Book Inspiration: Where Do Your Ideas Come From?

Book Inspiration: Where Do Your Ideas Come From?

Where did you get the inspiration for the Murmur books?

A reader sent in the question above, and I think it’s an especially awesome question for fantasy fiction books. Where do all of these pieces come from? For me, I think the ideas for the Wildheart books draw from a couple of wells of inspiration:

Myths and Ancient Tales

This one is especially true for inspiring the danger element in each book–there are so many old stories about supernatural beings rambling around North America that it just makes sense to fold them into the Oklahoma mix. Wikipedia is my friend for initial research, and then it’s off to articles about Irish goddesses of war (old world, but still) and the tlahuelpuchi from Mexico.

Google Maps

This is kind of a weird one, maybe, but I definitely spent a good chunk of time dropping myself into the street view of Google maps when I was writing. Are you writing about a European-style city? Drop yourself into some real-life castles and canals! Since I wanted to put my stories in the Midwest, I puttered around the main streets of Beaver, Oklahoma, to see what things looked like–everything from house size to tree density 🙂 You don’t have to stick to real life when writing, of course, but it can be a great springboard to start creating an imaginary town.

Real Life

What?! Isn’t this supposed to be fantasy? Outrageous! Get this real life business out of here! 😉

When I started writing the Wildheart books, I thought I was going to create people and places that were totally different from what I knew. I mean, in a way, yes–these kids are turning into birds and tangling with magical beasts, yo. But looking back, I realized there are threads of true things running through the books, too: feeling different in a small town, the different flavors of family dynamics, seeing where power and influence pool in a community that’s in the proverbial middle of nowhere, etc. It’s kind of neat, actually, and I didn’t see a lot of it until the first couple of books were already finished. Chances are, your real life is brimming with things that are interesting and magical, too!

What sort of things inspire you? What kind of things do you love to see in fantasy books? 🙂

Love and high-fives from my muse,
Emily

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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