Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where it All Comes From

Like most other authors, I'm asked where my inspiration comes from. All around me is usually my answer. Most of the time I'm hit when I least expect it. One time comes to mind when I was still a pre-teen. My class had gone on a field trip to a wax museum (on a double decker bus no less!!). Now wax museums are always an odd place to me. They usually seem so life-like and freak me out a little. But this particular museum had a section at the end that was like a house of horrors. Even though we were just kids, our chaperons didn't give us a choice to go in or not - you went regardless because you had to stick with the group (in today's society, someone would probably get sued for that...). I didn't really want to go, but had no choice. In I went. To be honest, with very dim lighting, walls, ceiling and floor all painted black is was down-right spooky. I kept my eyes closed for most of it and chose to hold on to the back of my friend's shirt to get me through. Near the end though, I bucked up and relaxed a little and actually saw some of the displays.

One of which was a man who looked perfect and dashing in a crisp tuxedo and stood over a woman in a elegant black cocktail dress. The dress was torn in places and she was suspended on two metal hooks around her mid-section. It wasn't gruesome in a bloody sense, there was very little blood on the display, only on her skin near where the hooks disappeared into her. Something about it stayed with me, for whatever reason. I wasn't disturbed by it, nor horrified. I forgot about it as soon as I stepped outside with my friends and never thought it again.

At least until two years ago when it became the inspiration for a scene I wrote in my newest release, Blood Fever.
I lifted my head to see why I couldn't move. To my horror, I saw an oversized steel clamp suspended from the ceiling on thick black iron links. The clamp tongs flared out wide from the bottom link and speared into my sides. If I shifted my weight slightly, I could feel myself pivoting on points that met somewhere deep inside of me. My healing abilities kept me alive despite the hook and I realized every time I moved, I reopened the wounds. Each time I took a breath, my weight on the suspended hook shifted and I had my explanation as to why I felt as if the pain would never go away.
The pale blue cotton t-shirt I'd been wearing was now a dark red color. My arms and hands were coated with streaks of dried blood as well and I could only imagine what the rest of me looked like. I felt as if I'd stepped into a bad horror movie or some freak show exhibit.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how authors get their inspiration. ;^)


Stacey Kennedy said...

Yes - oh yes - this part had me squirming!! LOVED IT :)

Sara Brookes said...

It did get a little gruesome, didn't it? LOL

Annie Nicholas said...

Odd how things stick with you years later.