Saturday 27 October 2012

My Little Inspiration for the Next Novel

Inspiration hits when you least expect it and sometimes from the most unlikely sources. My next novel was inspired by my 2-year old son.

After writing the first ten chapters of Bloody Mary Kelly, (I previewed the first two chapters at the end of Depth of Deception) I was hit with writer's block as I mentioned in an earlier blog. While I was dealing with this dilemma, my 2-year old son was watching Les Misérables in Concert.  He has watched it many, many times. "Sings" along with Jean Valjean and Gavroche and seems to have a crush on Éponine (or "Ep-Pony" as he calls her).

I can't complain about him enjoying it. There are shows geared for his age-range that drive me crazy. So him liking a classic story told through music is fine with me. It should come as no surprise that I've always loved the classic tales of that era. I've read and loved the swashbuckling works of Alexandre Dumas, epic novels of Victor Hugo and loved Baroness Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel.  

Years ago, I had started writing a screenplay based on a historical figure from that era but I had a difficult time condensing his extraordinary life story into a 120-page script. Trimming down the richness and the complexity seemed to cheapen and reduce it to a mere documentary. I needed an angle but I had none that would do him justice so I shelved the idea and went to work on other writing projects.

Fast-forward in time to me struggling with writer's block. I laid down for a nap while my son was watching Les Misérables in Concert - again. As I started to drift to sleep a lyric got stuck in my head... something wasn't right with it. I'm not sure how long my wife had let me sleep, but when I woke up, that lyric was still in my head and it sparked something.  I got up, grabbed my iPhone and cross referenced with a historical event.  I grabbed my copy of Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables and found the angle that I had been looking for when I had tried writing that screenplay so many years ago. It became clear that a screenplay format would not suffice as the ending of the story popped into my mind and for the next few months I researched that era of France for the details that will go into my next novel.

It has been invigorating and exciting and would never have happened had my son not been watching Les Misérables in Concert again and again.  So this novel is dedicated to my son.

Now to start writing it... starting November 1st, as I've registered for NaNoWriMo.  
My 2-year old son watching Les Misérables in Concert.

Excerpt of first few chapters available & other photos available on official website:

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