I’m honored to be a guest on Susan’s blog today. As a writer, I take inspiration from a lot of things. Some days, it’s a simple as reading a great book and wanting to inspire that some reaction in my own readers. Sometimes it’s getting lost in the research and thinking about the amazing story I could tell from all I’ve learned.
But there are bigger inspirations–ones that have followed me since high school. The first time I read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, I was swept up not only in the lore she built nearly from scratch, but the journey she sent her readers on.
As a history buff, I loved going back to 18th century Paris and learning about the stinking above ground cemeteries. Anne Rice showed us ancient Rome and Egypt with such vivid imagery I felt as though I were living history.
And it was all done through the eyes of Lestat, the “Brat Prince,” as he’s called by his vampire peers. Bold, enthusiastic, intense, fearful, impulsive, brilliant, musical – any one of these adjectives can be used to describe Lestat. He’s the first character I remember reading who was so three dimensional, written with such emotional depth, that I grew emotionally invested. My heart worried for Lestat with each page, and I felt his pain and triumph as he galavanted through the centuries.
Reading Anne Rice’s novels – The Vampire Lestat in particular – was the first time I felt the need to write. The first time I was moved to write. And I did. All drivel about life and love and teenage angst, but Lestat was so real in my eyes, thanks to the stellar writing of Rice, I wanted to create a character that moved me just as much.
I don’t write paranormal–my true loves are suspense and thrillers–but the inspiration from Rice’s writing is something I still carry with me today.
If you’re a writer, who are your inspirations? As a reader, what author’s words touch your heart?
Stacy Green is fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts at her blog, Turning the Page.
After earning her degree in journalism, Stacy worked in advertising before becoming a stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. She rediscovered her love of writing and wrote several articles for Women’s Edition Magazine of Cedar Rapids, profiling local businesses, before penning her first novel. Her debut novel, INTO THE DARK, is set in Las Vegas and features a heroine on the edge of disaster, a tormented villain, and the city’s infamous storm drains that house hundreds of homeless. INTO THE DARK is available on all digital formats and paperback November 30th.
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AN EXCERPT FROM INTO THE DARK
Emilie’s resolve faltered as they reached the tunnel entrance. She peered over Nathan’s shoulder at the triad of pipes branching off in different directions. Big enough for a tall man to walk through easily, their murky blackness was as foreboding as anything Emilie had ever experienced.
She pressed the button on her flashlight and shined it into the abyss. Four other lights joined hers, and the inner concrete walls of the tunnel became visible. Graffiti was scrawled over them. A bevy of cockroaches scuttled away from the intrusion.
Emilie followed Nathan and Chris across the threshold and tried not to give in to the claustrophobia that immediately wrapped itself around her. The tunnel was wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side with room to spare, but the sense of being closed in was amplified by the heavy silence. The group’s splashing feet echoed and then faded away into the never-ending darkness. How deep were the channels?
A smell resembling the rotten egg she’d once dropped on Evan’s porcelain kitchen floor hit her full force. Emilie’s hand flew to her mouth.
“Something else, ain’t it?” Chris’s voice broke the uneasy stillness. “I liken it to a men’s locker room filled with dirty socks and jocks after a five-mile run.”
“If you guys stink this bad, you need medical help. Christ.”
“At least my stomach’s not rumbling anymore,” Nathan said.
“Shit, I could eat,” Chris said.
“You can always eat. You’re like a human trash compactor.”
“Do you guys have any idea where to find Snake?” Avery’s voice came out muffled.
Chris turned around and shined his light on Avery. “Dude, that hanky over your face ain’t gonna stop the stink. Embrace it. Feel the burn.”
Emilie laughed as the knot in her stomach began to uncoil. The banter made it easier to forget why she was here.
Her right foot suddenly came down on something hard in the shallow stream of water. She stumbled into Nathan’s back before an arm caught her from behind.
“Watch it,” Avery said. “Last thing you want to do is fall face-first in this.”
“Sorry.” Emilie clutched the hem of Nathan’s thin T-shirt. “I tripped over something.”
She shined her light into the two-inch-deep water. A pair of soulless black eyes stared back at her. A child’s doll lay abandoned, its once-blond hair soaked with the filthy water.
Children lived down here?
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Enter the INTO THE DARK Charity Raffle!
The homeless living in the storm drains of Las Vegas played a vital part in INTO THE DARK, and I want to give back. From November 1st until February 28th, participants will have several options to enter the raffle, including donating to HELP of Southern Nevada. The grand prize will be a $100 donation from me in the winner’s name to the homeless shelter of their choice.
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