Guest Blogger: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Sometimes the inspiration for a story comes from an event in the writer’s past.
That was the case for my young adult fantasy TWO MOON PRINCESS. Andrea’s journey from her medieval kingdom to modern day California and back parallels my own between Spain and the States, even though Andrea travelled through an arch in the beach and I, by plane.
A journey, an emotional one this time, is at the core of my second novel THE KING IN THE STONE. A journey through love and loss as devastating for my protagonist in an eighth century Spanish village as it was, in real life, for me.
In both cases, the outline of the story was in my mind before I wrote it. My latest book, IMMORTAL LOVE, on the other hand, evolved in a totally different way.
Back in the fall of 2010, I had just finished my third YA fantasy and was querying agents to represent it. At the same time, with the excuse of doing research, I was reading many YA novels. As you may remember, vampires, demons and fairies, were big those days in the YA world —no complaint here for I love the genre— but after a while all these stories started to blend in my mind: the good guys were always young and beautiful, the bad ones, old and ugly. Not being either young or beautiful myself, this started to bother me.
So, I decided to write a book where an older woman, a single mother of two teens as I was at the time, is the one in charge of saving the world, and because my favorite paranormal story of all times is BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, the bad guys became vampires.
But no sooner had I started writing that my unconscious wish to find an agent became my protagonist’s and my vampire antagonist morphed into the perfect agent. A perfect agent who could be no other than Becquer, the most romantic of the Spanish poets whose poems of unrequited love I, and every other teen in my class, had memorized the first time a clueless boy broke our hearts.
Becquer was the perfect agent because during his life he tried and failed to be recognized as a writer, and had to work odd jobs to make a living. Who better than him to understand my struggles to get published? Besides he was handsome and had but a short life. A fact, this last one, that I decided to change by making him an immortal in my story.
As I wrote, Becquer’s personality I had gathered by reading his letters and his stories took over my character and make him act in ways that were his own. His interaction with my alter ego, Carla, became an intimate dance between them of which I was only an observer for, in the magical way every author will recognize, my two protagonists had become alive and were telling me their story.
To keep this paranormal story believable for my readers, I chose real settings like the ones represented in these pictures taken in Bucks County, PA where I live.
But even in beautiful places, evil lures and Carla and Becquer must fight both internal and external demons before making the ultimate decision that will seal or break their relationship.
As you can see by my examples, personal experience and real places are always an integral part of my stories.
What about yours? Where do your stories come from?
Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban is the author of the young adult fantasy TWO MOON PRINCESS (Tanglewood Press) and the paranormal romance IMMORTAL LOVE (Crimson Romance). The amazing Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown represents her YA novels.
Originally from Spain, she lives in Bucks County, PA, where she works as a freelance writer, editor and translator. Visit her for more information at www.WriteEditPublish.com.