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.
I posted the story at first in weekly installments in my blog Dare to Read as Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did in the magazines that were so popular in their time.
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.
Lovely post and your book, Immortal Love, sounds great. I can’t wait to read it. I’m a big fan of Buffy the Vampire too and draw some of my fight scenes and angst from that great show. My stories come from my love of Japanese Animations too. I like the ones with people who might not be all human or they have special powers. I find those characters to be most interesting as they try to fit into a “normal” world. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Ashlyn.
I agree not human characters are the ones that make us question what it means to be human and are the most interesting to write.
It is always fascinating to read how inspiration evolves in the mind of an author, Carmen. Your novel’s protagonist is so different and beguiling! I can’t wait to read Immortal Love.
I love how your fantasy agent crept into your fiction. That’s quite hilarious! It’s always fascinating to hear where ideas come from. My inspiration for my latest YA, Fireseed One, a futuristic thriller, came from drawings I did a good twenty years ago, of a future world. I am also an illustrator, and I have nine interior spots in Fireseed One. They are reminiscent of those old drawings, but with new twists.
Catherine Stine’s Idea City
Thank you, Catherine.
It must be cool to draw your own settings. I am useless with the pencil, so I take pictures.
Settings are huge for me, Carmen. Your’s is gorgeous!
Thank you R.T.
Thanks for guest blogging on my site Carmen – it’s amazing how writers and other artists find inspiration everywhere (a ph0to, a past event, an overheard snippet of dialogue, a glance across a room, etc.) as long as we’re open to it. I always find it interesting to hear what inspires others.
Thanks to you Janice for having me here.