Whenever I meet someone for the first time who isn’t related to book world, the topic of employment almost always comes up. When I mention I’m an author, the same questions follow—what genre do you write, how many books have you published, who’s your publisher?
Those are the easy questions. The expected ones. Answers that don’t require much thinking because it’s just data.
It’s when I hear, where does your inspiration come from, that brings the conversation several levels deeper.
It’s difficult to describe the brain of a writer. Parents often refer to their children as sponges and I believe a writer is similar. I don’t just observe environments I step into, I mentally move in and live there. By the time I leave, even if I was only there for a few seconds, I’m able to describe the smell of the room, the color of the walls, the pattern on the chairs. If I return five years later, I can tell you if the throw rug has changed or a piece of art has been replaced.
I see detail.
I feel the detail, too, and I refer to it as crumbs.
Crumbs, with their jagged edges and unique scents, are pieces of the plot. They unravel individually like Starbursts. And, slowly, they find their place, building the complex, intricate layers of the story.
I remember the moment the crumbs began to form for When Ashes Fall, my upcoming release. It was February 2017 and I was in one of the darkest periods of my life. If you’ve ever held the hand of someone you love while they take their last breath, then you can relate to what I went through. It was that feeling, that raw, emptiness that spoke to me. What I heard was a question …
If you were given one more moment, what would it look like?
That became the entire premise of the book. This time, the crumbs were snapshots that flashed through my head, showing me each layer. Rain falling from a dark sky, a decadent slice of chocolate cake, the cockpit of a plane, a man in an alley needing help, were just a few. What were these images trying to tell me? How do they fit? What’s the importance of something as simple as chocolate cake?
I let each detail unwrap.
I was patient.
For weeks those images haunted me. Relentlessly. Some whispered, some screamed. But when it finally all clicked into place, the only way I can describe it is magic.
Where does your inspiration come from?
That’s just as easy as asking the genre I write because I’m influenced by everything—the color of your eyes, the last word you spoke, the scent of the room we’re standing in. Maybe it’s the way you shook my hand or the expression you’re giving me or the tattoo on your wrist.
YOU are my inspiration.
I’m taking in your details.
I’m waiting for your crumbs.
They might turn into a novel or they may not.
But I’m always, always inspired.
When Ashes Fall by Marni Mann, out Today! Click here to pre-order your copy today.
It’s been said that you can’t love two men at the same time.
You can’t split your heart, soul, and body in half.
But I’m here to tell you, you can.
Dylan Cole is like ice, sharp and unpredictable, the thunder inside a tumultuous storm.
Smith Reid is warmth, soft and gentle, perfect like a sunny day.
Both are mine.
But I can have only one.
There are two sides to this tale.
I’m here to tell you mine.
If you think this story is about a cheater, you couldn’t be more wrong.