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Thursday, September 6, 2012

More Author Insight: Strange Inspiration

 What is the strangest place you've drawn inspiration from?

"I honestly can't think of a single thing to say to this. What I consider strange and what most people consider strange usually don't overlap. I think it's strange that a third-hand story about a kid with a knife and an article in TIME about high school seniors' opinions on the first amendment inspired Hero-Type, but is it really all that strange? Inspiration is almost always a mix of influences." - Barry Lyga, author of I Hunt Killers

"The strangest place I've drawn inspiration from. Oddly enough, I've had more than a few story questions get unstuck by the people who are bagging my groceries at Stop and Shop. It's not that I tell them what's going on, but they are skilled at chatting away to people and sometimes just reveal the right details." - Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door

"Define strange. :) I find it everywhere. Literally." - C.J. Redwine, author of Defiance.

"Costco. I’ve told this story many times, but that is the place where I got the idea for the world of Starters. Weird, huh?" - Lissa Price, author of Starters. 

"There are so many strange places I’ve drawn inspiration from that it’s hard to choose just one.  Slayers (under my pen name, CJ Hill) has dragons that hibernate for decades. That was inspired by the cicadas that lie dormant under the ground and only immerge every 13 years. As a child, when I learned that insects could do that, I immediately worried that the dinosaurs weren’t really extinct, their eggs were all just laying dormant, ready to spring to life and eat me.

Sometimes a creative mind is a curse.

For other novels I’ve used
1)     The time when I was a teenager and my parents accidentally left me at a gas station in Seattle.
2)    The time I was stuck in my car with a psychotic cat
3)    Every bad summer job I ever had
4)    Jerky guys from high school
5)    My general clumsiness. I got so tired of my husband asking me where I got all my bruises from that I told him while he sleeps, I secretly fight dragons.  Which is pretty much what the characters of Slayers do." - Janette Rallison (AKA C.J. Hill), author of Erasing Time.

"Movie trailers. I love movie trailers (usually more than the movies themselves) —and the combo of choice/epic visuals + awesome music just makes me itch to write." - Sarah Maas, author of Throne of Glass

"There's a particular piece of graffiti carved into the bathroom wall at Rudy's that always stuck with me. It's not YA appropriate." - Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and Bone

"I went to the Yucatan to research my newest novel, and got a ton of inspiration from freaky Mayan sacrificial stuff, including a cenote, which is like a natural well that the Mayans would reportedly throw babies and stuff into."  - Kevin Emerson, author of The Lost Code

"An RV resort on the central coast of CA. No joke.  It's the current setting of my WIP." - Jessi Kirby, author of In Honor

"One night a house on my block caught fire and nearly burned down. I ended up writing a short story about that night (unpublished)." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of Try Not to Breathe.

"One of my main resources for inspiration is music, which I guess isn’t that strange. I did get the idea of setting my next novel, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, in the toddler beauty pageant world after watching the reality shows Little Miss Perfect and Toddlers & Tiaras. I was horrified, yet intrigued at why families would put themselves through something like that. So then I found myself watching anything and everything having to do with that world. You know, for research." - Elizabeth Eulberg, author of Take a Bow.

"I don't know that I have any "strange" sources of inspiration—I generally go for a walk, listen to music, and look around me and daydream scenarios for my characters, since my books are all based in New York. - Cara Lynn Shultz, author of Spellcaster

Find out next Tuesday if the authors have a writerly support system!

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