Dazed and Confused
by KimLenox on December 19th, 2008

Where do my ideas come from? I really don’t know. Am I allowed to answer that way?

I get idea ”glimmers”. (Do you see the glimmer at the end of that tunnel?) Readers have asked where I got the idea for the Shadow Guard, and NIGHT FALLS DARKLY. It started with glimmers. And let me tell you … glimmers don’t make a whole lot of sense starting off, at least not in my mind. They are a lot like fireflies. “Look, it’s over there!”  “Oh, wait. No it’s not. It’s over THERE!”

I saw the film, MEET JOE BLACK, years ago and I’ve always thought it was a really neat concept, a paranormal being living amongst us, doing his necessary work, and trying to remain separate and apart – but one person, one woman, steals his heart. I couldn’t help but ask: why her, after all those centuries? It’s an impossible love story that works out in the end. I love impossible love stories that work out in the end, so all my romances will be YES, impossible. At first.

Eventually I started to pair up that concept with the Victorian era – my favorite. Victorians were quirky, morally confused and obsessed with all things sensational. What fun

But there was also a very dark side to their society. A tragic side. In the past, I’d read Victorian accounts of “educated” and “upstanding” citizens taking secret tours along the dark streets of London, and interacting with the lower classes, and viewing (for the sake of knowledge!) all the bizarre, exotic and forbidden entertainments and curiosities that the other side of town had to offer. You know, like they were at a zoo, observing the animals. (Glimmer!) In this society, there was so much potential for misery, and as I’ve said before — light always glows the brightest in the dark. (Glimmer!)

And so I decided to combine those glimmers with a bit of the fantastical – LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, DRACULA and mildly steam-punkish elements. See, lots of glimmers. Lots of influences. They all just come together like a big soggy pile of clay, and I start shaping and rearranging things until a story emerges. Me, a linear thinker? No, no, no! I wish. I’m busy working on the proposal for my third Shadow Guard book right now, and I’m just blinded by glimmers (and soggy clay). But I love it! 

On a more concrete note: One thing that’s always a standard for me is that my books will detail my characters’ “BIGGEST MOMENT”.  The moment they have to face their biggest danger, challenge or fear. There’s emotion in all that drama. Love, passion, adventure, pain and even grief add richness and dimension to a person’s life. Do any of you ever get the feeling, while watching TV, or moving about in whatever professional or social circle, that some people never scratch the surface of their personal depth and life’s meaning and emotion? I do. And so I’m determined when I sit down to write a book, that my characters (and therefore, my readers) will see and feel and act on a large scale. I want rational, yes, but out of the box. Big picture. Global view. I really want everyone to see beyond their noses.

Anyhow, that’s how I got the idea for NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, and that’s how most of my story ideas seem to come about as well. I’m thinking I probably just scared some of you off from reading any of my books. <<bites lip>> I hope not.

Who’s reading new books over the holiday!?! Make sure you post a comment, so you’ll be entered in our contest!

12 comments to “Dazed and Confused”

  1. 1

    I just got a copy of the “Wolfsbane & Mistletoe” anthology and a couple of the contributors are new to me. I love anthologies. It gives you a chance to read stories from favourite authors while giving you an opportunity to hear “new” voices for the same price :-) . I’ve found many favourites that way, so maybe some new favourites will be coming my way soon :-)

    Zita


  2. 2

    Glimmers… Yeah, that’s a good visual. Just enough light to lead you into the swamp, never to be seen again. Man, I love writing!


  3. 3

    I love the notion that stories are like clay! That there’s so much potential in the moldable blob of a story we start with–a perfect analogy, Kim.

    I’m hoping to get lots of reading done over the holidays–as a family, we try to step back from the bustle between Christmas and New Years and simply relax. I’m looking forward to it!


  4. 4

    I’m going to start Charlotte Mede’s “The Midnight Man” tonight.


  5. 5

    Clay — definitely. Sometimes I feel like I’m working my clay on a wheel, and I’ll lean in too far and the whole thing goes lopsided and becomes a sloppy mess. Which can be so frustrating! But I just add more water and start reshaping.

    Oh, and scared of reading your books, Kim? No way! One would never know you had a moment’s doubt writing Night Falls Darkly, ever — it’s seamless and fabulous!


  6. 6

    I am always reading a book of some kind. Sometimes they are old books sometimes they are new books. I just know I will be reading during the holidays


  7. 7

    Very apt descriptions, Kim! Writing is a hands-on, messy business!

    I’ve got a Steampunk anthology to try for the holidays. Thought I’d try something new.


  8. 8

    Will I be doing any reading over the holidays? Of course. I’ll grant you that it may very well end up being re-reading instead of the joys of tasty new stories. It’s official… My reading addiction has grown faster than the publishing world can keep up. I just hit up three supermarkets, an indie bookstore, four drugstores, the evil that is Walmart, and Target today. I hit the book sections hard searching for releases I haven’t yet read. Ten stores and all I found was one book. I refused to buy the ghost authored novels with a big name author’s name screaming out in ten foot tall block letters. One of my quirks. It just feels too much like cheating and I’m the loser. There were plenty of reissues of older titles, but I already had those. *sighs* Hopefully I will have better luck at the three big chain bookstores this weekend. If nothing else, I got all the rest of the holiday shopping done except bookstore gift cards! So, yay me!


  9. 9

    Zita,

    I agree! I really enjoy anthologies, especially around the “busy” times of the year. I can fit in a great story, try out a new author, and finish the story before I move onto the next whatever.

    Jane,

    The Midnight Man. Ooooh, that’s a great title. I hadn’t seen that book yet. I’m going to go check it out as soon as I finish posting. Thanks for telling us about it.

    Heather,

    You sound like me when I’ve got spending money. Lol! Let’s go on a book buying tour! I usually buy a combination of new, and older out of print books. Just because they aren’t in print doesn’t mean there aren’t some great stories out there that we haven’t read, right?

    Thanks all, for stopping by!

    Kim


  10. 10

    I’m reading the “Dead After Dark” anthology. J R Ward’s contribution “The Story of Son” was terrific. Am really looking forward to the others. I’ve also started “Wolfsbane & Mistletoe”, and am enjoying all the stories so far. I only put it down because I couldn’t resist JR Ward. :grin:


  11. 11

    Kim,

    Book buying tour?? That made my ears perk up this morning! LOL! You’re on. You are absolutely right about the out of print books. There are a lot of gems out there that are no longer in print. It’s just a matter of sifting through to find them. I’ll be hitting the local UBS tomorrow to do a little panning for literary gold. I always end up walking away with a large box full. I did manage to scour the big chain bookstores yesterday for new. I’m happily working my way through a stack of non-fiction and reference works already. My imagination has been thoroughly engaged by one in particular. A scholarly text on criminal psychology and the female mind. I’ve got a 1,000 megawatt floodlight glimmer bouncing through my brain.


  12. 12

    buy Aristocrat


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