Welcome back! You actually came back! What a relief--sometimes, I'll be rambling about something when I realize that everyone has left the room. It's a little embarrassing, not to mention the damage it does to my self-esteem. Here's a pretty picture to thank you for returning:
Before I get started, here's a Website that made me laugh:
http://www.textsfromlastnight.com/. Thank you, Emma Petersen (writer extraordinaire), for sending me this link. Sure, it wasted a couple hours of my time when I could've been doing stuff like, oh, writing this blog, maybe, but I didn't plan to sleep tonight anyway.
Okay! Here we go. I was talking about how all my characters start off at a pretty boring place. Are they comfortable? Most of them, sure. Are they happy? Not really. Are they fulfilled? Nope. And that's where the story begins.
I tend to get inspiration from tiny things (I'd use a grain of sand in an oyster turning into a pearl metaphor here, but I thought it'd be a little self-aggrandizing to refer to my books as pearls). Inspiration for Breaking the Silence struck as I was reading a months-old, tattered magazine while sitting in a dentist's office waiting room that smelled like fluoride and ground teeth. I ran across an article analyzing the way that couples sleep. The article theorized that sleeping positions said a lot about two people's relationship. Spooning meant one thing, back-to-back meant another, head on the shoulder a third. Face-to-face, the article stated, meant that the couple was overly attached, in love to the point of unhealthiness.
This caught my eye, of course, since I am all about the obsessive attachments. (My editor asked if she should worry about me, since so many of my characters are slightly (ahem) dysfunctional. I told her not to worry; except for that inferior T.V., I had a pretty ideal childhood.) In that dentist's office, I started thinking about what would connect two people so strongly, and the seed of an idea for Breaking the Silence was planted.
As I said before, there was no grand inspiration, no swelling music as a brilliant disco-ball of a light bulb went off over my head while my muse danced around and wept with joy. Nope, just a pop-psychology article in a fluffy women's magazine, read while waiting to get plaque scraped off my teeth. Down and dirty. Don't say I didn't warn you.
This one's for the guys this time.
When I come back tomorrow, I'll chat about why down and dirty inspiration is a good thing.