Abandoned houses. Roaring thunderstorms. Flickering chandeliers. Flaming candelabras. Derelict cemeteries. These are a few of my favorite things . . . and imagery that can be found in one or more of my gothic suspense and supernatural thriller novels. Recently, a lot of people have asked me where I get “ideas” for my stories, settings, and characters.
Finding the inspiration for these images is easier than ever with Pinterest. I set up a Pinterest board for each book at its inception, and then I start filling the board with images. Along with setting, I “cast” the story with actors or actresses who fit the character (admittedly, most of them are overly populated with images of Aidan Turner), as well as other props that might be relevant.
I get a lot of inspiration from music. I only listen to instrumental music when I write, but when I’m in my car, songs often inspire certain scenes or plot twists. I’ve sorted out entire timeline, climax, beginning, and ending problems while listening to music in the car. Music is a great vehicle for emotion too.
In terms of personal experience, I’ve only had a couple of paranormal encounters in my life, which were both unwelcome and terrifying. So, I’m thankful that others can fill in the blanks for me because I really don’t want to have to see/hear/experience any more of those for myself. Sometimes I’m inspired by reading, watching, or listening to other people’s stories. Right now, I’m especially into real haunted house stories, which offer an abundance of ideas for the houses and characters (and sometimes houses as characters) in my novels.
Other writers out there, please chime in! I’d love to hear where you get inspiration for your stories.
For the month of February, Whickering Place on ebook is on sale for $1.99. Look for the audiobook, which should be coming out by the end of the month. Also, Wildfell will be out any day on audiobook. I was privileged to have the amazing talents of Elizabeth DeVault for Whickering Place (she also narrates The Meadows) and British voice actress Rebecca McKernan (who had to perform over five different accents for the book). I hope you will check them both out on Audible, Amazon, or iTunes!