries, like those enigmatic mansions I created in my mind as a child, are my puzzles. I’ll spend hours and days planting clues, and writing plot twists and when I’m stuck, I’ll spend time in nature. Nature’s beauty never stops inspiring me and after a needed break, I’ll return to my laptop ready to continue unraveling the puzzle.

Connect with Jacqui Morrison on her web site, and on facebook and twitter.

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Filed under MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, SUSPENSE THRILLER, THRILLER, THRILLER FICTION

Guest Author Blog: What Inspires Your Writing? by Louise Clark (romance and paranormal author)

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 . . .

SnoozingUp 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.

You-Woke-Me-UpI 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.

 

Travelling-CatIf 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.

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