Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.
— Jorge Luis Borges
If you want some good advice about how to keep track of your writing expenses, check out this new entry on PBW’s blog. This is something I’m going to try.
One of my readers, Wanda, sent me some great questions:
I would like to ask you how you get the idea’s for your characters and story lines?
That’s always hard to explain, though I suppose the easiest way to say it is that the characters and story lines just sort of come to me—sometimes inspired by the news, by articles in magazines, or even by observing folks at the grocery store. Dreams can become the root of a tale, or a painting or piece of music. Inspiration is everywhere—you just have to open yourself up to it, and really look at the world instead of simply passing through. Everyone is different, though; inspiration is colored by experience.
How did the idea for this new series differ from Dirk & Steele? How do you come up with the names for your characters?
The Hunter Kiss series differs in the sense that it’s told from the point of view of only one character, and as such, will be a continuing series. Actually, the best way to describe it is to probably show you an excerpt (a very short one) from Wild Thing, right here:
My mother used to say that the tale of the world is drawn in blood, blood in flesh, veins forking into destiny like the branches of the tree from which the apple hung and the serpent danced, trading whispers for the corruption of innocents. Good and evil, knowledge and choice. And there, at the root of history, the world tumbled down.
History is legend. Legend is blood. And I am totally fucked.
My mother was murdered on the day I turned twenty-one.
It was at night. She served me cake. When I blew out the candles, she died. Shotgun blast to the head, aimed right through the kitchen window. I walked away without a scratch. I suppose I killed her, just as much as the zombie who pulled the trigger did. I try not to think about it.
Since then, though, I�ve kept to the road. No home, no roots. Just me and the boys. I suppose they deserve some of the blame, too. All of it, really. But hating them is the same as hating myself, and my mother would not want that.
So, like I said, I try not to think about it.
It is a rainy evening in Seattle. Beyond the drizzle, sunset is coming. Best time of day, or the worst—depending on where I am. Right now, it is pretty bad. I know the sun is setting because my tattoos are ready to peel. Puts me in a bind because I�ve got no place to go and nowhere to hide. I am standing beneath the arcade on the crowded upper level of Pike Place Market, only a step away from the wet cobblestones and idling traffic of First Street. There is an echo beneath my feet; the lower levels of the Market, sinking into the hill, resonating with the footsteps of tourists and locals; voices chattering around the antique dealers, the comic book sellers, the head shops and farmers and crafts and kitsch. A combination meant to evoke nostalgia, perhaps. An emotion lost on me, at this particular moment.
I blame the zombies. I am surrounded by them. They are breathing down my neck. And they are not happy to see me.
As for naming my characters, sometimes it’s really easy—the names just pop into my head, and it’s totally perfect. More often than not, though, I go to naming websites for inspiration. PBW has some great links that I use.
Finally, thank you so much for all your well-wishes about yesterday’s news! I really appreciate it.