Please join me in giving a warm welcome to author Cassandra Jade as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress as she makes a stop on her virtual blog tour.
Cassandra’s current release is DEATH’S DAUGHTER. She’s here today to talk about ‘Origin of an Idea.’
Thanks Mason for hosting me today.
Today I wanted to talk about ideas and where they come from. It seems people can’t help themselves, when they find out you write, one of their first three questions is always, “Where do you get your ideas?” The other two being, “What do you write?” and “Where do you find the time?”
So where do ideas come from?
They might come from the idea fairy. You know the one. She flitters around with a bag full of notions and occasionally she throws them at people. You can tell when someone has been struck by a notion because a glittering light bulb appears above their head.
Then again, maybe not.
I’m going to be perfectly honest, I don’t know where my ideas come from. I know that I draw some things from my life. I know that I do borrow small bits and pieces from things I’ve seen and heard and read. I also know that some of the things that end up in my writing, I just do not know where they came from.
Instead of trying to answer the question, where do I get my ideas, I am going to discuss where Death’s Daughter came from.
I started writing DEATH’S DAUGHTER when I was 17. My protagonist just happens to be a girl of seventeen, about to finish
her years of study and about to pursue a career. Not really very challenging to see where that inspiration came from.
The story is set in society with low level technology, vaguely based on pre-industrial European settlements, but I’m really going to emphasise the vaguely part of that statement. If I look at what I was reading at the time and had been reading through high-school, most of the fantasy I read was set in worlds of carriages and horses, where ladies were expected to be ladies and had many restrictions placed upon them.
What I desperately wanted to avoid was a showdown between good against evil. The one thing that always bothered me about a lot of the fantasy I read as a teenager was that the good guys were good because it was the right thing to do. They went on great quests and through all of these hardships because they knew it was right. My experience with the world and with people is that they do very little because it is right. Most of what they do is motivated by self-interest. Calandra, my protagonist, isn’t ‘good’. She’s very much looking out for her own interests. Those who stand against her are not necessarily ‘evil’. They are simply pursuing goals that are frequently in opposition to Calandra’s goals.
If I think about it carefully, every part of DEATH’S DAUGHTER was drawn from somewhere but when I was writing it, that wasn’t really my concern. I was just creating a story and using the tools available to me to make an interesting story.
So where do your ideas come from? How do you answer this question?
Cassandra, thanks so much for blogging here today. I always enjoy learning where book ideas come from. Sounds like Calandra is an intriguing character.
Now some background on Cassandra. She’s a fantasy author from Australia. You’re welcome to visit her blog, http://cassandrajade.wordpress.com, follow her on twitter, http://twitter.com/darkened_jade and you can check out her book, DEATH’S DAUGHTER at: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_19&products_id=227