Writing Inspiration by G.D.Penman
The whole idea of writing inspiration is a little bit silly, because ultimately, everything that we experience and learn about in our lives becomes fodder for the stories that we tell. I can’t write a list of things that inspire me that starts with the word “everything.” Literally anything might spark off a chain of thoughts that leads you to your next creative endeavour
A few specific things that help to get my creative juices flowing are reading non-fiction and looking at art. Which sounds incredibly snooty until you realise that most of that involves raking through Wikipedia and browsing Tumblr.
I’ve always loved myths, legends and folklore, so as a fantasy and horror writer I always have the option to fall back on those when a story idea has a hole in it, but over the last decade or so I have been getting more and more interested in history; both the things that are completely changed by different cultural norms and the things that remain a constant of the human condition.
When I was writing my second world fantasy book Call Your Steel; it was almost easy to build an ahistorical world, because all that I had to do was work out the goal of those in power and extrapolate out from there how they would build a society to serve that goal. There was essentially one culture with minor variations and none of the chaos of real life.
When I wrote The Year of the Knife I was creating an alternate history based on the idea that magic existed. I had to look at the history and culture of societies all around the world and extrapolate how they would have interacted with the supernatural, mostly based on their interaction with religion and folklore.
More than that; because magic could extend the lives of individuals that used it, and because an arcane “nuclear option” existed for societies throughout history in the form of wishes and demonic pacts, I had to create a more stagnant world. Balancing a much slower rate of cultural advancement with the fact that cultures that the Age of Empires rolled over were still around, influencing things.
History was the biggest inspiration for the overall plot of The Year of the Knife. History with a side order of “everything.”
The Year of the Knife
Published by: Meerkat Press
Publication date: November 28 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Agent -Sully- Sullivan is one of the top cops in the Imperial Bureau of Investigation. A veteran witch of the British Empire who isn’t afraid to use her magical skills to crack a case. But Sully might need more than a good education and raw power to stop the string of grisly murders that have been springing up across the American Colonies. Every one of them marked by the same chilling calling card, a warning in the form of a legion of voices screaming out through the killers’ mouths: -It IS tHe YEAr oF the KNife.-
Sully’s investigation will drag her away from the comforts of home in New Amsterdam, the beautiful but useless hyacinth macaw that used to be her boss, and the loving arms of her undead girlfriend, in a thrilling race against time, demonic forces and a shadowy conspiracy that will do anything to keep its hold on power and ensure that Sully takes their secrets to her grave, as soon as possible.
G.D. Penman’s imaginative The Year of the Knife is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy mystery with an engaging set of characters, most notably Agent Sully of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation.
G D Penman writes Speculative Fiction. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. He is a firm believer in the axiom that any story is made better by dragons. His beard has won an award. If you have ever read a story with Kaiju and queer people, it was probably one of his. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he likes to watch cartoons, play video and tabletop games, read more books than are entirely feasible and continue his quest to eat the flesh of every living species.
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