Inspiration–Where Do You Find It?

So it’s been a busy couple of weeks here, so please forgive the short post today! I got back from the Vampire Diaries convention in Atlanta (see me at the masquerade ball here! And you can read about my adventures there on my new Heroes & Heartbreakers post), barely recovered from that craziness, finished one book and dove into another. (Also, FYI, Girl in the Beaded Mask is now available at eharlequin and Amazon!)

Since I got back from Atlanta and dove back into writing work, I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration. I know I’ve blogged about it here before, but this seems to be the number one question I get when people first find out I’m a writer–“Where do you get your ideas?” I always mutter something like “Well, er, everywhere, I guess,” but it’s the truth. I find ideas for settings and plots in historical non-fiction, movies, songs, paintings. I can find character inspiration in the same places, and also just from watching and listening to people. I love people-watching.

And I was very inspired indeed by the Vampire Diaries convention. I always like to come up with hero and heroine models when I start a new WIP, just to get their image in my mind and figure out what sort of people they are. Contrary to what some of my friends think, my heroes are not always Ian Somerhalder, or as my brother calls him “your vampire boyfriend.” (For my just-finished book it was Henry Cavill from The Tudors; for the just-started book it’s Daniel Gillies from Vampire Diaries–I’m not even faithful within one show, sadly). I admit though, often the hero in my mind does look an awful lot like Ian Somerhalder, and I think this weekend just added fuel to that inspiration. (And if you really want to be inspired, check him out in an HBO show from a few years ago, Tell Me You Love Me…)

But this does bring up a dilemma in my mind. I’m a huge fan of the “brainy, bookish heroine gets hottie hero everyone wants” storyline–it may be my favorite romantic plot. But how does said brainy heroine even manage to talk to said hottie hero without collapsing into giggles? (I confess, I had my photo taken with Ian S. at the convention, and almost fainted when he just put his arm around my waist and smiled at me. What would I have done if I was a Regency deb at Almacks and had to waltz with him?? Yum, Ian Somerhalder in Regency garb…). How does said hero walk down the street without being mobbed all the time? The hero and heroine would have to hide out just to get two words together, let alone the chance to make out. It’s all something I never really considered while writing a hero before.

So, now it’s your turn. Where do you get inspiration? Who would make you faint if you met them in real life? (Megan and Clive Owen? Carolyn and Alexander Skarsgard? Diane and Gerard Butler?). What have you been watching/reading lately?

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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