Since I actively joined the blogosphere, way back forever ago, I’ve gotten to know a lot of other writers. One of the things I love learning is where they draw their inspiration from.
Last week, Kimberly Afe talked about her inspiration for her book, The Headhunter’s Race. A Zelda commercial, and poof! idea.
My awesome friend, Amy Sonnichsen, talked about her inspiration for Red Butterfly (S&S, 2015!!) HERE. Her sympathy for another’s plight led to a beautiful story.
J.K. Rowling dreamed of a boy with a lightning-shape scar, and Stephanie Meyer dreamed of vampires. Inspiration that served them well.
The very first book I wrote was inspired by a longing to return to my youth. To an easier, more carefree time. I’d just turned 19 which (for a reason completely unknown to me now) was a huge deal to me. I was a freshman in college, living on my own, having to be totally responsible for myself. I had no one pushing me to do what needed doing.
And I remembered. Remembered the carefree days of exploring the jungle of our backyard ditch. Of racing off on my bicycle with my brother to go dig in the empty lot around the corner. And I wanted it back. The book was a joy to write, because I just relived all the wonderfully crazy moments of my childhood. I even included the awful ones that now make me giggle: getting trampled by the whole soccer field; getting thrown in the ditch by my sister.
When I rewrote it (as my 3rd book), my inspiration came from the present instead of the past. Foreclosures were popping up everywhere, and I couldn’t help wondering how kids were handling it. I needed an outlet to express myself. The two ideas morphed, and it became my first query-able book.
I was thrilled when I finally “finished,” but I was worried . . . where in the world I would find another book idea?
Which now makes me laugh. Because they come at me from everywhere. A cold became the idea for a humorous MG. A scary dream became an idea for an MG Horror. A horrible real-life event became an idea for a YA Contemporary. A Wedding Dinner in France became the idea for a novel set in France. My soccer team became the idea for a work of adult fiction. They come at me so fast, I know I’ll never actually write many of them.
But that’s okay. Because some ideas rise to the top. And the best ideas will get written because they keep on inspiring until they must be put on paper for the world to see.
That’s the way inspiration works. At least for me.
So I’ve known Kimberly Afe for a while via her blog, and I’m thrilled to be a part of her Blog Tour for The Headhunters Race which was released Jan. 3! She’s all over the blogosphere this week, and having a fabulous giveaway with a chance to win her ebook PLUS a $25 Amazon gift card and other cool prizes. Totally awesome! So if you haven’t heard of it, here’s the blurb:
Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn’t commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn’t so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.
With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they’re not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she’s trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.
And I love her story about how she came up with the idea in the first place. I’ll let her tell it in her own words:
The Headhunters Race has a bit of a long journey. The idea was born on June 26, 2011 after a Zelda game commercial inspired me. The commercial was brilliant and I thought why can’t they make a movie that cool? And then I thought, why don’t I write a cool adventure myself!
So I brainstormed this story with my son over a dinner of spicy spaghetti a couple of nights after the idea came to me. We worked out the entire novel: the characters and their motivations, the world, and the details of the race as I frantically wrote it all down. My husband and daughter also helped me brainstorm items that I needed worked out. I then spent a little while playing around with Avene’s voice and then wrote like crazy. I finished in December of 2011. I actually started having critique partners read it in November of 2011 and began querying agents in January of 2012 after more revising. I also entered it into a few popular contests around the blogosphere in early 2012. Then I took a very long break due to life circumstances with hubby’s heart and moving. Early this year I got back into writing. I’d been thinking about self publishing for quite awhile so when querying a few more agents and a handful of publishers didn’t work out, I decided to go for it, and now, 2 1/2 years later, the book is out there! Wahoo!
Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog’s best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.
Congratulations Kimberly! I’m really excited for you and wish all the best for you and your book. The rest of you, go forth and enter below. The last day to enter is Friday, January 10th!
There are 3 prize packs to giveaway. The Giveaway includes a copy of her eBook + the SAS Survival Handbook (2 of these to giveaway) and also giving away a copy of her eBook + a $25 Amazon gift card – the Rafflecopter lists all of these prize packs. 🙂 The Survival Handbook is awesome. 🙂