For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.
Inspiration: Where do I get my ideas from? Sometimes I have wondered about that. I don’t wonder too much, though, just in case those ideas decide to dry up. I don’t believe that there is any Muse inspiring me. Anyway, if you take Hesiod as a source, there is no Muse for novels, as such things as novels were not really developed until waaaay after the time of the Ancient Greeks. I guess that as far as my writing is concerned the closest would be Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy. I don’t think that there is any mystic Source for ideas, no Well at which all authors sip.
Some ideas just seem to arrive out of the blue, though. I have had ideas for short stories and one novel while simply lying down in the bath. Maybe it was because that I was relaxed that a couple of neurons inside my mind decided to fire in a particular way and provide me with the idea for a story.
Once I woke up having dreamt a story, just about down to the full stop at the end. That story was Who Am I? (It is in the collection Tales For A Rainy Day, if anybody is interested in checking it out). I was still on the railway at the time that I wrote that tale, and I had to hurry to work and scribble it down, before I forgot it. I have had a few other dreams which I have converted to into short stories. It’s pretty easy for an author when all that he does is to go to sleep and wake up with a new tale in his head, all fresh and clean and just waiting to be scribbled down.
Unfortunately, though, such instances are few and far between. Most of the time I have to sit down and try to work through various ideas, combining aspects of all of the things which I find to be interesting. I try to combine things which make me go yes, I wanna read that! in new and interesting ways. They have to be ideas which I think are wonderful; and which I want to read.
I sit down and I try to think of interesting plots; or interesting protagonists and villains. Looking back through my notebooks, where I put down the initial plans for novels, there are as many ideas which I have rejected as I have pressed forward with. Some of my ideas for novels I try out in my Gas-Lamp Fantasy Role-playing Game, occasionally. Other people are interesting in bouncing ideas off them.
A couple of short stories have been provided as ideas by other people. Ten Days came from an initial idea from Brian Grove. But I changed his idea a little, hoping to make it my own. But, generally, ninety-eight percent of the ideas are purely my own.
Well, I have to sign off now, as I am planning a series of novels set in my Gas-Lamp World featuring a mad professor who invents (and steals) technology which will allow him to go to the secret places of the planet… deep underground, on the ocean floor, and perhaps up into space. Yes, these will be Verne-style romances, but told through the prism of a world in which Magick is real. But I want to make them my own tales, not shallow copies, so I will think and think until I have them completely worked out inside my mind. Only then will I beaver away, writing the novel like some madman. And that, dear children, is how I find my inspiration.
Finally, in other news, I have posted the free story Killers On The Roam on the site.