I had a great time with some friends this last weekend and we had some deep conversations about what a weird world we live in, and how hard it can be to get by from day to day, especially if you’re poor, out of work, addicted, or homeless. Think about other people when you cast your votes this season – I don’t care who you vote for, so long as you do it with good conscience and measured thought.
We also had a much shallower, but more fun conversation about what inspired me to write my book. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have inspirations – many, in fact. Some people, some were events, some were things I know I like or dislike. However, I don’t remember many of them, as I wrote Demigod Conception over such a long period.
So, here’s a rundown of some of the main ideas I wanted to get across, in a top ten list, because who doesn’t love lists? Before anyone gets angry and says they hate any of these, remember: My book. Not yours. That said, feel free to disagree in the comments below. :D
10) No Royalty. (Not royalties, I like those.) I dislike kings, dukes, barons, and princes. Queens are okay, but only if they’re gay. Princesses are not okay, neither are duchesses, nor baronesses. I hate knights, errant or straight. Unless they guard bridges. Royalty bothers me. I’m American, okay? We’re born this way now.
9) No teenage boy coming of age story. *Yawn*. Read it too many times. Also, I dislike the awkward non-sexual crush they must have on the only cute but unobtainable girl in their village.
8) My hero wants to go home. One of my favorite facets of heroic literature is the uncomfortable hero. They are thrust into their position and must decide: will they take up the challenge?
7) Battles aren’t won by warriors and feats of strength. Not always, anyhow. Battles are sometimes won by logic, timing, and cunning. Remember the invasion of Iraq? We hardly shot a bullet there because we had great timing and troop movement.
6) I want a female hero! When I started writing this, I felt like you could only find female heroes in Anne McCaffrey fantasies. There wasn’t even a Buffy back then. I was dying for a powerful female character willing to bust some heads. Kyla fit the bill.
5) No weak women. I love Ursula LeGuin’s work. I would love to have that kind of talent. But, I can at least follow her lead and promote my female characters to the helm. I have a baddie, a hero, and several female side characters that I hope are strong parts of the story. I’m particularly fond of Cameo, who will take a much bigger role in the sequel.
4) I want action. I remember reading a book where the main character had an entire battle described like this: “Stepping crow, cross-sweep. Upward crane, flying cheese-cloth. Split the silk with dragon tooth.” The author had jumped the shark for me, and had been watching waaaay too much kung-fu. I love kung-fu movies, don’t get me wrong. But this is a book. There’s no cool action on screen to back up the fancy-snappy names for the moves. The reader has to see it. The author must describe it. That’s the arrangement. I decided I would have action in my stories. Always. If I ever make a story with no action, slap me.
3) People are complex. We’re both experts and novices, perfect and flawed. Even people I dislike are complex, and deserve respect. Everyone’s a hero in their own story.
2) Black holes are awesome. (Think about it. There’s a black hole MacGuffin in the book.)
1) Bald people rule.