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:

One Response

  1. Hi James,We met a while ago at a blogger meet-up or … something book related. I’m sorry I can’t remember. Anyway, I was reading your post and thinking about inspiration. I recently came back from a trip to Malta and I was reading Barbara Hodgson’s book Trading in Memories while I was there. (I did some work to create a site for the book, aside, her photo collages of found art inspired me to keep my travel journal in a totally different way. And, she collects found art off the street, and little treasures from antique shops and bookstores, not your usual trinkets. I found myself seeking similar things. So it’s amazing what an author can do in terms of your own writing, and amazing what a great story can do in terms of inspiring different behaviour. I know it’s hard to answer this question as an author, but as a reader, I definitely know who’s pushing my buttons in the right way.Congrats again on your book. Cheers,

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