An Author Perspective: The Inspiration for 'The Midnight Saga.'
Inspiration for the writing of book 1, EITHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT came in a flash one random day in 2011. It came as a series of questions as I recall: What if a young, innocent bride is abducted on her wedding night – the best day of her life? What if the guy who takes her wears a mask and never reveals himself? What if he takes her to somewhere deserted and she is locked in a room with no clue where she is or how or if she’ll ever escape? What if his voice is familiar ? Ten minutes later, I had a plot. Two years later, I had the completed novel and those questions became my blurb. The protagonist had been given one of my favourite names – Naomi. I have two daughters and my husband wasn’t up for using that name either time. So Naomi became my pen-daughter and my hubby had no say in the matter and absolutely no part in the conception – which was immaculate of course!
Having a plot is only the beginning of writing. HOW to join all the dots together and do it in an intriguing way, takes of lot of time and very hard work and skill. Writers never feel equal to the task, but somehow, a picture starts to form and the seeds for a fantastic story begin to sprout. It’s as exciting for the writer to go and grow through this process as it is for the reader to enjoy the end product. It’s a kind of gift-giving. Nice to give as well as to get! There is pleasure on both sides.
The main inspiration for book 1 came from the characters themselves. Once they’d been ‘born’ , they took on a life of their own. It always feels like a cliché to say this, but it’s true. It is like having a child. You don’t know what you’re getting really. You have a child, then you get to know the child and – with great interest – you watch him/her develop. Parallels can be drawn. I had a basic plot. My characters were conceived. I put them in the opening scenes and then I climbed inside their heads, and then I instinctively knew what they would do. Of course, I get stuck at times. My characters seem to sneak off on holiday or something and leave me stranded! Because I’m an impulsive kind of person, I prefer to get on with the story once I have a decent idea. An outline is enough for me, and then I dive in and see what my characters get up to. I’m not a great one for over-planning/preparing. I find it dull and unstimulating to over-prepare. I like to leave room for an element of surprise. Plotlines always come to me as a go along. I could not plan every detail from the beginning. It isn’t my style at all.
The inspiration for THE DARKNESS VISIBLE came from book 1. I’d written EITHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT as a standalone book. No plans for a sequel or series at all. When I decided to write a trilogy, the inspiration for the plotline was governed by all the already-established details and I was stuck with them. I had to scrutinise my own plot, and then I had to build a much bigger picture. By now, I knew the characters well, so once again, they really helped me out. One of the minor characters in book 1, Vincent Solomon, becomes a major character , a pivotal character in fact, in the second book. Getting inside Solomon’s head was great fun, if you enjoy the company of a creepy guy who can’t bear noise, has OCD and – when he isn’t commanding his bodyguards or attending to the nightclub he owns – wears polished shoes and a suit for lounging around the house. Who/what was the inspiration for Solomon’s character? I have no clue. He inflicted himself upon me and – in true Solomon style – forced his way into my story and began to control it.
Tori's career has been in music. She has privately taught piano and theory of music since 1987 and, ready for a challenge and believing she had a story to tell, began writing in 2009. Despite the classical music background, Ms de Clare is very grounded and loves nothing better than a good laugh. Mum of four and one of seven children, Tori finds little time for hobbies outside of family, reading, writing and teaching. Her very busy life gives her the perfect excuse to opt out of ironing and all forms of keep-fit. The only working out she now does is how to avoid accompanying her husband to the gym. Permanently. Daughter of two pianists, music was destined to be her career (sigh! Cursed fate). Her dad died when she was just 18 and always aspired to being a writer. Either Side of Midnight is dedicated to him, and to her mum who taught her to play the piano.
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