Writing is a mixture of several components: ideas, research and imagination. An idea sparks; our brains go to work on developing the story that builds upon the idea. Research helps to flush it out, adding realistic elements to ground the idea. But it’s the imagination that takes hold, giving life to the idea. That’s when magic happens.
As I work on releasing my fourth book, Black Wolf, in e-book format, I’ve thought about its origin. The idea came from one of my favorite wildlife art pieces, Midnight – Black Wolf by Robert Bateman. A dark, shadowy figure of a black wolf stands hidden in a forest of trees, barely visible, camouflaged in the night, watching, waiting.
From the inspiration of that painting I created an entire book. Inspiration can come from anywhere, anything. Then imagination takes control, creating untold stories and characters that come alive. For me, the freedom to go beyond the traditional is the best part of writing. The challenge lies in writing the unexpected. To tell a tale that no one’s heard before.
My original storyline for this book actually had the hero turning into a wolf when the moon was full, the result of a spell cast by witches. Not very original today, but this was before the surge of vampires, werewolves and witches within the romance genre. My agent at the time told me she didn’t know where she could sell something like that, there just wasn’t a market for it. So I changed the story to what was publishable at the time.
Who knew? Obviously, my timing sucked. Or maybe, just maybe, I should have written the book as it was meant to be written. Perhaps my instincts to write that which is a bit bizarre and different are truer to the writer I need to be. Now, as an indie writer, I can indulge myself. With each book, I dare to go a bit further as I walk the edge, allowing my imagination to go wild.
I look forward to seeing where it takes me next.
“In this painting I wanted to show the ominous presence of a mature, lone wolf, I wanted to create a mood of seriousness and respect – not threat. From the artistic point of view, I was intrigued by the challenge of portraying a black animal on an almost black background. It is something like playing a whole piano composition in half an octave of the bass section.” – Robert Bateman