Real Life Inspirations and Writerly Creations

For my blog post today I knew I wanted to blog about my current rough draft, but wasn’t sure what to focus on. Then I thought about the inspiration for this story and how real life has a way of finding its way into fiction. Previously it’s been little meta details that have popped up in my writing, but in this book there are definitely big inspirations.

The star of the story is seventeen year old Salamandra Torres (at the moment I imagine her as Shay Mitchell), home from boarding school for the summer. Home is Misty Mills, a small town in the mountains of North Carolina.

I’ve honestly never been much of a nature person. I like water that runs through a filter before I drink it, air that has been conditioned to the ideal temperature, and about a hundred miles between me and the nearest bear. My first experience in the mountains as an adult was not ideal due to the location, in which I learned that my claustrophobia will override my fear of heights if being on a four story balcony will make me feel less suffocated.

When I was Darcy-napped by The M Shelf to, like, the perfect mountain house in all of creation, I was skeptical. If you couldn’t tell already, I’m a pretty skeptical person in general. Enjoying the hell out of being in the mountains had to be a fluke. But then months later I ended up finishing my first Victoria Saint book while hiding away from the world in the mountains. I think the sheer high of typing ‘The End’ on my baby, the weight being lifted from my shoulders, allowed me to truly enjoy what was around me and I fell in love with it.

But as I spent two long years in a small town in Alabama, Sal’s motivation to go through anything to go back to boarding school comes straight from the heart.

If I ever become ridiculously famous, I wonder if I’ll get a plague and a mention in an edition of this book. Hm. Anyway, I spent two years in the home of Harper Lee and (briefly) Truman Capote. I took my driving test there… which is literally if you can make it around the courthouse in one piece. The nearest decent shopping was two hours away. We had Dial-Up internet. And the only thing to do was either raise cattle for 4-H or watch cotton grow. I decided to suffer with Dial-Up instead.

It wasn’t the town’s fault that my duration in it sucked. Looking back I know I could have made more of the experience. Monroeville does make the most of its literary heritage and their annual play of To Kill A Mockingbird (inside the courthouse) is brilliant.

But as a teenager I wanted to escape, and so does Sal, which provides some major motivation.

Now for the idea that got this whole story rolling!

When The M Shelf ladies told me there was a Starbucks in a funeral home… MAN. The creative gears in my head went into overtime. What a freaking awesome idea! I’m an advocate of coffee being served, well, everywhere. And it became my ‘setting within a setting.’ Wake the Dead Coffee Shop and Blessed Rest Funeral Home, owned by Sal’s parents, and definitely not making her stint in Misty Mills any easier.

So, tell me about your newest work in progress, your almost completed baby, or your #80khotfoot project! But for the #80khotfoot peeps, I have an extra challenge. Go to your blogs (if you have one, if not just comment) and write your own post about elements that inspired your story and post the link in the comments below.

C’mon, I want to know and you know you want me to know! *grin* There might even be a prize involved. I haven’t decided yet. *rubs hands together with glee*

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