First, my thanks go to Books Like Breathing for hosting me today. I’m merrily making my way around our virtual book addict world to announce my newest release, Surviving Eden, the second in my Eden’s Court fantasy romance series. Although I’ll post my blurb and contact necessaries below, first I wanted to talk about a subject near and dear to almost every author—the origins of our story ideas.
I’ve written about this before, describing how my story and character ideas pop out of songs with vibrant potency as I listen to the newest release on the radio. Entire scenes or unique plot twists descend on me on a treadmill or bicycle, amazing me that they came from the same brain which had been struggling just that morning completely stuck. My mind has spun over the countless books I’ve read, synthesizing the magic and subconsciously sifting through elements that attracted or repelled me. I know these stories influenced me and the direction of my writing, authors inspiring me to recreate not their particular style, but the sense of emotional impact their words created yet in my own unique way. My fascinations with certain symbols (gateways for instance), philosophical ideas or spiritual orientations to the world (an attraction to reincarnation) also influence my ideas and creep into my work. In addition, current events and the urgency behind crises such as global warming or the decay of urban areas have woven themselves into my plot lines. And, I must admit, elements of my own experiences, my personal struggles, creep into my writing and influence my characters.
All of these factors make story creation an organic process, some affecting one manuscript more than another. Organic is the best word because this is not a linear process. It erupts into a unique blend with every new novel. I watched a fantastic podcast on creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86x-u-tz0MA) author of Eat, Pray, Love, where she discusses the ancient Greek and Roman idea of the artist as channeling the gods, i.e. creativity as a divine attendant spirit. A muse. Today people mostly believe creativity comes from the self, from the individual talent of the artist. And while a spectacular review of one of my stories may make my chest swell with pride and eagerly reach for sole credit for the masterpiece, I see a lot of truth in acknowledging the outside influences, whether we call them spirits or the collective unconscious, or just the impact our crazy, complex world has upon us. Creativity defies linear thinking, even for us poor authors who carefully plot and outline stories. It is magic and I think we have to honor its nature as such. Maybe that’s why I am a fantasy writer and am attracted to the concept of magic. It touches my life on a daily basis through my work. It feels right to buy creativity as a divine attendant spirit. I kind of like that idea. Where do you fall on this subject? What do you believe about creative inspiration?
Okay, enough rambling. I’ve promised a look at the Surviving Eden blurb. If you visit my website, www.michellepicard.com you’ll get linked to an excerpt from this story as well as the details about and an excerpt of its predecessor, Ruling Eden, a 2010 PRISM award finalist. My website also provides links to purchase my stories (in both e-format and print format).
Now, as promised, the blurb:
Rachel Rieh wields enough magic to make a goddess jealous, or so she learned three weeks ago when she thought she was an ordinary, reclusive, and short-tempered gal from Boston. In this second story of Eden’s Court, Rachel, now the new ruler of the Kesayim, (angels, demons, dragons, faeries, vampires, shapeshifters and witches¾the goddess-created protectors of mortalkind) finds herself faced with the task of stopping vampire hunters from annihilating the vampire race. Her lover, Gabriel, half-angel, half-demon, stands by her side to help if she can escape her obsession with protecting him at all cost.
Earth is already on the verge of destruction within six months because magic is out of balance. The new threat to the vampires destabilizes the situation more. In her race to save the vampires, Rachel meets Lillith, goddess, creator of all Kesayim and humans, and the one with all the answers to Rachel’s problems. But is the cold-hearted goddess intent on changing Rachel into her image the greater threat to Rachel and everyone she loves?
If you’ve liked what you read and want to learn more about Rachel, Gabriel and the world of Eden’s Court, visit me at www.michellepicard.com or my blogs at www.michellepicardsblog.wordpress.com and www.thequirkyladies.com. I can also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if you care to send me a message.
Be well and stay magical.
Now for the serious part-The blog host with the most comments and a randomly drawn commenter will win a special gardening set consisting of a hummingbird feeder, nectar concentrate food for the feeder, and several packets of garden flowers. Sounds awesome, huh? So comment!...Please :)