Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Inspired by...

From 'Pride and Prejudice': Mr. Collins is no fan of fiction.
Writers, have you been inspired by a famous work of literature? An ancient story or fairy story? A real person or event? A true story? A historical happening? A particular novel? A particular fictional character?

If you have, please share your original inspiration and the story you have created out of this in the comments section below.

Please share - it will be interesting to see what inspired you and what you have made of it.

23 comments:

Lindsay Townsend said...

My own novels, 'The Snow Bride,' and 'A Summer Bewitchment' are both inspired by the fairy story of Beauty and the Beast. You can see more details about them, including reviews and excerpts, at my main blog Lindsay's Book Chat http://www.lindsaytownsend.net

Margaret Fieland said...

I have a book due out later this year, "The Angry Little Boy," that was inspired by a tragic fire which took the lives of my friend's wife and four children. In my story, there is only one child, and only the wife dies.

The setting for my science fiction novels, "Relocated" and "Broken Bonds" was in large part inspired by my son, an army Captain, who did two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

You can read more on my website,
http://www.margaretfieland.com/

Celia Yeary said...

Lindsay--overall, Janet Dailey's Calder series of Western Historical Romance inspired me--that was about 1994. Before that I wouldn't touch a romance book--I was one of those snobs who declared, I don't read that trash." Well, I learned that another entire world of stories waited for me to read. And I did..I read so many romances, I learned what I liked and what I didn't like about them.
Then I began to write my own, taking cues and notes from the Big Girls of Romance Writing. I have not looked back.

Marie Laval said...

Hello Lindsay - One of my all time favourite historical fiction novels has to be 'The Count of Monte Christo' by Alexandre Dumas, but I also devoured all the novels by French writers Barbey d'Aurevilly and Maupassant, and have always been a avid reader of Wilkie Collins. All these wonderful authors must have influenced me over the years...

Kayelle Allen said...

I love historical fiction, but I write Scifi Romance. One of my characters drinks a wine called Rosamund, which is the heroine's name in a favorite book, Captured (by Helen Kirkman). I loved everything about that book and her characters. I even named one of my heroes Wulf, after her hero in Forbidden. They could not be more different people. Nothing about my Wulf was like hers, other than gender and dark hair. But I loved the character so much it was like honoring a beloved person by naming your child after them. Helen Kirkman's books are 5 star. She's amazing.

Anne Stenhouse said...

Hullo Lyndsay, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, but also Susan Ferrier, the 19th century Edinburgh writer. I like the minuitiae of social interaction with its inescapable comedy and I love writing dialogue. My heroines always say something other than I planned that is so right for the scene. Magic.

June Kearns said...

Charlotte Bronte inspired me, Lindsay,when she told her sisters:'I'll show you a character who is small and plain as myself, but as interesting as any of your heroines.'That was before writing Jane Eyre. It made me want to write about plain heroines,whose passionate relationships are sparked by great conversations, argument and humour - not looks!

Marsha said...

Guess I'd trace my inspirational roots to Mary Stuart, Victoria Holt, and Phyliss Whitney. Places were important to their stories. They wrote so well, I felt like I'd visited. And that without bogging down the story. Interesting quesiton, Lindsay.

Jen Black said...

Usually I say Dorothy Dunnett inspired me, but this time I thought I'd mention a few others, authors like R H Jarman and her books on Richard III, Harper Lee, Elizabeth Byrd and her book on Mary Stuart called Immortal Queen. All oldies, but goodies.
Jen

margaret blake said...

Jean Plaidy inspired me to be interested in history. Also as Jen mentions, Elizabeth Byrd's Immortal Queen. I loved Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time too. All these wonderful writers inspired me to write my own historical romance novels. I would not be writing today had I not stumbled on these wonderful writers. Also I do recall a long novel by Phyllis Bentley, I am ashamed to say I can't recall the title but it certainly inspired me to write about the cotton industry. It was filmed for tv too, with John Thaw playing the hero. Magical stuff.

Jen Black said...

I don';t know what happened to Elizabeth Byrd. I think one more title followed and then she disappeared.

Rose Anderson said...

My 2-book The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo is a story about an ancient Native American shaman easing into a modern world. It unbelievably comes from a local urban legend of a wolfman -- that's right, a wolf walking upright like a man only miles from my home. What caught my eye was the fact the early French fur traders also wrote of it, and Indian lore speaks of it as well. About an hour's drive from me there are ancient burial mounds shaped in effigy...some in the shape of a pointed-eared wolf walking upright like a man. The eyewitnesses to the wolfman are people you wouldn't expect to lie - clergy, police, school teachers. For the story, I combined the legend with my own experiences with traditional Native American lifeways and my interest in ancient burial mounds. I began with a question - What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development?

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

What a fun topic! Some people know this story, but my first novel was inspired by a Roman soldier's tombstone in the Roman Museum in Bath, England. The short story is that I took a photo of it with the center carved letters coming out fuzzy, the edges of the tombstone sharp and clear. I said the ghost of the soldier came out to meet me. Several years later when I went back with my new husband, I took the same photo and it came out clear all over. The ghost approved of my husband. This tombstone inspired my novel, Ancient Ties, a time travel to 2nd Century Roman Britain for a contemporary school teacher to fall in love with a Roman soldier.

I also have a novel, Undercover Lover, based initially on an adorable coach house in my neighborhood. I wanted to write a heroine to live in that house.

My short, Mercenary Desires, was inspired by a cough drop commercial. ;-)

Inspiration is in every odd little thing.

Allison Knight said...

Heartsong, the first of the song books, actually came to me as a result of a evening trip to teach adult ed. I was listening to the radio and heard the last act of the opera "Faust". All at once I saw a medieval lady knelling before a knight, her arms outspread, begging for her baby. She was crying. I had to find out why she was crying... Hope this is what you wanted to know. Inspiration comes from anyplace, thank the lord!

Mellie said...

My novel, Gambler's Folly which was just released in July was inspired by a song. Back in the 1960's--I'm dating myself, I know--the Kingston Trio did a song called South Coast about a man who won his wife in a card game. I started daydreaming on the theme and Gambler's Folly was born. For more about the story born of this daydream, my personal blog is melliemiller.com

J.Rose Allister said...

I apparently have a fascination with Cinderella, because I wrote two different twists on the fairy tale: a short story called Sinderella and the book Sinful Ella and the Wolf.

Amy J Hawthorn said...

The simple phrase, "death never takes a vacation," was the inspiration for Azrael's Light. I immediately thought, "yes, he does, but..." and the story about a Soul Runner or grim reaper type charcter took off from there. Azrael's Light is my favorite story that I've written so far. :-) Great topic!!

Vonnie said...

I've been inspired by the Regency and Victorian novels of Amanda Quick (JAK)to research much more. So many people have read AQ's books and said, "No, never in that era." But when you do some deeper research you find out yes - she was right. She has dug out obscure people who did do the things she wrote about in her novels. Now I'm less inclined to think, "Not possible" and research much more deeply.

Celtic Chick said...

I've enjoyed reading about how others have been inspired.
My own inspiration comes from snippets of history I come across and Celtic/Greek myths. I've also been inspired by Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and a song by Blackmore's Night called A Ghost of a Rose to write my re-telling of the Arthurian romance triangle--White Rose of Avalon.

Kelley

Savanna Kougar said...

This is fascinating. I love knowing what has inspired other writers. I've never lacked for inspiration since I began writing novels at fourteen. At this moment, I'm contemplating a futuristic based on how to defeat robots and the 'sky net' system -- given the frightening news that's been emerging about what the 'powers that be' really have, and have kept hidden from the public.

One of my main romance-novel inspirations was the original historical 'bodice rippers'. Yep, I admit it. "The Flame and the Flower" by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is still a favorite.

I adore history, and the original authors of this genre wrote a more spirited heroine than in the previous 'regency' genre. Strong heroines who can hold their own always inspire me.

Also the STAR WARS movies and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" inspired me to create a different style of writing than what I'd seen in the tons of romance novels I've read.

Currently, one of the most marvelous inspirations for me is my participation with the other authors at our SHAPESHIFTER SEDUCTIONS blog. My latest erotic romance paranormal novel, HER MIDNIGHT STARDUST COWBOYS, is based on the fictional town-area of Talbot's Peak, that we came up a couple of years ago. All of us are constantly expanding the storyline with our weekly flash scenes. And, yes, shapeshifter/supernatural characters abound, including a few clueless humans.

Mickie Sherwood said...

Hi, all,

The Gulf Oil Spill in Louisiana inspired me to write BayouBabe99er. So many factors collided to create chaos for the people of the Gulf. Could love spring from chaos? Read the first chapter at my blog http://mickiesherwood.com/blog/2012/08/11/bayoubabe99er-by-mickie-sherwood/.

Thanks for this opportunity to share, Lindsay.

margaret blake said...

Jen, Didn't Elizabeth write a book about Burke and Hare - yes she did disappear which was such a shame.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne du Maurier, Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen - these are some of the authors who have always inspired me, Lindsay! Otherwise, life often inspires me.