Today I have the honor of hosting the last stop on the Flower Bowl Spell Magical Blog tour by Olivia Boler. Olivia has written a lovely guestpost, and I hope you all take the time to read it, and comment on the post.
Thank you so much to Aurian for letting me guest blog today! It’s a great opportunity to talk about inspiration. Authors get asked all the time, what inspires you to write a novel? How do you get your inspiration? These are great questions, and there are so many different answers. Rarely do I find it difficult to come up with a story—inspiration is everywhere. On the news. In a café. Over by the checkout stand in my supermarket. Wherever I go, intriguing things are happening, whether it’s a girl going into labor on a train when she doesn’t even know she’s pregnant (true story!), as happened in my short story The Next Stop, or a duck that wears an L.A. Dodgers jacket (inspired by the characters of Beatrix Potter) in my novel The Flower Bowl Spell. Here are some tips, if you’re thinking about getting inspired yourself.
Record it—Like a lot of writers, I keep paper and pen with me wherever I go. If I don’t, it’s usually because I’m on a super short walk with my dog, and if inspiration hits, I can keep the idea in my head for at least three blocks. Sure, I might be mumbling to myself like a crazy person, but my neighbors are used to it. We writers live in our heads a lot, little movies playing across our mind’s eye. (I recently met a children’s book illustrator and songwriter who uses his iPhone to record ideas on walks. Much less coo-coo than my old-fashioned memory game.)
Borrow from real life—More than I’d care to admit, I get inspiration for the personalities of my characters from the people I know (sorry, friends and family!). They are just that interesting! But I pick and choose and blend, so the characters become their own persons, and aren’t just carbon copies of the people I know. And events…yes, if you are my friend and you tell me an interesting story about something that happened to you, chances are, I will steal—I mean borrow—it for my own fictional purposes. But I will do it in a way that makes it different from the original. After all, in my mind, that’s one of the points of stories—they have distinctive outcomes, sometimes better, cooler outcomes. Here’s an example from my own experience fictionalized: In The Flower Bowl Spell, the main character Memphis walks dogs in a San Francisco park called McLaren. Have I walked my dog there? Yes. Have I seen a fairy there? No. Not yet. I can hope, of course.
Pay attention—I once read a newspaper article about a Ro-Sham-Bo or Rock-Paper-Scissors competition. This sounded like a great premise for a story, so I wrote one. It’s called “Hand to Hand” and it hasn’t been published yet, but it will be in my forthcoming short-story collection. There are all kinds of ripped-from-the-headlines TV shows and novels out there. No reason to let that stop you from writing your own, right?
So go out there. Get inspired. Another great way to find inspiration? Read great books. I hope you’ll check out The Flower Bowl Spell, like it, leave a review of it on your favorite site like Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, or your own blog, and tell your friends. Thanks again for reading!
And now of course you are all curious of what this book is all about. Here is the data about the book, which I borrowed from Colette’s booktour blog, http://abgreadsbooktours.blogspot.nl/
Author: Olivia Boler
Title: The Flower Bowl Spell
Genre: Paranormal Fiction
Number of Pages: 227
Publisher: Self Published
Formats available: Ebook or paper
Journalist Memphis Zhang isn’t ashamed of her Wiccan upbringing—in fact, she’s proud to be one of a few Chinese American witches in San Francisco, and maybe the world. Unlike the well-meaning but basically powerless Wiccans in her disbanded coven, Memphis can see fairies, read auras, and cast spells that actually work—even though she concocts them with ingredients like Nutella and antiperspirant. Yet after a friend she tries to protect is brutally killed, Memphis, full of guilt, abandons magick to lead a “normal” life. The appearance, however, of her dead friend’s sexy rock star brother—as well as a fairy in a subway tunnel—suggest that magick is not done with her. Reluctantly, Memphis finds herself dragged back into the world of urban magick, trying to stop a power-hungry witch from using the dangerous Flower Bowl Spell and killing the people Memphis loves—and maybe even Memphis herself.
And now about the giveaway:
Olivia is giving away one e-copy of The Flower Bowl Spell, to one lucky commenter on this guestpost. All you have to do to be entered in the competition is answer my question, and add your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!
And the question is: what kind of paranormal creature do you like to read about the most, fairies, vampires, werewolves, angels, demons or something else?
Contest ends on Sunday July 1, 2012, at 12.00 am Dutch time and I will email the winner, and announce your name on my blog.