When I’m asked about what inspires me as I write, I give my answer without hesitation: my husband. There are so many ways he gives me motivation, focus and verve. I’ll list a few, and perhaps you will see your spouse in this description also.
He inspires me in his industriousness. Although he writes non-fiction exclusively, he is constantly working at it, trying to perfect his skills and find better and more comprehensive resources. The heroes I create are also industrious. One example is Mikhail Andropov of Daughter of the Moon, books 1 and 2. He is the president of a small survivalist organization and works long and hard trying to keep his group safe during a world-wide disaster.
A fellow’s look can be inspirational, whether in-person or in the media. Think of how many writers are inspired by George Clooney, for example. I did a poll not long ago, asking my readers which actor they were most attracted to, and he won hands-down. Sean Connery came in a close second. Since I’m attracted to men with dark hair—which is what my husband has—I write my heroes with dark good looks, broad shoulders and strong physiques. One such hero is Michael O’Malley of Laricon’s Ways. The men of the Journey series, all hunky heroes, have dark hair. (It’s a family trait for them.)
My husband also inspires me with his intelligence. If there was ever a person who could explain a complex issue in layman’s terms, it is my husband. It’s his specialty, in fact. My intellect, dubious as it might be, pales in comparison. I wrote a particularly intelligent male character for Under Wraps. Esteban says he’s Alejandro, but he has to convince our heroine of this fact or get hanged. When your life is in the balance, you have to be smart—or else!
Courage is also an important component of inspiration. Who doesn’t feel inspired by firemen, policemen, and military men? They are super-courageous! My husband has courage in his convictions, just like Trey Journey, of my novella, Liv’s Journey. Trey is an Army Major who is willing to put his life on the line for his country, taking regular tours in Afghanistan. Another hero in public and private is Drake Stillwater, the small-town police chief who stars in my spanking novella, Strong, Silent Type. He’s a Native American who’s worked hard to get where he is, doing the hard jobs so many of us take for granted.
I’ve used a lot of examples from my books in this article, but the reality is they all are inspired by my best friend, confidante, and mentor: my husband. Many writers are inspired by the people around them, people they know, and, in my case, love. That’s why we marry them. They make us feel the joy of discovery that comes with creating a new character that’s believable and who breathes like a real person—just like they do.
Who inspires you?