Friday, September 16, 2005

How do you do that? OR You must have a very weird imagination.

I’m often asked if it’s hard to come up with ideas for a novel. Not really! A writer’s problem is usually too many ideas and not enough time to develop those ideas into a story and then get it written.

I’m sure some of my colleagues on this blog who write contemporary stories get their ideas from stories in the newspapers and magazines, or simply from observing everyday life. Have you ever sat in a restaurant or airport or park and watched people? Ever wonder why some particular woman wore "that" particular outfit? Or wanted to know more about the man who seems to be talking (loudly) to himself until you notice the device in his ear that tells you he’s actually on the phone?

Those of us who write in historical periods do much the same. There are magazines devoted to different time periods. And there are history books. I love history books. I’m just as content reading a dusty old tome as a novel. Really! Sometimes a setting will strike my fancy, or a person will fascinate me. Or a law, or an event, or in the case of MIDNIGHT MAGIC, a prophecy.

As you might imagine, I have several books on Arthurian legend. Merlin figures highly in most of them, and it was his prophecy that King Arthur would return to England at its time of most dire need that triggered my imagination to take flight. How, I wondered, was Arthur supposed to know when to make his appearance? One would think that after lounging around in Avalon for several hundred years he would become complacent about earthly problems — right? Knowing the foibles of human nature, Merlin would surely devise a way to ensure his prophecy came to pass (he has a reputation to uphold, after all).

So that’s the process. And working a little magic into a medieval romance was so much fun I decided to give my heroine a couple of sisters and do a trilogy, with each sister having her own type of magic. Which gives me another reason to read more books. :) 

Shari Anton

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