Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where does my inspiration come from?

It starts with an email
I recently received an email from a fan asking what my inspiration is for my stories.  As I wrote the answer, I thought to myself, "Hey!  This would make a great blog post."  I also thought to myself, "Hey!  I'm totally out of coffee and should get some more."  . . . but that has nothing to do with this, so I won't talk about it anymore.

My Response

Hello,

You're not prying at all, I don't mind answering questions.  As far as general inspiration goes, I've been a daydreamer all my life.  I used to live in the desert and I'd spend my days as a kid walking around or riding my bike while imagining I was in other worlds.

Fantasy is my favorite genre.  I love the idea of saving beautiful maidens, using magic and swords and saving beautiful maidens.  I figure the part about the maidens bears repeating. ;)  I've read a lot of fantasy novels, especially when I was in my teens and twenties.  The Willden Trilogy is the kind of epic adventure that I love reading.  It was even more fun to write.




Sci-fi is my second favorite genre.  I like the idea of different worlds, different people and different life philosophies.  There's the potential for danger and true adventure in space exploration.  All of my writing comes with the question of 'how would this character react if this situation were placed in front of them'.  My books are primarily about people living in fantastic worlds, dealing with extraordinary situations.  It's also one of the best genres to add humor into, like in "Alien Coffee".




The primary genre I read as a kid was mystery.  I've read most of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series as well as hundreds of other books.  The common theme in them was solving puzzles and persisting until something was finished regardless of the odds.  I still have this mindset even as an adult.  I think I add touches of it in the books along with clues as to what may happen in later stories.

With my Demented Children series, I take the question: 'how would this character react if this situation were placed in front of them' and twist it in some way.  Like, 'how would a depressed emo bunny handle a normal day and what if the Easter Bunny were a factory boss?'  or 'what if a rainbow lost a leg and used a tree as a peg-leg?'  I got that inspiration from seeing a partial rainbow one day.




The Demented Children series is largely an attempt to amuse myself.  I really like stories and have read them my entire life, but I would always think, "What would I do if I were in that situation?"  As a writer, I can live the stories while they occur.  There's a sense of childish amazement I find within myself as I write.  Although a side effect of that childness in my writing is that many readers find my stories and style of writing immature.  I mentally stick my tongue out at them, stomp my feet, take my ball and go home, so nyah.  ;)

Now that I've rambled a bit, I guess the simplest answer to what is my main inspiration for writing what I do is; I love living in fantasy worlds where I get to make up what happens next. :)

All my best,

John

(Now to go get that coffee I was talking about)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, this was really useful. thanks!

John Carroll said...

You're very welcome. :)

Anonymous said...

Yep, i liked everything ive read of yours so far. Demented stuff is awesome, & i really enjoyed the willded trilogy. (I even paid for it. Lol) any plans for a return of vevin and company? It would be great to pick up where ya left off, the princess and all. Lol

John Carroll said...

There is a plan for a return of Vevin and company. I won't tell you a lot, but I will tell you that Vevin and Liselle will be appearing in the first book of the next trilogy. :) I'm hoping to have it out late 2012 or early 2013.

I'm currently halfway through writing the second book of this trilogy, which should be out in summer.

KT Hall said...

I think it's really neat to see what inspire others, and how other people get their ideas for stories. I was always somewhat of a daydreamer myself, though not quite to the extent that you are!

John Carroll said...

Hi KT,

It really can be interesting to discover what's going through a writer's head. Most of the time I have no clue what in the world makes me think of things, but I absolutely love daydreaming. :)

Thank you for the comment and follow. :)

All my best,

John

Anonymous said...

I didnt understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?

John H. Carroll said...

@Anonymous

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel a little bit like a kid when I write. It's fun and a bit playful, but can seem immature to some readers at times. I'm okay with that though.