Sunday, July 15, 2012

Inspiration – How the Story Begins

I have often been asked where the idea comes from to write a novel.  Imagination is part of the answer; but, the things I read and see start the juices flowing.  I enjoy reading about history before I was born, a very long time ago, and start thinking how would I have lived in that time.  Would I have realized that history is being made, just like history is being made in our world today?  After all it’s the history that affects today’s current events as it has throughout time. 

We all react differently to events whether of world importance or life events that affect our nearest and dearest.  Sometimes though events can spin out of control, and that’s when anything could happen.  That’s when the what if comes into play.   That’s when a story starts to form and the characters begin to emerge from behind the curtain of the yet to be written story line. 
Mount Thera erupted in ancient time causing catastrophic destruction throughout the Mediterranean.  Earthquakes shook the earth as the volcano spewed molten lava across Thera Island and into the sea.  Tsunamis rolled onto the Island of Crete causing devastating losses to the Minoan Culture that marked the beginning of the end for a civilization that had survived over two thousand years.  The volcano’s ash carried by the trade winds blotted out the sun and fell like snow smothering plant life.  Soon the Minoans succumbed to illness and death leaving them vulnerable to invasion and the eventual demise of a millennia long civilization.

But, what if, someone important survived.  What if, that person’s blood line flowed into present time?  What if, the current day person heard the ancient one calling to her descendant?  That’s where a story formed and two women of very different times are drawn to each other as their journey together begins. Brimstone and Water began to emerge until the characters were unveiled and their story completed. 
A few years previous the journey took a different route when my interest in the British part of World War II was peaked.  What if, a young American nurse was present when the Japanese invaded the Malayan Peninsula? How would she see the outbreak of war in Europe when in the East all was calm—at least on the surface?  Why is she in Malaya?   What is the reaction of her British colleagues as news out of England reveals an endless stream of destruction by the enemy and diplomacy in the East continues its downward spiral? 

These are the questions I asked myself when writing They All Fall Down.  Each day saw something different happen and the characters began to emerge as each event became public.  Life continues even when world changing events occur.  Those on the world stage are making history, but the rest of the world is living life.  We go to work, we meet with friends, we have romances; we live our lives.   Then one day something happens that cannot be pushed to the back of our minds and we have to react to the situation where we find ourselves and try to survive. 
Though very different stories they both work the characters’ story around history.  I wonder what future author will look back at present day history and become inspired?

They All Fall Down: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book    then click on book, and type in
Sharon House in the search engine
Brimstone and Water: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781618623294