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The Sources

One of those questions that all writers get is, “Where do you get your ideas from?” I can't speak for all writers, I can barely answer for myself in fact. But there are certain sources that do influence my writing. Some have a profound influence, and others just get the idea for a story started. A few of these I have outlined in the past, and I do enjoy expressing my feelings about them. There are also new sources of inspiration.

As is well-known to anyone that has read my stories, living models are one of the most powerful sources of inspiration. Since going independent, it is difficult to get pictures of the muses into the cover art of my books. Perhaps, someday, when I am filthy rich and famous, I will be able to update my book covers to pay tribute to the people who inspired my characters. That day is not today. However, the fact that pictures of living people still influence my writing has not changed. I have found inspiration in the eyes and features of several models during the last year. They have helped me to write some wonderful stories, and given me ideas for plots that I would probably not thought of before.

Lately, I have been re-reading the legends, myths and folklore of ancient peoples. Of course, I am most interested in the Celts, my ancestors. It is my intention to bring some of these very old characters, forward to the modern age. I believe that the deities, magicians and enchantresses of old can still work magic in stories set in the modern world. Naturally, as I do with all my stories, I focus on strong women. I like the strong female lead, and enjoy finding fresh faces to help inspire those characters. Not all of them will be “good” characters. Some of the best myths from the old world have leading ladies that were very “bad” girls. They are just as much fun to write as the others.

I am also starting a story that is pure terror. I have not tried to write such a story before. I'm not talking the blood, gore, guts and cigarette butts of modern horror stories, I am focusing on pure terror. The fright you get by what is unseen, unheard, yet you know it is there, in the corner of your eye. You don't see it, until it is right on top of you, and then it is too late. Terror is not done enough these days, and I think that is a shame. Anyone can splatter blood around and call it a horror story. The true test of a good story is to terrify you without a single drop of blood being spilled. I don't know how it will turn out, but I hope I like it.

And that leads me to my last source of inspiration, me. In a recent meeting of a club I belong to, I was asked who my target audience is. I caused considerable surprise when I replied, me. I had to explain that I do not write my stories for anyone, I write them for myself. They are rattling around inside my head, and they want out. I write them to get them out of my head, and gain a certain amount of pleasure in both the writing and later reading. If other people like my stories, great. If they don't, great. The basic point is, I did not write them for anyone other than the person I see in the mirror every day.

Sometimes, the story comes from a dream. Others are from seeing a picture or scene, and putting my characters into that scene. I have come up with plots and stories when simply talking to my son, or Sweetie. One of my favorite stories came while playing with my dog. The point is, they are my stories, written for me to enjoy. I would hope that other people enjoy them, but that is not my driving purpose in writing them. I write them to get them out of my head, and to enjoy them later.

But I do hope that you, the reader, enjoy them as well.

Lark LaTroy

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