There’s one question all creative types can look forward to being asked at least once in their lifetimes. Where do you get your inspiration? It seems like a simple enough inquiry but the truth is, sometimes there’s no easy answer. That’s certainly the case with me.
Yes, my inspiration does come from my own life at times, but that’s not set in stone. I don’t need to be in love to create romantic poetry. At the same time, I don’t have to be experiencing heartbreak to write about it. There have been occasions when something as simple as a song on the radio might lead to the creation of a particular piece, whether or not it resonates with what I’m going through at the time. I’ve written over two hundred poems so I couldn’t possibly sit here and go through the inspiration for each one. But I’m going to be ambitious and attempt that very thing for some of my stories. Here goes…
The Story Of Us: I get asked about this one a lot. Most people want to know if it’s a true story or not. Others are convinced that it is based on real events and want to know the final ending. I’d like to say that I don’t kiss and tell but, as a writer, I can’t always do that. All I can do is protect the identities of those who might be involved. So, yes, the story is the first I ever wrote and it is true…up to a point. I’ve indulged in the luxury of a significant amount of artistic licence but this was indeed inspired by the first woman I ever loved. And for those who just have to know how it all ended; where’s the fun in that?
A Perfect World: Unfortunately, I can’t keep it a secret. That relationship did end, and the blow was devastating. I started writing this on a night when the woman that I thought was ‘the one’ was spending the night in the arms of someone else, and I was contemplating getting totally wasted. It was one of the lowest points in my life and I was desperate to drown my sorrows. Thankfully, I chose my computer over the bottle. This was the result. I don’t know these characters. I don’t know where they came from. But together they made a complete story, and it remains a favourite among my readers.
Let Love Endure: I wish I could share this with you but, as a condition of it being published, it can’t appear on this website. You’re free to peruse its sequel though. I was inspired to write this at the point when I think I first started to heal. You can only be in pain for so long. Eventually you either give in and let it consume you, or you decide to let it go. That’s what this was about. Moving on and letting go…or maybe trading one obsession for another. It all depends on how you look at it.
Dearest Diary: I never had a diary growing up. I can’t remember why. It just wasn’t a thing in our house. As an adult, I did contemplate starting a journal (sounds better than keeping a diary huh?), but I already write stories, so why bother? But it did give me an idea for a story written as journal entries. I do like to experiment with story structure every now and then.
You Ask, I Answer: In keeping with the idea of experimentation (not that kind…get your mind out of the gutter), I wondered what it would be like to write a story consisting almost entirely of dialogue. Of course, given my love for the creatures of the night, this was the result. My original plan was to use this piece as an introduction to a longer story, but life got in the way. Never fear though. This won’t be the last time you see these characters.
Illusions: This one actually started off as a gift for a friend, and my first attempt at writing anything even remotely erotic. I’ve always been a fan of horror, or rather vampires if you want to be specific. The hopeless romantic in me is drawn to that whole ‘centuries old true love’ spiel. I actually had that idea for the first scene in mind for a long time but I just couldn’t seem to figure out where to go from there. One day it just hit me. Why continue from there? Why not fast forward? Everything just clicked then and writing resumed at a frantic pace, right up until I got to the love scene. It stalled there for a while. I just couldn’t stop blushing.
Just One Night: Sometimes a scene will pop into my head. That’s it. Just a scene. Nothing else. That’s what inspired this story. There I was, just minding my own business, and all of a sudden I envisioned this woman staring out the window into the pouring rain. I put myself in her place. What was she thinking of? What was she about to do? I have been in that situation where you know what you need to do, but walking away is just too hard. You convince yourself that it’s better to accept what you can have than have nothing at all. Here’s the thing though. It’s wanting so much and being given so little that’s killing you inside. I figured that was her problem too.
A Yearning Unknown: Should I really tell you that a dream inspired this? Maybe you might look at me and wonder what the hell goes on in my mind? Oh wait, you already do that. Fair enough. Well okay. This is based on an actual dream I had. In it, I played the role of Alexis and it was nowhere near as detailed as I wrote it. However, that bloody kiss close to the end? Oh yes, part of the dream. Is it getting hot in here? I was questioning my sanity for weeks afterwards.
Feeding Time: I’d like to say that anyone who knows me knows I have a dark side…but I can’t. Most people don’t. I’m often the joker of the pack but I have a self-destructive, and sometimes violent, streak that I’ve only recently learned to control. One of things that triggers my ire are criminals who prey on the innocence of others. I cannot say that I would be able to hold back should I ever come face to face with one such miscreant. That got me to thinking. What if a monster broke into a home only to find something much worse waiting for him inside (think The Collector, only the other way around). I know a lot of people were a bit surprised when they read this one but hey, I believe it’s better to embrace the darkness before it embraces you.
Kindred Killers: I know. I’m overdue for something ridiculously sappy and romantic, and I’ll get to it. I promise. Like I said before, I’m going through an experimentation phase (get your minds out of the gutter…or not). This was my attempt at something resembling Steampunk. The idea of this sort of old world, gothic brothel appealed to me. The idea of adding a twist appealed to me more. I decided to just run with it and see where it went. Clearly it derailed at some point and went off a cliff.
Meet The Muses: I have no excuse for this one. I usually joke with a friend of mine that our Muses always seem to be drunk or high. Somehow that idea got translated into a story, and my first attempt at something a bit more humorous. Of course my sense of humour takes some getting used to.
Finding Normal: The first draft of this was actually written as a submission for an erotica anthology. I had wanted to challenge myself to go a bit beyond my comfort zone. Unfortunately, it wasn’t accepted. What was accepted was the fact that this is my style, even though it may not push as far as many others (I have great respect for writers of tasteful erotica). So I decided to rework it a bit, make a few additions, and publish it on my own site.
Red Riding Cop: Again, I have no excuse. I came across a call for submission for re-imagined fairy tales and, even though I had no idea of submitting anything since the time was too short, the idea stuck with me. Sadly, this is where my imaginings took me.
As It Once Was: Relationships are hard. Sometimes the longer they last, the more work they require. What’s easy is giving in to the temptation to throw it all away, to take that first bite of the forbidden fruit. I wanted to show that with this one, and to show that it’s never too late to make amends. You may not be able to find the excitement of the beginning, but you may very well find something better.
In The Shadows: I had an outline for this one written for a long time, but I just didn’t know how to set about it. As I’ve said before, I’m a big horror fan. I am not, however, a big fan of gore. I’m not in the least bit squeamish, but I think that overt violence can take away from the story unless it’s an intrinsic part. That’s why I’ve always preferred books/movies that rely on atmosphere to get its scares. I wanted to do something along the lines of an old school haunted house. This is what I came up with.
I have other stories but I can’t for the life of me recall what inspired some of them in the first place. Some stories are just being born, either from me wanting to try my hand at new genres, or just finally being ready to face a lot of the things I’ve been hiding from. Oftentimes, when I write, I have to go to a place that I don’t necessarily want to be and that I’m not sure I can come back from. It’s tough, and it’s scary. I have so many scars already. I hate picking at the wounds. But I have to. Each one inspires me to create.