person: how do you come up with your stories ideas?
me: a character typically comes to me and I start to see their story come to life.
person: but how?
me: well, you see. Every full moon, I present a duck with a token in exchange for story ideas...
person: *backs away awkwardly*
In all honesty, inspiration for me, comes from literally everywhere. It's just a matter of paying attention to my surroundings and letting little tid-bits sink in.
Let's take my new book involving Norse Mythology for example. There are three very distinct and unrelated things that helped get me to Kara and Si.
DENMARK. GOD OF WAR. MARVEL.
Let's go back to the beginning of this inspiration journey. In 2016 I went all over Europe for my 30th birthday. One of the countries we visited was, Denmark. Want to guess what we did there?
Here's a clue:
Yes, I'm a Viking Queen! Finally!
Joking aside, we visited the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and the seed was planted. The ships were incredible to see in person and far bigger than I imagined. I was also struck by how unique their history was. Filled with mysticism, mythology and lore, I was hooked.
But that tiny seedling wasn't enough to really get a story going in my head. I needed more input, more external influence to get the juices flowing.
And that's where Marvel comes into play.
When Thor: Ragnarok came out and the little seedling that was planted in Denmark began to grow.
I loved that we got to see more of Thor's world in Ragnarok. Hella was badass, the Valkyrie were incredible and the stories on the ceiling of a much more brutal Odin gave me chills.
The first thing I said when we left the theater that day, was damn I love me some Thor! The second thing I said was, I want to know more about the battle between Hella and the Valkyrie.
The little seed was now a sapling and Norse mythology started to bleed into my Soothsayer research. But it wasn't until, God Of War that the full blown idea was born.
Now, I don't play many video games but my other half does and sometimes, if the story is good, I'll watch him work through a campaign.
God of War was just that kind of game and when he finished we watched a one hour documentary on how the game was made. (It's incredible, you should watch it)
While I was watching him play, I was finishing the Soothsayer series and getting ready to go on a writing retreat. I needed a new idea and while I had a few, none were biting me the way I wanted.
And then, one night, I was laying on the couch and watching the God of War documentary when a woman popped into my head.
She stood on a block of ice, a dark sea all around her and with a broken heart. The wind whipped through her hair and she dropped something in the water.
I had so many questions!! And I grabbed a notepad and pen and started writing frantically.
For me asking questions is everything. Wanting to know more, wanting to figure things out, is how a story is born. The seed that was planted in 2016 became a full blown tree and Kara was born.
Yggdrasil is the tree of life in Norse Mythology so it seems fitting that Kara and Si were born from a seed that was planted in my head three years prior, while I was in Denmark.
The moral of the story is, it takes time for things to build into a story. And literally anything can be the source of inspiration.
This is just one example of how my travels, life and media influence the epic journey I'm on with Kara and Si today! And I can't wait to see where it leads me.