An author has many jobs.
First and foremost, of course, is creating engaging stories with plots and characters that speak to readers. It almost looks easy when I see it written on paper, but it's not always so. And now that several of my books have been published, I'm confronted by the unenviable task of finding new sources of inspiration. After all, without inspiration, an author has nothing.
When I was first published, the ideas flew from me, almost without bidding. You see, I'd been stockpiling plot bunnies for years, often without even being conscious of it. When Liquid Silver Books expressed an interest in my work, I was able to put many of those plot bunnies into action, and my canon of books was born.
But now I'm working on #9, and I'm finding my Muse has grown stubborn and petulant. I think I'm going to take away her chocolate supply and see if that knocks her into shape.
However, assuming my Muse refuses to co-operate even then, it's my job to seek inspiration elsewhere. For a paranormal writer, that isn't always easy. After all, where I live, vamps and shifters don't hang out at the corner coffee shop (I wish). So where do I find my inspiration and new plot ideas?
In every day life.
This involves getting a little naughty sometimes, playing detective and finagling scenarios where there might not actually be any.
That handsome, sun-burnt man loitering outside the bar, waiting for his date? Perhaps he's a vampire who was exposed to the sun.
The dark-haired nanny corralling a gaggle of flaxen-haired children? A witch who steals children in the night.
The young woman with the sad face, sitting on a bench outside the library, eating a sandwich? One half of a pair of doomed lovers, whose boyfriend was sucked into a different time period, drawn perhaps to his demise.
The young man in a kayak on the lake at dawn, rowing furiously and practicing for Olympic try outs? Perhaps he's actually a cursed human on the run from a monster who cannot step foot in the water. (Okay, that one feels like a stretch, but I'm thinking on my feet here!)
There's nothing wrong with pilfering from life. Writers do it every day, and in extremely creative ways. And you never know when a seemingly-banal incident will become an interesting nugget for a novel.
Now excuse me while I grab my notebook. I have to pick up a few items at the grocery store, and you never know who might be in the line up with me!