Ally Shields ushers in the Inspiration themed Guest Posts for January 2013. She is the author of the Guardian Witch Series, beginning with Awakening The Fire. The sequel Fire Within is scheduled for publication in March.
Inspiration is a word we throw around every day, but how often do you stop and think about what inspires you? I did just that when Wren asked me to write this post. I discovered the answer for me is really simple: life inspires me, the sum of my experiences. Since I suspect you want a little more detail than that, let's stick with what inspires me as a writer.
It starts and ends with books. I love them, and I've read everything from Walter Farley's horse books to Nancy Drew, Tolkien's Trilogy, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Laurel K Hamilton and even Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. There have been a thousand more along the way. Each book, each intriguing world the author created inspired me to read the next book, and the next.
Somewhere along the way I began to dream of writing my own stories. Perhaps it was when I finished the last Walter Farley book and wanted to read more, because my first manuscript at age nine was a horse story entitled Golden King. I threw it away as childish when I was twelve, but I still remember the thrill of inventing that world and those characters. It fed the dream.
When I married, raised children, I still wrote whenever I could, and I have boxes of story ideas, partially written manuscripts and character sheets - a closetful that sat idle for years as family and job kept me busy. When I finally had time to write again, I pulled out those boxes and looked at them, but they were old ideas, and I wanted new.
I'd read mostly mysteries and fantasy, and at the time was devouring Vince Flynn's spy thrillers, so a mystery seemed a logical place to start. Mysteries were a genre I understood and loved. I chose my main character - her name was Samantha - and I sat down to write. But Samantha didn't want to be Samantha, and she didn't want to live in a normal world. In fact, along about day three, she announced she was a witch! For a long time, she didn't reveal her name, and throughout the first draft, I continued to call her Samantha.
Or maybe I just wasn't listening closely enough to my inner muse in those early days.
Eventually all the characters introduced themselves - Ari (my witch), Andreas (the vampire) and Ryan (the human cop), and my urban fantasy world began to evolve. So I guess you could say that the characters inspired my first novel that was eventually published in September 2012 as Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch Book One).
I'm now working on book five in that series. Fire Within (Book #2) will be released in March; Burning Both Ends (Book #3) is scheduled for late spring, and Blood & Fire (Book #4) is being submitted to the publisher. I continue to be inspired by these characters and by the readers who enjoy them.
Today I'm excited to give you a sneak peek at Fire Within (Guardian Witch Book Two) due out in March. The overall story arc continues from book #1.
Otherworld cop Ari Calin refuses to believe her self-confessed human friend murdered a vampire, and she sets out to prove what really happened. When a second vampires dies, it's obvious that Olde Town has a serial killer, threatening the vampires she protects. Maybe it's just a vampire hunter run amok, but Ari suspects a hidden evil is stalking the city, preparing to take control, unless she finds a way to stop it.
Fire Within will be available soon at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online sites.
You can always find any of my books on Amazon by checking my author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/allyshields
If you haven't read Awakening the Fire (Book #1) you can find it here:
Barnes & Noble
All Romance Ebooks
Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest along the Mississippi River, the
setting for her urban fantasy series. After careers as a lawyer and a juvenile court officer, she now writes full-time. Visit her official author website at http://allyshields.com.
The author may also be contacted through the following links:
Thank you, Wren, for inviting me to your blog. I hope you and your readers have a wonderful New Year and find many things to inspire each of you! --Ally Shields
~~Ally, The feeling is mutual, the whole year is ahead for writing and accomplishing our goals! It's very exciting time. Best x Wren D
Read More Posts in the December Hope and January Inspiration Series