Take Inspiration From Where You Can Get It


Book Cover Nero's Fiddle

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“Well, it wasn’t a torrential downpour,” Bev said. “And as long as there’s no lightning there’s little danger.”

“Yeah, but it didn’t do much for the humidity,” Sedona said. “It feels like a bathhouse out here.”

“Yeah it’s always like that in the summer. Especially when it’s just a short storm like that one. We call that a Georgia Quickie.”

“Oh, yeah?” Sedona said. When that didn’t prompt Bev to elaborate, she said, “Okay. I’ll bite. What’s a Georgia Quickie?”

Bev glanced ahead to make sure the kids were out of earshot. She leaned closer so only Sedona could hear. “Barely enough to get you wet and just enough to keep you hot and bothered afterwards.”


This is an excerpt from the epic post-apocalyptic thriller, Nero’s Fiddle.

I would like to tell you from whence the inspiration came for this book.

As a lifelong writer, I am also a lifelong reader.

I began listening to audiobooks while working as a data entry operator. Though I doubted I could concentrate on listening and typing at the same time, I soon realized that the mindless drudgery of typing repetitively didn’t require that much effort from my brain. My fingers did all the work.

It was while listening to William Forschten’s One Second After the inspiration came to me. It was about an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack and how the people of Black Mountain, North Carolina dealt with it.

At first, I thought an EMP was only a thing of science fiction. It was featured in the movie The Matrix and I thought it was something of someone else’s imagination.

I made the mistake of Googling it. To my horror, it is a very real thing and a distinct possibility.

I had to stop listening the first time because there was a part in the book that I just couldn’t handle. If you’re an animal lover, be forewarned.

But the subject matter of the book haunted me, until I relented and listened to it. Several times.

Each time I listened, I visualized and EMP story of my own. One that featured women heroes with some action.

The more I visualized it, the more that ol’ writing itch began to bother me. If you’re a writer, you know what I’m talking about. That overwhelming compulsion to get started on a story while trying to resist in order to allow your subconscious to work on it to make it more coherent.

Yeah, that’s the one.

Before I began writing Nero’s Fiddle, I knew it would be one of those all-consuming projects: a project that comes before laundry, sleeping, or eating.

I wrote during my breaks at work. I wrote on the commute to and from work. I stayed up late, got up early, took a notepad with me to the laundromat.

For eight months, I breathed, ate, slept Nero’s Fiddle.

I carried on entire dialogues with myself before writing them down, much to the entertainment of my cats.

When all was said and done, I felt I had completed a book of which I can be proud. And I am.

But here is my point: inspiration for a story idea can be found everywhere. Literally.

From the six o’clock news to a song on the radio to a movie, or another book.

I wrote another book, Project Moreau, from a combination of a story I heard on the six o’clock news and the book, The Island of Dr. Moreau, hence, the title, and a story written by a friend.

No copyright infringements. Ideas cannot be copyrighted. No plagiarism as long as you use your own words.

So, pay attention. You never know from where your next inspiration will come.

Pen is the self-published author of numerous tomes. See more of her work at www.penspen.wixsite.com/neros-fiddle, www.penspen.wixsite.com/hswarrior, and www.penspen.wixsite.com/eightonablade




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