Monday, 21 May 2012
Guest Post : The Inspiration Behind COLORS LIKE MEMORIES by Meradeth Houston
Most of my ideas for books I’ve written, and especially for Colors Like Memories, have come in a flash of inspiration. Rarely have I sat down at my computer and thought to myself “Hmm, what do I want to write about?” Instead, it’s kind of like getting beamed in the head with something that makes my fingers itch to write. Maybe I’ve been lucky with this over the years . Despite these experiences where my “muse” has gifted me with a story idea, a character, or a scene, there are definitely things that have helped guide me to points where I was actually ready to write something. Mostly, the things that get my creativity really flowing can be broken into two categories: other books, and music.
Finding time to both read and write can be a real struggle. There are only so many hours in the day (and sleep is a precious commodity). But, for me, reading other people’s books helps me feel more centered in my own voice and writing. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to come up with ideas. I know what that sounds like, and I’m totally not referring to ripping off other people’s characters and worlds (even though fan-fic has its place and can be tons of fun!). What I mean is that it allows for an escape from reality that gives your creative side a chance to explore on its own. For Colors Like Memories, the main character is a Sary—a type of guardian angel of sorts (I made them up, so if you google them, well, it probably won’t help too much—check out my blurb or my book instead :). Anyhow, the root for the idea of these beings came a long time ago while reading another book (Many Waters by Madeline L’Engle, which is a totally fun read if you get the chance). One of the side characters struck me as really interesting and I remember thinking “Maybe I could write something about characters that have that trait.” About a million twists and turns later, the Sary were born!
Colors Like Memories as a novel, came to me through listening to music. I almost always have something playing on my computer or iPod, and I have massively eclectic taste so what’s playing any given day ranges from opera to rap. So, driving home one evening I was listening to Shadow of a Day by Linkin Park (yeah, I know, old song, but books take ages to be written, revised, then published). Something just clicked in my head, and suddenly my main character, Julia, was telling me her story. I still remember exactly where I pulled off I80 between Dixon and Davis to jot down notes. As I wrote and revised my book, I think I listened to that song about a thousand times. I have my playlist up on my blog, if you want to check it out . Anyhow, music is a great way to spark creativity! (Can you tell I like parentheses? I swear there aren’t this many in my novel—my editor made me take them out!)
So, books, music, and well, just living life really does give me the best story ideas. I hope you all find yourselves in a “I just HAVE to write this down!” sometime—nothing compares!
Inquiring minds want to know: what gets your muse up and moving?
A bit about the Colors Like Memories:
Julia has a secret : she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.
Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.
Release date : May 11th 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing.
A bit about Meradeth Houston:
>She’s a Northern California girl. This generally means she talks too fast and use "like" a lot.
>She has her doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: she sequences dead people's DNA and is a professional lab rat.
>She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she’s so happy to get to share her work!
>Her other passion is teaching. There's nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology!
>If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.