“Writer, where do ideas come from?”

“The stork (muse) brings them.”  “They’re from out in the cabbage patch.”

Seriously, I get asked this question quite a bit, as do other authors.  The answer is a little tricky.  I can’t speak to anyone else’s experience.  But for me?

They come from everywhere, and nowhere, and somewhere in between.

For me, characters have a life of their own.  They are people.  As such, they have their own unique foiables, strengths, idiosyncrasies.  I do NOT, EVER base a character directly on a living human being.  It’s cheating.  (It’s also a great way to invite a particularly nasty lawsuit.)

That said, you can’t help but have your experience of humanity influence your work.

My sister is allergic to bananas.  The mere smell of them makes her nauseous.

*Poof* Celia hates bananas.  (Not an allergy, but there you go.)

I’m looking through a catalog and see this really awesome cross.

*Poof* the Eldritch Cross came into existence.

If you’ve had a broad experience of life, you have a lot of personal history to draw from.  If you’ve read a lot, seen a lot of movies, and generally just keep your eyes open, you’ll have food for your imagination.

You’ve seen a sunset.  Could you describe it to a blind person?  You’ve tasted chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven with milk.  Can you remember how it felt, tasted, smelled, how much you enjoyed it?  Did you burn your tongue?

Experience gives the muse the building blocks to work with.  But IMAGINATION gives a writer the blueprint to build with them—or should.

I have had my characters fight serial killers in my books.   I have not experienced it.  (THANK YOU GOD!)  But I can imagine it.

I’ve had zombies in one of my books, and fantastical characters.  They came from my imagination.  But the reactions of the human characters TO the killers and zombies and fantastical creatures?  THOSE come from my observations of human nature.

My characters are flawed, imperfect.  The people they deal with are equally imperfect.

Celia Graves, the main character in the Blood Singer series, was bitten and partially turned by a vampire.  She is now an Abomination.  As a result she has to deal with a lot of fear and prejudice on the part of other human beings who see those pesky fangs and think “MONSTER.”  It’s reasonable for them to be afraid, and reasonable for them to act on their fear.  It is also reasonable for Celia to be hurt, offended and frustrated by their reaction and embarrassed if they spray her down with holy water in public and/or generally make a scene.

So, where do ideas come from?  Life.

And when the creative well is running dry, and writer’s block happens?

For other people it’s BIC (BUTT IN CHAIR).  For me?  Generally, writer’s block is a sign that I’m weary, and/or sick.  I need rest, to recharge, and take a big fat dose of LIFE.  I need to eat those cookies, watch that sunset, shoot pool, play air hockey, or go to a movie.  I need to walk the dog, talk to family and friends, and feel loved.  A day or two of DOING things and I’ll relax, and my mind will spit out the solution to whatever problem was blocking me from my subconscious as a reward.

I’m a big believer in hard work.  I try to write every day.  (And I usually do it at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. since that’s when I can fit it in to “real life.”)  But in order to write about life, you have to LIVE.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when the deadlines loom, and the bills have to be paid.  But it’s worth remembering. No artist wants their muse to go on strike.  (But if she does, you might try looking in that cabbage patch.)

CAT ADAMS ONLINE
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cat Adams is the joint pen name of C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp who began writing as a team in 1997. They quickly learned that their individual talents in writing created a dynamite combination in historical and paranormal novels! Cathy resides in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, dogs, cats and 24 Boer/Spanish cross goats! Cie is currently relocating to the Denver metro area with her dog and cats. They are USA Today bestselling authors with their Sazi and Thrall series and the much-lauded Blood Singer series.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren. Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia’s cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she’s a Siren princess, and she’s marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She’s getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out—including Celia herself, who is half Siren. Luckily, Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. When Adriana returns to the Siren homeland to try to prevent a coup, Celia is free to hunt for the terrorists and the vile mage who is helping them (while keeping her eyes open for the perfect maid-of-honor dress). Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.

GIVEAWAY!

Tor is giving away ONE (1) copy of The Eldritch Conspiracy to ONE (1) lucky winner

To enter please leave a comment for the author then complete the widget below.
(If you’re reading this via RSS/email then please visit www.BookChickCity.com to enter the giveaway)

This giveaway is International and ends 20th February 2013

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

PLEASE NOTE: Before entering please take the time to read our Giveaway Policy. As from Jan 2013, we will not be contacting giveaway winner/s by email. Winner/s will be announced on the blog via a post containing a link to claim their prize. Failure to claim your prize within SEVEN (7) days of the giveaway announcement post means you will forfeit your prize/s. So as to not miss these announcement posts, as well as future giveaways, subscribe via RSS or Email

Carolyn

Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!

13 Comments


Liz S February 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I love this series. It is the character flaws that makes the stories much more interesting and fun. Thanks for the contest. Sorry don’t have. Twitter account.

Reply

Sherry February 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Thanks for the awesome tour.

Reply

Linda February 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Love this and can´t wait for my chance to read more, =)
Happy Wednesday!
//Linda

Reply

Dawn Roberto February 14, 2013 at 12:37 am

I just picked up the first book in the series the other day to read and can’t wait to read it. Sounds very intriguing.

Reply

Carl Ekman February 14, 2013 at 5:35 am

Thanks for the thoughts. It’s neat to see behind the scenes.

Reply

Lia Oxanne February 14, 2013 at 8:01 am

Looking forward to read the books.
Thank you for the blog tour!

Reply

Joanne thomas February 14, 2013 at 9:12 am

looks like a great read xx

Reply

Brian Stabler February 16, 2013 at 10:11 am

Looks well worth reading.

Reply

bn100 February 18, 2013 at 1:41 am

Interesting info about the book and characters

Reply

Betty Raymer February 18, 2013 at 4:20 am

What can I say? I love sci-fi!

Reply

Angela Fitzgerald February 18, 2013 at 5:25 am

I have never entered to win anything until now. This giveaway caught my attention. I decided to enter. Thank you for this awesome opportunity and this wonderful giveaway. Good luck everyone.

Reply

Shelly Johnson February 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this Q&A. The books sounds awesome and I can’t wait to get started on it! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

Reply

Injustice Bound in Death | Literary Escapism February 27, 2013 at 5:21 pm

[...] Blog (Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five)Cat Adams, author of The Eldritch Conspiracy – Book Chick CityFrancis Knight, author of Fade to Black – Orbit.comKaren Duvall, author of ‘Til The [...]

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