Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Inspiration: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

The recent acceptance of my short story, "Forgive Me, Father, For I Have. . . Burp!", started me thinking about the places I find inspiration for stories. This particular story had its seed in a Yahoo! group dedicated to Urban Fantasy author Mark Henry. For those of you not familiar with Mark's work, he writes, by his own admission, "zombie smut for the masses." If you would like to check out him out, please visit his website, www.markhenry.us.

Anyway, awhile back, Mark made a comment about being the Father Confessor and we should come forward to confess our sins. Since he writes about zombies, I made a comment about literally eating my girlfriend and wanted to know if I would be going to Hell for it. That comment wouldn't leave me alone. It stuck in my head for about a month before I sat down and starting weaving it into something with some dark comic overtones. Never did I think it would see the light of day, let alone print -- I just needed to get it out of my head. Never did I dream it would be the piece that would get me published.

My completed novel manuscript, working title Ursa Major, which is currently in the editing and revising stage, started out as a bizarre dream that haunted my sleep for a couple of months. I kept playing with it, trying to figure out what I could do with it, and finally things just fell into place.

My second novel manuscript, which is just about at the half-way point, was inspired by Reba McEntire's version of the song Maggie Creek Road. While there is nothing supernatural about the song, the minute I heard it, the story was born. Other projects I have waiting in the wings have been inspired by questions posed in Facebook, snippets of overheard conversations at different locations, tabloids, the nightly News, etc. The sources of inspiration are endless; you just have to be open to them.

Where did you get the inspiration for your current work in progress?


  1. This is a very nice article. Funny, that you would get such inspiration from a song or a dream. What are you stories about?

    Congratulations on your first publication. Where did you get it published at? How long was your story?

    My current novel, Bullets Till Midnight, started as a short story. I started writing it shortly after reading The Great God Pan, by Machen. The characters in the story kept coming up with new backgrounds, story twists and things I never could have dreamed of. The world quickly grew to over 100k words by the time I finished. When the final keys struck, I almost cried and my hands shook. "The End" may be the hardest two words to type.

    Since that time I have learned so much about writing, finding inspiration for my published short stories all around me. There is so much to learn in the English language; I am so glad to have picked up a love for writing.

    Thanks to my writing, I have no vices left in my life. When I don't write, I spend time with my children. There is nothing better than being a father.

    Draven Ames

  2. Draven, the story was picked up by May December Publications and will be appearing in their First Time Dead anthology, which I believe will be available in February. It's about a zombie being consumed by guilt.

    Ursa Major deals with witchcraft and shape-shifting, and the untitled manuscript is about spiritual possession. I'm also working on another zombie piece, which I just put the finishing touches on and is out with beta readers. Other stories deal with dryads, selkies, body thieves, cannibalism, lycanthropy, necrophilia, etc. In fact, I have one necro piece that everybody loves, but nobody wants to touch. Some in the industry say necrophilia is passé, so maybe that will show up in a collection of my works down the line or as a Kindle original.