Inspiration

Ladz: Owen

A while back, I started writing the first in a series about a boyband who rise to fame via a reality TV talent show. Yeah, I know it sounds familiar to the One Direction story, but I’m trying to make it different as much as I can.

I want to write it to show some of the things that these lads go through – the constant working, the media attention (good and bad), and the insane attention from fans, particularly on Social media. I will admit, being a One Direction fan (judge me lol) has seriously inspired me to write this series as some of the things I have seen fans say about them was amazingly sweet and heartwarming (especially when they were going through really bad times in their personal lives), the fans have raised so much money for charity in the name of the guys, and been generally supportive. Then, there’s the other side of the fandom.

Some ‘fans’ are absolutely appalling. They are disgustingly rude and inappropriate in comments on Twitter and Instagram, they demand attention from the guys, and try to force others to do the same and see things that aren’t there. Because of sites such as Twitter, fans have a whole new sense of ‘ownership’. (That’s not quite the right word, but I’m going with it.) Because the guys were always so open in their interaction with fans on Twitter, and open about their personal lives on Instagram, many fans took this to believe they constantly deserved more. The demands for attention from their idols became insane and crass, the request for follows lost their sweetness and endearing qualities, and in general, there was a sour tone across the fandom. This cause some of the band members to withdraw from social media, which made things worse, but I don’t blame them for doing so. The air of “we made them famous, we deserve more” was strong in the fandom.

Along with the insane positivity, I wanted to show the different sides to fame (as I see it) and how it could affect the person in the public eye.

As I started writing, I automatically thought about publishing the book, but was unsure how to market it as it doesn’t fall under any of the usual umbrellas I write under. I left it sitting (unfinished) on a USB stick for almost a year before I decided to post it over on Wattpad. I hoped to get honest feedback, and to get the impetus to finish the book and move on to the next in the series.

So far, six chapters have been posted, and I would love more feedback (don’t we all?). If you’d like to read it, click on the picture below (designed by the amazing Clare Dugmore) to head over to Wattpad. Feel free to leave a comment telling me what you’ve liked and disliked so I can make notes on how to improve the story. I’m hoping to dive back into it soon to finish it, or at lease get more chapters written before I run out of content to post.

 

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There She Goes – Now Available Only On Wattpad

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I wrote a short story for a charity anthology earlier this year. Each poem or short story was based around a song title, with the majority being based around 90s Britpop. I chose There She Goes by The Las.

I originally wrote this story after watching the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why as some kind of ‘alternative’. I loved the show, especially the way the makers didn’t shy away from showing the horrific things Hannah went through. To me, that was the overall message of the show (and the book it’s based upon). One little thing may seem insignificant, but when it’s coupled together with a handful of other insignificant events and then followed by something extremely traumatic, some people can’t see a way out. Like Hannah, far too many teenagers (and other people) think that suicide is the only way to make their own personal hell go away.

In this story, I wanted to show that yes, there is another way. It may seem just as drastic, but it’s not as permanent.

As mentioned in the author note in the beginning, I’m a mother, and the idea of bullying getting so bad that my child is unable to see a way out scares the life out of me. I’m scared of being like Hannah’s parents, and being too busy to notice something was wrong, or being told everything is ‘fine’ when I do ask.

It’s not easy to be the one person to against the flock, to stand up for someone others have deemed unworthy of positive attention; but it is so important to try and be that person to the best of your ability. Extend a hand of friendship, you may save someone’s life.

As the story was part of a charity anthology that is no longer on sale, I uhmed and ahhed over what to do with it. I decided that I wouldn’t have felt right charging for it and make money on something that was written to help others, so I have decided to post it on Wattpad. I shall be updating weekly with a new chapter.

If you have the time to take a look, the prologue is now live. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Read it for FREE HERE!

C is for…

 

Day 3, and I’m already playing catch up. I suck at advance organisation!

 

 

 

I feel a bit guilty, because while I stole my A-Z list from Clare Dugmore, she’s also written about celebrity crushes today. Go check her post out!

When I do online interviews, one of the most common questions I’m asked is “Where do you get your inspiration from?” You can take this question a couple of ways – story ideas, setting, plot twists, even genre, but today I’m discussing the inspiration behind my characters – specifically, my male characters.

We all have celebrity crushes. Some we’re open about, and others are a guilty secret. I have a few, and none I bother getting embarrassed about anymore. I’m too old, and quite frankly, I don’t care anymore 🙂

 

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Anyone who knows me, personally or online, knows about my… let’s call it a fascination… with Jackson Rathbone. Ever since I watched Twilight (and read the books), I was smitten with the character of Jasper Hale (I tend to have a thing for secondary characters).

When I wrote It Started in Texas, Jackson was Gage. Even now, when I read anything back, I can only ever picture Jackson. I’ve made no secret of that even though I know other readers see a different picture in their head.

 

 

Zac Levi – Super spy and thief – When I wrote The One That Got Away, it was originally a Twilight fanfiction. It was around 4,000 words long, and it was centered around the scene in the alleyway (If you haven’t read the book yet, don’t say I didn’t warn you), but when I decided I wanted to rework it, I needed to change up my characters, a lot. Zac was kinda in the back of my mind when I was writing about Shane. Not just his looks, but his proud nerdy side (Check out how nerdy Zac can get via Nerd HQ). I gave Shane the occupation I did to show that while he’s a lad’s lad, and a bit of a party boy, he can also be quite serious about stuff.

 

 

This is my latest celeb crush, and I already know he will be inspiring a male character soon. Not for how he looks, but as mentioned in my A is for… post on the 1st April, it’s his unique quirk.

 

 

I want a character with eyes like this – they may not be the same colour, but I WILL have a character with Sectoral Heterchromia. I doubt it’ll even be central to the plot of the story, but I can’t pass this up.

While my celeb crushes are varied (I haven’t mentioned the ones that are FAR too young for me), there is nearly always something about them that ends up in one of my books.

 

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My main celeb girl crush, and I’ll never attempt to write her as a character because she’s simply too gorgeous, is Scarlet Johanssen – particularly as Black Widow in the Marvel films. I simply couldn’t write a character as badass as Natasha Romanov, and that saddens me!

So… who’s your celeb crush? Leave a comment and I may admit the one I get judged about the most!

 

Writing Prompts

I’m a visual person, and photography is one place I get my inspiration from. When I get ‘blocked’ or unmotivated to write, I go looking for photographs that will hopefully kick start my muse.

So, I thought I’d share some with you in the hopes it’ll ignite that little spark in you…

All pictures were found over on this Tumblr account, and have been fully credited to where they were found.

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As you can see, it’s a wide range of images, which is great. Hopefully something will spark me or someone else.

Inspiration – Where it comes from, and do I go looking?

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I’ve completed, and read, a fair amount of interviews since becoming an author and book blogger. There are a lot of questions that seem to pop up time after time. The one I’ve usually struggled with answering is “Where do you get your inspiration from?” (or words to that effect).

The simple answer = everywhere.

I once watched an interview with Take That not long after they first came out (bear with me, it totally makes sense) and the interviewer asked Gary Barlow where he got inspiration for songs from. He went on to say the best place was the newspaper. He’d flick through, looking at headlines, and when one caught his eye, he would go on and read the article and “see what happens”.

I’ve never been inspired by a newspaper article, but that answer always stuck with me, and since then I’ve read the newspaper and watched the news. You never know, right?

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I’m a naturally visual person. When I was at school, I had to physically read texts and make notes before stuff would sink in. I’m the same with my writing. I can’t just open up a fresh word doc and start typing away, I have to work things through by hand. Even if I only start then continue on the computer. If I get stuck, I print off what I have and scribble all over it before going back to the computer and working my way through my notes. So, because of this way of thinking, photographs are extremely inspirational to me.

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In an English class at uni, the tutor gave us photocopies of pictures drawn by a man called Harris Burdick and we had to, individually, pick one that drew our attention and write something about it. It could have been a story, a poem, a newspaper article. Anything. We could be as literal or as abstract as we wished, the only limitation was that we had fifteen minutes. I, of course, wrote a short story. It was only about 3 paragraphs, but I had to finish it when I got home. Eventually, I posted it online and it got favourable reviews. (I have recently moved it to my Wattpad account).

It’s fun to look at pictures and think of a story to go with it, I’ve done it more since Mr Linden’s Library (The photo above), a couple are included in Honour and are among some of my favourites.

Music, while not visual, is another thing that inspires me. I was introduced to a great UK based band by a friend, and when I heard the below song, I started writing a story – in fact, I have to finish it one day and publish it or posted online, depending on length.

 

Other authors I have spoken to have spawned entire plot lines in their head after overhearing a snippet of a conversation when they’re waiting to pic up the kids, or watching people in the park.

This just goes to show that the smallest thing can spark an idea. You don’t have to actively go looking, but it’s a good idea to be constantly observant. I love people watching, and many of my characters have come from me being a bit nosy. I may not have a story for them at the time, but they get stored away in a notebook, just waiting for the perfect time to come out and play.

So, like I said. The simple answer is everywhere, but for different people, everywhere means a slightly different medium, but the end results can be amazing!