Sources of Inspiration
I often get asked by my readers where I get the ideas for my books from. And the answer is my novels are inspired by lots of things. It can be people, places or events that get me thinking and then imagining what if … Or it can be a completely made up something or someone that just pops into my head and I decide that that little seed is worth exploring. And before I know it I have the elements of a full length story planned out and the writing begins.
However, the inspiration process doesn’t end there. As I write and get to know my characters, other ideas come along that need exploring too. Thinking about this recently, I was quite surprised to realise that in all my books so far a main character’s life has been impacted by a common factor. It wasn’t a conscious decision to make this be the case, it just fitted with the storyline. And I’m glad it did as it did indeed prove to be inspirational.
Three Amazing Charities
The common factor is the work of several charitable organisations and there are three in particular that helped me develop my stories.
The first one is the Veterans Foundation. The work of this organisation informed and inspired aspects of army veteran, Steven’s, story in Baby Steps namely his job and recovery from his injuries.
From their website:
Who does the Veterans’ Foundation help and how?
Our journey began by sharing the stories of our Armed Forces family on social media and this quickly escalated into a large, trusted community of friends and supporters. In just a few years we’ve engaged and interacted with millions of you, celebrating our Armed Forces and bringing hope of a better life to those in need of care and assistance.
Our supporters, you, are the heartbeat of the Veterans’ Foundation and through your kind donations, fundraising events and by playing our popular Veterans’ Lottery, challenges are being faced, overcome, and lives are changing for the better.
The second one is Venture Trust. The work of this charity helped inspire and inform the project that Jack, the hero in the Skye series of novels – Displacement, Settlement and Fulfilment – set up to help others like himself whose mental health benefitted from outdoor based therapy.
From their website:
Established in 1982, Venture Trust delivers intensive personal development for people, at any stage in their life, struggling with issues such as involvement in the criminal justice system in Scotland, long term unemployment, recovery from addiction, homelessness or risk of homelessness, isolation, and a history of trauma or harm.
By building trust and ensuring that people feel safe they can explore their complex experiences through personal development and therapy in their community and the Scottish outdoors.
The outdoors offers inherent challenge for individuals to reflect on beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. With time and space away from influences at home, individuals can unlock skills and learn new, more positive, ways of approaching situations.
And the third one Is Macmillan Cancer Support. This is a charity I have personal experience of and I’ll be forever grateful for the support they provided to me. But apart from that this charity was a source of information to me when I was writing my first book Change of Life and the main female character got her own cancer diagnosis.
MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT
From their website:
Cancer information and support
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, we’re here to help. Find out how we support you and get information about different cancer types.
Please, if you’re interested, do visit any of the above charities’ websites to learn more. They are all UK/Scotland based – but if you’re not in the UK, perhaps there are similar ones where you live? Of course all three of the organisations I’ve mentioned are dependent on financial donations to continue their wonderful work and I support all three of them – whether that’s by making donations, following and sharing their work on social media, or by giving them a shout out here on the blog.
What about you?
And now, as always, it’s over to you. Are there any charities you support or have helped you deal with life’s challenges? Please do share in the comments below. Or, If you’re a writer, do you have ‘go to’ sources of inspiration/information for your novels – charities or otherwise?