Today I welcome Kim Cleary to the blog to chat about where she finds the inspiration to write.
Kim writes urban fantasy for anyone who longs to discover they are extraordinary. She writes about hopefulness and determination, and about heroes who push through extraordinary situations and obstacles, one step at a time. Magical friends and gorgeous guys help, or hinder, in one adventure after another.
All sounds pretty good to me!
Thank you so much Pamela for having me on your blog. I’ve really enjoyed thinking and talking about what has inspired me to write, and in particular to talk about my inspiration for the series I’m working on now: Daughter of Ravenswood
- What – or who – first inspired you to write?
My very first story was inspired by Ratty and Mole, and their adventures in Wind in the Willows. I wrote a short piece of fan-fiction at age seven, my English teacher asked me to read it aloud to the class and I was in heaven!
- Is there a place and time of day when you feel most inspired?
Normally I work best in the morning. But I tend to work for short periods, collapse with fatigue and rest, then try and work a bit more! Like a lot of other writers, I get ideas, snippets of conversation, an emotion or setting, that feels brilliant at 4 AM in the morning. I always go to bed with my iPad so I can record anything that comes to mind–even if a lot of the thoughts don’t look quite as brilliant in the light of day.
- When you’re feeling uninspired what sort of creative activities help you get your writing mojo back?
I like to spend some time away from the computer. I write by hand in one of my journals, do some decoupage; if it’s fine I like to spend some time in my garden. Sometimes just sitting on a different chair in the sun makes all the difference. I’ve danced around the house to my favourite music, brushed my dogs, and even… in extreme circumstances, got some housework done!
- Can you tell us about one of your characters (current or past) who has been inspired by a real person or a situation in one of your stories that was inspired by a real life event?
My heroine was always going to be a necromancer. I’m not sure I can explain why! Even as a child, I was interested in the culture of death and the dead. I’ve also always been a bit contrary, so perhaps I just wanted to go against the norm. I tried to paint Meagan as a compassionate character from the start of the story, and to show her own conflict with her power over the dead. Meagan accepts that she has a responsibility for the dead. She not only speaks to them, she cares for them as well.
Meagan’s father plays a small but critical role in the story, and he’s based on my dad. I lost him to cancer a few years ago, and I still miss him every day. If I could call his spirit and sit with him in his shed while he tinkered with this or that, I would do it in a heartbeat.
- What was the inspiration for your current book?
Four years ago, I started writing a short story when I was diagnosed with MS. It caused severe pain, and eventually permanent damage in my hands, which stopped me from typing. I had to teach myself how to use voice software and a good friend gave me an opening line to get me started on a short story.
I’ve always loved fantasy and science fiction and found myself gravitating to it. I shared pieces of the story with my sister and a small number of friends, received positive feedback and encouragement, and I just kept going with it. By the time I was let go from work, I had 35,000 words written and several ideas on how to take it to novel length!
The short story morphed and became my debut novel Path Unchosen.
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