"And Another Awesome Author Visit"
So congratulations Softindierocker, email me to claim your prize. Also thanks to the Book Muncher who also had the same idea!!
Now without further ado let me present you all with my newest feature....And Another Awesome Author visit. This week's special guest is none other than Tera Lynn Childs.
Tera Lynn Childs' first novel Oh. My. Gods., click here for my review, was recently released. This is her first novel and certainly not her last! Not only can you visit her at her personal website, but she also blogs over at Books, Boys, Buzz. Tera joins us today to talk about her inspiration for Oh. My. Gods. So enjoy:)
One of the first questions I’m always asked is, “How did you come up with the idea for your book?” All authors must field that question in some form or another. Some come up with clever responses like, “In the discount aisle at Wal-Mart.” Others pinpoint specific methods of research, like trolling newspaper headlines and magazine articles. Still others simply say, “I have no idea, but I just hope they keep coming.”
This is such a difficult question to answer because, in truth, ideas can come from anywhere. Observation is a critical skill for an author, which means we’re always watching, looking, absorbing. Inspiration can come from anywhere, at anytime. We just have to be ready for it. Here are just some of the ways I’ve found potential story ideas:
At the Airport -- People watching at the airport is fascinating. I once saw a young man who looked like a juvenile delinquent. I had no evidence for that, just my gut instinct. Then he stood up and I saw his hands were cuffed together. When it was time to board, the man (officer?) who was accompanying him removed the cuffs and sent him onto the plane alone. That really got my creative questioning flowing. What had the young man done? Why was he being put on the plane? Why, if he’d had to be handcuffed, was he flying unescorted? These are the kinds of questions that lead to a story.
In a Perfume Ad -- Most of the time I just skip the ads in magazines. I mean, they take up way more space than anything else and it’s annoying. But sometimes a picture catches my attention, especially if it’s an image that is open to interpretation. There was a perfume ad once that depicted a girl lounging on a chaise beneath tropical mosquito netting, with a boy resting his head in her lap. Something about her expression and body language told me that she wasn’t exactly what seemed. Figuring out her story could turn into a book.
Titles -- A lot of my ideas begin with a clever or catchy title. Usually it’s a phrase so evocative that those few words pop an entire story idea into my head almost instantly. In the case of Oh. My. Gods. the story developed from the original title, Growing Up Godly. Since I’m not an inspirational author, I figured “Godly” needed to refer to the Greek gods and that if someone were “Growing Up” then they needed to be teens. As soon as I decided there would be one normal girl attending a school for the descendants of Greek gods, the story just fell into place.
Cable TV -- I’m addicted to the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and the Travel Channel. (Not very creative names, are they?) Ideas can come from surprising shows, whether it’s a documentary on the history of chocolate production in the United States, an investigative report on the mysterious death of a starlet from Hollywood’s Golden Age, or the quest for proof that Atlantis sank off the coast of Florida (or Japan or the Greek island of Thira). Sometimes truth is the greatest source of fiction.
If your eyes are open and your mind is in analytical mode, ideas are everywhere just waiting to be found. Maybe your next trip to Starbucks or the latest TeenVogue will spur that story you’re dying to write. Keep a pen and notebook handy and remember that one of a writer’s most powerful tools is asking the question, “What if...?”