Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?

The dreaded question: From where do you get your inspiration?

Ugh. I actually cringe when people ask me this. Why? Well, because I don’t know. I really don’t. I just kind of get ideas out of nowhere, or everywhere, and I use them as stories. There are times when I feel tempted to lean across the table to the person who has asked me this and whisper, “From the voices in my head.”

Yet there are moments when an object does inspire me. Maps are my big sources of inspiration (because it makes my fictional places seem real), as are pictures I find that resemble the locations in my books. And, yes, there is my fascination with swords.

So I was in one of my favourite places a few months back, namely a store called “Millennium.” For those of you who haven’t visited it, the one I go to is in Metrotown (a mall in Burnaby) and has an entrance the shape of a dragon’s head. The first time I walked in, the clerks glanced at me a little suspiciously. You see, this store is for the Goth extreme and there I was all dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt. Nothing pierced, nothing tattooed, and nothing black. Clearly, I was in the wrong place.

The first time I ventured in I found the sword that has been the inspiration for my character KANE. He will be the protagonist in the third installment after Rancour and Pyre. Now the staff knows me well, and they know that I like a good sword. And these swords are actual practical pieces, and not cheap decorative knock offs.

Anyway, a couple months back I ventured back to Millennium after having lunch with some buds across the street. When the staff saw me, they immediately showed me a Claymore that had just arrived (because I had been looking for one). I enjoy writing about Claymores, and have always wanted to own one. As an author, this is what inspires me. (Kind of like the way Hiro gets his powers from the samurai sword.)

I don’t know what character will get to use the Claymore, but here it is:

An Actual Writing Post

Being that I’m an author, I suppose I should add a post or two about writing. This past weekend (being that my weekend consists of only one day) was awesome. I got home from school on Saturday around 6pm, after running two very fun workshops at CWC. This week we discussed poetry, which isn’t exactly my strong point. In all honesty, the only poems I can recite from heart would probably get me fired.

But there it was Saturday evening and I wondered what I should do. I had the option of meeting some friends for a movie, but instead I opted out and headed for my local 24-hour cafe and wrote. I’ve been writing the third instalment to my Rancour books, only because that seems to be what’s coming out of me. Truthfully, I’d much prefer to be writing about Galen in ancient Sparta but, well, Kane Prophet has a story to be told and he’s insisting it be told first.

My students asked me once what inspires me. I told them a story of how I was walking through Metrotown (a.k.a. the Third level in Dante’s Hell), where I came upon a store called Millennium. Inside, there was a wall of swords and I found one with this amazing brown wooden sheath and great hilt.(How’s that for masterful description?) When I picked it up I said to myself, “This is Kane’s sword. This is what he uses to go after the vampires.” So I bought it.

This sword has been my inspiration now for several weeks, and this story has just been flowing through me. (I’m having a hard time not making a Hiro reference, but I imagine most of you are tired of reading about my superhero obsession.) Sometimes I pick up the sword, and I imagine how Kane would feel having to fight evil with it.

And then I go back to my regular life.