How ideas are born
by Calista Lynne
Authors are frequently asked where their ideas come from. My upcoming novel has been inspired by such a wide variety of random goings-on in my life and I think that’s how it works for most writers. A few years back, I went to a Neil Gaiman book signing in New York City. He described his books as being like stained glass windows. All of the pieces in one particular color- red, for example- are truths from his life, and the rest of the colors are fiction. Standing back, it’s just one big picture with red areas blending in with other colors, but closer up the reality becomes more obvious. I’m going to explain some parts of my reality that fed into my novel.
The basic premise of the story came from a sonnet I intended to write and never got around to. I melded that concept with some basic fairytales, along with the general idea that I wanted to write better representation into literature. My two lead characters are female asexuals in a same sex relationship. One of the first scenes I wrote is when these two meet and it happens on a beach.
Once upon a time, I used to be a Boardwalk barker. They’re the individuals with the Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows spiels. I would shout mine out hundreds of times a day as a wheel game spun behind me and I handed out crappy prizes. Although I hated it at the time, breathing in ocean air while the tourism industry added a steady trickle of money to my bank account wasn’t the worst way to spend my summers. During breaks I would stare over the Atlantic and think Profound Teenage Thoughts™. One day the beach was completely covered in fog and it looked as if the bathers were inside of a cloud; I took a mental snapshot, wrote a sloppy poem, and had the basis for what would one day be the opening of my first book.
Being a barker was an odd experience. Not only was I expected to listen to the same Disney soundtrack nine times daily after one particular film’s insane increase in popularity, but I also had drunken customers to keep things entertaining. A woman once jumped into the Coach Purse stand to see if they were real. But that’s a completely different story. Just know that I spent summers getting free soda and dollar pizza on a boardwalk every day and it has fed into my career a shocking amount.
Where are other places I’ve found inspiration? Well I like to listen to stories people tell, even if they’re obviously made up. Explanations of tattoos and wild, drunken adventures that have definitely been exaggerated all feed into my writing. I don’t count this as stealing so much as being observant. The town my characters live in is the size of one about an hour away from where I grew up and has the same general layout, but the contents in it are mismatched from various areas.
And some of the scenes come from dreams.
So if you are looking for inspiration, maybe for a novel or poem or just life in general, I recommend you do three things:
- Listen carefully to everyone, even if you want to speak over them.
- Read everything you can and in many genres.
- Live wildly, regardless of whether you are stuck in suburbia or a city slicker. The world will bring you material to write about.
In the end, we’re all just seeking happiness or at least mild contentment during our time on earth. If you keep doing that everything will work out. Now go get inspired and write some representation!
About the Book
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: 14 July 2016
Length: 180 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, Teen Fiction
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Purchase Links: Harmony Ink/DSP || Amazon || ARe || B&N || Kobo
Blurb: One year ago a car accident killed Victoria Dinham’s father, and now all that keeps her going is the hope of getting into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. That is, until an ethereal girl named Ashlinn visits her in her sleep claiming to be the creator of good dreams and carrying a message from her comatose brother. They meet in Victoria’s subconscious, and over time they come to care for each other. Ashlinn is secure in her asexuality, but Victoria has never heard of it. Soon, however, she realizes she too must be asexual.
On the day of Victoria’s big dance audition, her mother is unable to drive her to town so Ashlinn must turn human to help Victoria chase her dreams. While in New York City, Victoria and Ashlinn explore their affections for each other and try to understand what it means to be asexual teenagers. Unfortunately for the couple, Ashlinn cannot stay human forever, and humanity begins to suffer from not having her around to create pleasant fantasies each night.
About the Author
Look for me by the books and warm beverages. Calista Lynne is a perpetual runaway who grew up on the American East coast and is currently studying in London. She is oftentimes seen screeching at Big Ben and pointing out the same landmarks on a daily basis, and is having difficulty adjusting to the lack of Oxford commas across the pond. She writes because it always seemed to make more sense than mathematics, and has superb parents who support more than just her latte addiction. If Calista Lynne could change one thing about her life, it’d probably be her lack of ability to play both of the ukuleles adorning her rainbow bookshelves.