Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for the lovely Joyce Schneider author of Her Last Breath. Unfortunately due to my overwhelming pile of TBR books there was no way I was going to be able to review the book for the blog tour so Joyce kindly offered to write a special guest post, as I loved the sound of Her Last Breath (and will hopefully read it in the not to distant future) I jumped at the chance, so with no further ado here it is ……….
Where does inspiration come from? by J.A. Schneider
There are some terrific quotes about where inspiration comes from. “You can’t wait for it,” Jack London said. “You have to go after it with a club.” Well that’s great, Jack, really profound. But where might that club be?
In my experience finding the idea, the main concept of the book, never comes from actually sitting down to write. I might flog myself into producing the feeble start of an outline, maybe even a page or two – but only when I walk away does the light bulb goes off and I think, “Oh, THAT’S what I meant.” And I go back, start hammering away.
Some of the best ideas come while waiting for the traffic light to change, or in the shower, or doing any number of hands-busy things. Inspiration can also come from music, films, TV (I love cop shows), other fiction, news reports, even dreams. The subconscious runs something like a selective filter, always busy.
Something that fires me will finally come and so I start, day after day, still getting the details wrong. I don’t outline – other than the idea and character(s) for the beginning and a rough idea of the ending. I wish I could outline! I’ve tried, have gotten to chapters maybe five or six…and then the thing goes off the rails. Should I try harder to outline? No. Ideas come as I write, and I figure if I don’t surprise myself, I won’t surprise the reader.
After the story’s core idea comes the daily battle with the blank page – or, as Stephen King calls it, “Just flailing away at the g-damn thing.” That should at least encourage. And when I hear authors who DO outline complain that they’ve had to go through umpteen drafts, I realize that there’s really no magic formula. Everyone still has to flail away.
Thomas Edison observed that “genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” I also love Albert Einstein’s “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” That’s actually my favorite quote for its reassurance, because if we write or paint or plant a garden or build a dollhouse, we are creative, and that place between the ears is always busy. You may not feel ideas brimming – and then they do. Ping! Out of the blue comes the idea for a story.
“Writing is just plain work, there is no secret,” Pearl Buck said. The daily slog, the daily grind…
When I finished Fear Dreams – and even more, when I finished Her Last Breath, I thought, “How in the world did I do that?” I can’t quite remember. Ideas just…came. At the end of Her Last Breath, I honestly had the feeling that Detective Kerri Blasco came to life and was fast figuring out things on her own. I felt like Geppetto watching Pinocchio take off.
In a way, I feel like every book’s creation is…magic.
J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine, a wife, mom, and reading addict. She loves thrillers…which may seem odd, since she was once a major in French Literature – wonderful but sometimes heavy stuff. Now, for years, she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine, forensic science, and police procedure. Decades of being married to a physician who loves explaining medical concepts and reliving his experiences means there’ll often be medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that she writes. She lives with her family in Connecticut, USA.
Links to author
A chilling psychological thriller about a woman caught between two men… Mari Gill wakes to horror in a strange apartment next to a murdered man, and can’t remember the night before. Accused of murder, she feels torn between her husband, a successful defense attorney, and a mysterious, kind man who wants to help. Can she trust either of them – or even her friends? NYPD Detective Kerri Blasco battles her police bosses believing Mari is innocent…but is she?
Her Last Breath is available now. Purchase link: http://getBook.at/HerLastBreath
If you want to follow the blog tour names and dates of the awesome bloggers taking part are included in the blog tour banner below…….