Monday, April 20, 2009
What Inspires You to Write?
When doing chats or author interviews, one of the first questions asked seems to be a variation of, What inspires you to write?
My short answer is one word: travel. My longer answer is that traveling/moving initially reinforced my love of reading. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, my earliest playmates were fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became my portable pals. An only child, I began writing at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating my own happy endings – usually consisting of large families.
As an adult, writing has become my “second” job, where I squeeze in time between my day job and “life.” When I travel, however, I’m freed from my daily concerns. Everything is new. Not only does travel open my mind, travel triggers my muse. I admit it, I’m a peripatetic writer.
The inspiration for UNTIMELY PARTNERS was a trip my husband and I took to Teotihuacan, Mexico. Traveling always gives me ideas for stories. The locations spark ideas/plots/characters/conflicts. You could say that geography is the basis for my ideas.
For instance, a double rainbow that occurred on a walk in Teotihuacan was the inspiration for one of the opening images of UNTIMELY PARTNERS. A white dog that I met at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun actually became one of the central characters in the plot.
When my husband and I lived in Taiwan, political events occurring in the news and actual incidents that happened to me merged to become the inspiration for SOVEREIGNTY OF THE DRAGONS. Again, it was the geographical place, as well as the local flavor that inspired the story.
What’s my advice for inspiration for writing? Travel to an unfamiliar (or exotic) destination; be open-minded; experience all you can…just taste life…literally and figuratively! Add imagination, stir well, and serve up as a novel.
When doing chats or author interviews, another question asked seems to be a variation of, What are some promotional tips for other writers?
What works best for me is establishing working relationships with other authors in my area. Join local writing groups; speak at authors’ meetings, or give readings at local clubs, all the while quietly promoting your name, not just your latest title. Word-of-mouth and networking really do open doors, which lead to new speaking opportunities that ultimately help sales.
Karen Hulene Bartell
© Karen Hulene Bartell 2009 all rights reserved
UNTIMELY PARTNERS: http://www.lyricalpress.com/paranormal_romance.html published by Lyrical Press, Inc.
Contact me at my web site: http://karenhulenebartell.com/ I’d love to hear from you!