A few weeks ago I was asked to give a talk on what inspired me as an author. I am not an eloquent public speaker. I usually muddle my words and I tend to leave people more confused than enlightened. So today I thought I should post my talk for those who were left wondering what I was really trying to say :)....
Finding Your Inspiration Through Life (Part 1)
My journey as an author started when I was a child. For as long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). This wasn’t an easy thing to live with. I was often in trouble, and I spent most of my school days in special needs classes. I daydreamed all the time. When I was a young girl, I’d often imagine that I was a hero on an amazing adventure or I’d imagine I was a great explorer. I craved adventure, and more often-than-not, my teacher or parents could find me hiding in a corner talking to myself, because I even had imaginary friends. My mind was constantly racing—popping up with new ideas and thoughts all the time. I never thought that one day my ADHD would actually work to my advantage, but to this day, my imagination and ability to day dream has become one of my greatest strengths. My day dreams are what have carried me through life, even though at times, it has been a source of grief. So what I’d like to talk about today is this—every daydream starts with a tiny spark. There is always something that is the catalyst to a new idea or dream. Have you ever seen that commercial for Moen where a couple sits with a designer? They place a faucet on the desk and say, “Design a house around this.” Well, this concept is exactly what I would like to get across today. I’d like to highlight a few of those "things" that you can design a story around. These are often the catalysts for my ideas…my sparks!
The first thing is Destination and Setting…
Have you ever passed a field of wild flowers or taken a walk through the forest just after it’s rained? Have you ever seen an area that simply leaves you breathless and you just want to grasp that place and hang onto it forever? Its those moments when a photo simply isn't enough. I love nature, and whenever I come across a town, a field, a mountain, or even a place in the city that touches me, I just want to hang onto it. I can do this in my books. I can live in that area while I create my story.
Most of my novels take place in areas that I love—areas that have left a lasting impression on me. I live in Santaquin, Utah, and when we first moved there, I loved to drive to Mona. I loved the open spaces, the farms, the community, and just the general feel of the area. It felt natural to create a story there. The Alias takes place in Mona on a ranch. I’ve never lived on a ranch before, but through this book, I was able to experience ranch life. I was able to capture that dream and capture the emotions and feelings I had when I first discovered that area. I can include my memories, my dreams, and my love of any place that I feel inspired to write about in my books. My stories are sort of like a souvenir, and just as an area can inspire a story, so too
can the people who live in a particular place… So my next inspiration is “People”…which I’ll highlight in the next post.