Monday, September 12, 2011

Inspired By Vamps and Zombies, Oh no!

Sometimes inspiration comes from a source you hadn’t expected. That happened to me this weekend, twice.

I’ve always said, “You can learn something from anyone.” And it’s, true.

This past Saturday my local writing chapter, The Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers, held a two hour workshop with speaker Jonathan Maberry.

(Pictured here with PLRW members Kathy Kulig, Me, Christine Bush, Kathy Coddington and Tina Gallagher)

Jonathan is very industry savvy and a phenomenal speaker. He’s also a paranormal author of vampires, werewolfs and zombies. I hate zombies. The classic movie ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ scared the bejeus out of me. Just writing zombies makes me shiver.
I digress, sorry. Anyway, why would I go to a workshop by a guy who writes about those topics? Because… Come on, you got it. I can learn something from anyone and Jonathan is a great speaker.

So what did Jonathan teach me? Besides how to really kill a vampire and that you need to bury a werewolf in a coffin with silver upon its lid in order to keep the monster buried. He taught me other avenues to do research for my own books, which in turn will make my characters or stories unique. We’ve all heard from editors and agents that they’re looking for the tried and true but with a unique twist. Well, look to the past, where folklores began.

Jonathan inspired me to research my novel in the unlikely places. My second inspiration came in the form of a review for In The Presence Of Evil. I check on readers now and then, because I want to know what they like, what they think is dull and boring, and what makes them rave from the rooftops about an author’s work and I came across this review on Goodreads.

...IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL is the third book released by Autumn Jordon, but the first book written by her that I have read. I must say, after reading a fast-paced, on edge story like it, I will be back for more....

You can read the entire thing here:

This woman got my writing. She enjoyed a story I created and slaved over for months. Let me tell you, for an author, a review like this is like winning the lottery. It gives us hope that someone will read the review and buy our work and perhaps like it just as much and they will tell a friend and they will mention you to another reader, and so on and so on. Word of mouth is still the best marketing tool. You know I’m hoping for flash fire of readers to passing along my name. I can dream, can’t I?

Sorry, I digressed again. This review and the others I received so far for In The Presence Of Evil inspired me to go deeper into my characters’ psyche (I started right away) and make my next novel even more emotionally stronger. I want my characters to connect with my readers. I want the reader to feel my characters’ angst and love. I want them to think of my characters as friends and wonder about them after they’ve put down the book. I want my books to be on their keeper shelves.

While I might not be there yet, I promise I’m going to keep trying. Maybe one day reader threads will start with my name as the topic and some of the people will say my work is a keeper.

Okay, that is what inspired be this weekend to hit my keyboard. What inspires you?


  1. Hearing stories like this is what inspires me Autumn. Good luck with a dream come true!

  2. Thanks, Calisa. I don't know where you are but if you ever get to hear Jonathan speak, jump on the opportunity.

  3. I agree with Calisa. Hearing stories like yours is what inspires me to keep going, hoping that readers will enjoy my work and they'll tell someone and on and on down the line.

  4. Thanks, dear. The more you work at something the better you get, so I'm working and working at it everyday.

  5. Musical entertainers live for the applause. Wrtiers live for amazing reviews like the one you recieved. It's what we work for: to enthrall our readers. You have. Yay, you!

  6. What a wonderful comparison, Vonnie. Thanks for the kudos!

  7. Great post, Autumn. I have to work hard to stay to my plot and the best way to do that is by digging deeper into your characters' psyches. On a side note, I cracked up when I read the names of the people in that picture. Tina Gallagher is a secondary character in my vampire romance, Out of the Darkness. And it was a totally made up name. The only Gallagher I could think of was that strange comedian who smashed water melons on stage with a sledge hammer!

  8. Oh, Lilly, that is funny. I'll let Tina know she is in a book. Thanks for stopping by today.

  9. when you do book were do you get the cover idea are you guys using the old time zombie or do yu have some one who now what you like