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Today's guest is the author Rowena Sudbury who talks about the 'spark' of inspiration and how she weaves it into her fiction :).


About me: Rowena Sudbury lives in southern California with her husband, son, and their wonderful rescue dog. Her love of reading was born in the fifth grade, and she began writing soon after that. Writing has always been her passion and escape from the real world.

Rowena finds herself thinking through the minds of her characters quite often, to the point that she always has to carry a small journal with her so she can capture their thoughts and weave them into stories when she gets home.

My "work" at Dreamspinner:
The King's Tale, The Magic of Lammas, Silent Night.
Buy them HERE.


As I type this there's a thunderstorm outside. I live in Southern California, and while "It Never Rains in California" is not true, the thunder and lightning are a rarity. I am from Texas originally, and spent several years there and in Kentucky. It's not uncommon to have thunderstorms there, and it was during that time that I cultivated a great fear of the noise and flashes of light. It was a relief to move to the balmy West Coast and put the misery behind me. Now, on days like today, I'm just reminded again that these displays of nature are not something I look forward to at all.

--I originally wrote this post on January 18. Little did I know at that point that the "thunderstorm" was a precursor to the worst rains my region has seen in twenty five years! I've been slogging around ever since.--

I do find inspiration in them though. I find inspiration in nearly everything. I joke that I have a little filing cabinet in my head, and when I need inspiration I can just go and rummage through it. I've used my fear of storms on more than one occasion (there's an example here at the All Gay Romance Stories blog.) Sometimes I think using my own fear lends an air of believability to my characters.

Of course, inspiration also strikes at times when you least expect it. I've had stories pop full blown into my head while listening to music. One time I was tired and just wanted to lay down for "five minutes". I took off my earrings and folded them into my palm. Within a few minutes I was up jotting furiously in a notebook a Valentine's story about ...earrings in the palm of a hand.

Inspiration for The King's Tale is a gift I shall cherish always. I grew up reading historical romance novels, and was always particularly fascinated with Medieval times. I can remember longing to write my own historical, and being vexed when the ideas never came.

And then one night I was chatting with a friend on a messenger program. She and I had written scores of ideas for novels that we both knew were never going to get written. Sometimes it was easier to let our novel characters hash out the ideas "in person"...so they would talk, and we would type. Her character was the one who came up with the bedtime story, of a cold and lonely king seeking shelter in the cottage of a woodsman. My fertile mind wouldn't let it end at that, and I constructed it into what eventually became my first published work.

All it took was that one spark, and many times that is all inspiration is. A spark.

Visit me at my blog and my GLBT Bookshelf page.

The pictures came from this site:




Today's Quote:
"To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June." Jean-Paul Sartre

Today's Daft Google Searches for 'Clare London':
"Mapping value in the built urban environment" And...?! :)


Follow this month with Clare (look at the goodies so far...):

Jan 22 : Author Jordan Castillo Price wonders "what if" she hadn't been a writer?
Jan 23 : Author Syd McGinley asks Is Dr. Fell a Gary Sue?‏
Jan 24 : Author Angela S. Stone tells us about her 'Bunnies' and offers Free Fiction.‏
Jan 24 : Author Lori Toland tells us about the rock 'n' roll of her new release.‏

Jan 15 : Jen of Well Read savours the memory of food, and seeks it in her fiction!
Jan 16 : Author Mel Keegan tells us why we should all be visiting the GLBT Bookshelf.
Jan 17 : Author Cassandra Gold discusses the wonderful world of the romance sub-genre.
Jan 18 : Author Wren Boudreau asks "Who am I...and am I okay with it?"
Jan 19 : Author Jenna Hilary Sinclair confesses her addiction...to writing!
Jan 20 : Author Dakota Flint discusses the fascination of the Epilogue.
Jan 21 : Author Janey Chapel treats us to pictures of her favourite kink!

Jan 08 : Jessewave wonders - tongue in cheek - where the less shiny guys are!
Jan 09 : Anne Cain shares her art and encourages a show and tell!
Jan 10 : My latest release Upwardly Mobile is out at Amber Quill today.
Jan 11 : Author Lee Rowan discusses why love should not be a garotte.
Jan 12 : Author Jaime Samms asks if readers prefer short or long stories.
Jan 13 : Author Erastes explains why her submissions keep aiming for the stars!
Jan 14 : Author Daimeryan Rei describes the rewards of writing both fan and original fiction.

Jan 01 : The New Year brings the release of the Immortal Fire anthology IN PRINT.
Jan 02 : author Chrissy Munder asks if current affairs in fiction is delightful or just dates us.
Jan 03 : author Madeleine Urban describes how her characters hijacked her brain.
Jan 04 : author Theda Black's inspiration reaches from a bionic penis to the power of Pan.
Jan 05 : author Josh Lanyon shares some exceedingly good books with us.
Jan 06 : author K. Z. Snow questions what all the fuss is about authors 'making shit up'.
Jan 07 : Josie aka 1more_sickpuppy compares her life and friends online and off.

Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Email me at clarelondon11 @ hotmail.com and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Inspiration is everywhere, I agree! I've written just one book, and it took my husband several weeks after it was published to read it. Now, he likes to "help" me find "inspiration". Flipping through channels last night, he came across the ice skating demonstrations: "Do you think he's gay? Hey! You could use that in a book!" Or attending a dance performance: "I'll bet you could write about those flamenco dancers!" Or "Do you think that ice sculpture will work in your story?"

And I definitely love him for that. It's kind of sexy. But really, it is more the little things, the way someone trips in a parking lot (okay, that was me), a photo of a stranger with beautiful eyes, snow outlining a tree...

You're right, Rowena, it's a spark that sometimes becomes a flame!
Jan. 25th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
My husband has yet to read my book...but it doesn't stop him from pimping it to everyone. It's kind of heartwarming :)

I know what you mean though, I use my own misfortune quite often in stories. And pictures! GAH! I saw a picture of a man in a Gap advertisement many years ago, and he haunted me! He was so beautiful, and so much expression in his eyes! I instantly made him into a Pureto Rican hustler in my head, and found out later he's actually British. He's still my Rodrigo though, even wrapped in a woolen muffler.

When the spark becomes a flame...that's the best!
Jan. 25th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
I'm always drawing on my life for inspiration :)! Just listening to life stories gives me an idea of where I want to go and how I want to go wiht a certain novel.

One even spurs the idea.

I love it :)!

Jan. 25th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
I think that's why my creative writing teachers always said to "write what you know"...but when I took actual events from my actual life and wrote them into stories...I found them boring LOL!

But giving characters real characteristics from me, or from people I've observed, that's what I think they meant. *g*

Ramble any time...rambling is also an inspiration!
Jan. 25th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
LOL! I always took the "Write what you know" kinda loosly. Like I know all about a topic but that's becuase i've researched and harrased people (nicely.. usually) into telling me about how this or that worked!

If I "Wrote what I knew" my characters would wake up, eat go to school, go home do homework and go to bed. Instead i have them, falling in-love, dealing with the things tha life throws at them )in their own little ways), and being some awesome police officers.

So yes I agree write the little bits in (Most of my characters for some reason all seem to have Bassett Hounds... I may or may not have a bassett hound *shift eyes*) and make the rest up :)!

LOL I am very rambly I got off on rants... I need to remember to reel in the rambling when I write...
Jan. 25th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
I always took it literally, which was a shame. It's just that I turned in a piece once about a frustrated housewife having an affair with a door to door salesman. Sure, I didn't -literally- know what it felt like to be a frustrated housewife, but I got all the descriptions of the house, the heat, the little Iowa town down pat because I'd visited Iowa before and knew what it felt like.

Funny you should mention dogs...most of my characters have dogs (Dafydd in The King's Tale had Dewi, Jeff in the book I'm working on now has Dakotah) and they usually are black and white mutts...not like I don't have first hand experience with black and white mutts ;)

Rambling in writing can be a good thing sometimes, I think anyway.
Jan. 25th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Oh wow but that's good though it's all about writing and getting the experence of writing!! I feel the more experence that you get the better your writing gets!!

LOL! it's funny the things that we put into our chracters.. and the things that carry through.One of my favourite Authors (John Simpson) his characters always drink Diet 7-Up Why I have no idea, but I find it amusing!!

:)! glad to know someone things so! I'm always afraid that I do it too much... (see here I go Again!)!
Jan. 25th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
See...that's great, about the Diet 7Up, that shows an attentive reader! I love that!

And as for rambling...hoo boy. I could go on forver. I used to work in an office where every time I said, "I'll look it up in the dictionary" people would groan because they knew it would take me forever to get to the word we needed defined, because I'd read at least 6 definitions on the way there, and offer my insights into said words. LOL!

That's why my job as a teacher is great, I have a captive audience!
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
LOL really? I thought it was me just being odd and picking up bits and bobs that I shouldn't XD!!

LOL!! Hee i'm like that as well "Wel if you use this word in that context it's not correct, however in this context it is unles.." yeah lol people don't ask me anymore!

Hee!! Alas as a nurse no one listens to me, but that's ok will write lots of books and force people to listen to me on my issues but do it so sneekily that no one will notice *cackels evily*

btw *adds as LJ friend*
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:10 pm (UTC)
YAY! Vocabulary is one of my favorite things (as my students will attest) and teaching multiple meaning words is something I really enjoy. You must have had some great teachers!

My mom is a retired nurse, so I have nothing but respect for nurses. Unfortunately, I've been hospitalized myself, so I have that experience to draw on for my own characters.

I added you back! ^^
Jan. 25th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
YAY!! I was lucky I had some very awesome teachers (if my novel ever gets published I will be dedicating it to four of them!). Hee I love my thusaurace you can only say "Moaned" so many times before it gets boring! lol!!

Aww *big hugs*. It's very diffucult to be hospitalized *knock on wood* hopfully you won't be again! *nods*

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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