You’d think for someone who draws inspiration from the most random places, making a list of things that inspire me from A-Z would be easy, right? Well… no. My biggest inspirations come from music and movies. Real life plays a part, but the grand majority comes from music. As the grandchild/child/daughter of a musician, it obviously plays a huge role in my life. Which is probably why most of this list will be musicians or song titles. Don’t judge me.
A – AJ McLean. Yes, the Backstreet Boy. His solo album provides most of the soundtrack for my WIP, More Than That. Which leads me to…
B – the Backstreet Boys. My entire rockstar series are named after their song titles. I’ve loved them since I was 15 and doubt I’ll ever stop. They have beautiful harmonies and I’m so impressed by their
C – Coffee. Sounds like a crazy thing to be inspired by, but let’s face it – no author can write without their morning caffeine fix. Especially me. I’m a bit of a bear without it (just ask Mr. Prince – people aren’t allowed to speak to me until I’ve had my morning java).
D - Dancing. This is likely tied to the music playing while I dance, or possibly the fact that I let go of everything that’s bothering me while I’m dancing and all the stress melts away. You’d be amazed at how ideas flood your brain when you’re not freaking out.
E - Egypt. I wanted to be an Egyptologist when I was growing up. Seriously. I wanted nothing more than to dig in the dirt and find a mummy and study the history of one of the most beautiful cultures on the planet. I’m still fascinated by the idea of pharohs and gods, but I ended up doing x-ray instead.
F - Food. I used to want to be a chef when I was younger, so the thought of writing a book with a chef in it has crossed my mind more than once. In fact, I have the first chapter of one that I’ve taken to calling “The Chef and the Wrestler” – mostly because I’m TERRIBLE with titles.
Fanfic. Yes, I’m doing two Fs. I wrote fanfic when I was younger, starting at 7 and writing stories about New Kids on the Block. I graduated to wrestling, the Backstreet Boys, and eventually, Twilight (that fade to black scene pissed me off!) Occasionally, I go on kicks where I read nothing but fanfic. I have a few favorite authors and I glom everything they post on FanFic.net.
G - Guys. This should probably be “men” but that’s already taken by “music” so I’ll go with “guys.” Also, I have nothing else for G, so it’s a necessary evil. I don’t want to be the shallow person who says that she’s inspired by a pretty face, but it’s the truth. Not always, but sometimes. For instance: I’m writing a hot doctor book because there’s a seriously hot doctor that I work with at my dayjob and I can’t help but immediately think of a million different storylines when he’s around.
H - History. I included a bit of history in Lost Treasure (my contribution to the Bad Boys Next Door box set that’s releasing next week!) I’ve always been a bit of a history nerd. I even took three more history classes than I needed for my degree in college because I’m so fascinated by the topic. My specific area of interest is ancient history (Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc) but I’m a big world history buff. One day, I’ll probably end up writing a HR just because I can’t get the time period out of my head.
I - the Internet. Yeah, this is a gimme. There’s SO MUCH to be found online that it’s difficult not to get inspired while I’m surfing (aka: avoiding real life). Music and hotties and movies and awesomeness, oh my!
J - Jane Austen. I don’t write Pride & Prejudice fanfic, though I probably could with as many times as I’ve read P&P and how often I go on P&P variation kicks (My favorite P&P variation author is Abigail Reynolds. I love everything she writes). Mr. Darcy is my ultimate dream man, mostly because of the variations written.
K - Kevin Richardson. Yeah, another Backstreet Boy. He was my favorite, growing up. I’ve always loved the older guys, I guess (Mr. Prince is 11 years older than me). Those eyes. GUH. I die every time I hear his voice and see his gorgeous face. Even during his awkward long hair phase.
L – Laziness. Believe it or not, I do get inspired when I’m being lazy. Mostly when I’m avoiding doing something like laundry or dishes (because, eww). My mind wanders and suddenly I have new ideas for books I want to write.
M - Music. You knew this one was coming. I have soundtracks for every book I write for a reason.
N - Nickelback. I get teased for my love of Nickelback, but they’re popular for a reason. Namely: that they have seriously catchy tunes and Chad Kroeger’s voice is amazing. Most of my soundtracks have their music on it.
O – Orgasms. Okay, so this isn’t really inspirational in that orgasms make you have millions of ideas, but I’m a romance author. Orgasms are part of the story. Also, I couldn’t think of anything starting with O once I joked that Orgasms should be on the list. I managed to writer’s block myself. Oops.
P – Poetry. I’m not a big poet these days, but I used to write it a lot. Some of my poems have made it into my works in progress (I wrote one especially for More Than That).
Q – Queen. Yes, the band. Who hasn’t listened to their music and felt moved in one way or the other? They did a lot of the music for Highlander (I’m that dork) and any time I hear “Who Wants to Live Forever” I’m immediately flooded with ideas about stories involving immortal characters. One day, I’ll actually do it.
R - Real Life. Like with my hot doctor story, I get inspired by real life often. Things happen and I often think: “It would’ve been so much better this way.”Or: “That would make an awesome story!” I have a notebook with me at all times just so I can jot down snippets or plot bunnies.
S – Submission calls. Occasionally, I’ll check out my favorite publishers’ sites to see what kind of books they’re looking for. They frequently put out calls for specific tropes or stories to be included in an anthology. The M/M book I’m working on now was supposed to be sent for one of these calls, but I got busy with family and didn’t end up finishing it in time. Now, instead of writing a novella I have an entire book planned around these characters.
T - Tropes. This may be a cheat answer, but when I sit back and think about my favorite tropes, I immediately have a million ideas. My favorite trope is Brother’s Best Friend. I also love Friends to Lovers, Secret Baby, Marriage of Convenience… I’m actually getting ideas right now, so I guess I’d better take a break from writing this list and jot down my plot bunnies.
U - Uh… Okay, so it’s not actually an inspirational word, but I tend to work best when I’m on deadline and/or when I seem to be losing my mind a little bit. I tend to get the best writing in when I haven’t slept in a while. You know that saying “Write drunk, edit sober?” Well, I don’t drink a lot, but when you’re going on very little sleep it kind of feels like you’re drunk. So, that works.
V - Veteran. I spent six years in the military. That definitely has had an effect on my life and who I am as a person. I’m writing a book that involves a female in the Navy – “write what you know.”
W – Writing. Writing in and of itself inspires me. When I’m blocked, I write about the other characters in the book I’m working on so my main characters will get jealous and start talking to me again (yes, I’m that author). One of my crit partners often tells me that “Your brain is a msucle – you have to work it out just like the rest of your body or it will atrophy and be useless.”
X – Since I can’t think up a good word that begins with X, I’m going to cheat and say eXes. My short story The Break Up is based on a real life breakup with someone that I loved and thinking on how it ended still hurts my heart. I’d planned on expanding it to a longer story about how the heroine picks herself up and moves on with her life, but I think that’s one story better left as a short.
Y - Youth. Mine. My daughter’s. My brothers’. I have several WIPs that have children in them. I also take a lot of my own experiences from childhood into account while writing
Z - Zumba. This goes along with dancing, I suppose. I don’t do it in public because no one wants to see that mess. But it’s fun and freeing and lets me let go of everything that’s weighing me down.
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