Inspriation comes in the strangest places, at the strangest times

Last night, I was brushing my teeth when it hit me — an idea for a new book. No, the new book had squadoosh to do with brushing teeth, dentifrice, flouride, choppers, or teeth in general. The idea, however, excited the crap out of me (and the toothpaste, as I hurried to get to my laptop to make notes before the idea slipped away) and I knew it was a book that I had to write and write soon.

Shortly after that little moment, inspiration hit me again… this time as I was writing what I thought was going to be the final scene in the upcoming fourth novel of the I Zombie series (Lie Zombie Lie). That inspiration made me realize that Lie Zombie Lie wasn’t ready for the final scene — there was more nomming goodness to be had.

It’s funny where inspiration can hit. Most generally, inspiration hits me when I’m riding my bike. Why? I guess it’s one of those times (especially when flying through a technical trail system) that distraction is at a minimum and I can focus on a singular idea. This is especially helpful when I’ve written myself into a corner. Such was the case last night…

Uh oh.

Okay, not technically a “corner” as much as it was I had written Bethany Nitshimi into an underground city surrounded by a new evolution of zombies. With Lie Zombie Lie I really wanted to take the “How would all of this happen in real life?” approach. I didn’t want to hand my heroes an arsenal of weapons and allow themselves to blow their way out of each and every nightmare. I wanted to make the characters think — use that meat the zombies call “delish!” A problem arose — how was I to get Bethany and company out of their current insane situation without bringing in a drop-ship full of “guns ablazin'”? That issue resolved itself yesterday while I was going for a run.

That’s right — a run. I had music in my hears, wind in my face, and ideas bouncing around in my thought meat. But it wasn’t until two songs hit me upside the heart before I had my solution for the trap I had set for myself. Those two songs? “Get Some” by Chevelle and “Pieces” by Red. “Get Some” gave me everything I needed to help Bethany and company out of their current situation. All I can say is listen to the opening of the song (before the lyrics). The feedback and sound effects generated by the guitar keyed me into an idea to expand on something Bethany had already used. It’s powerful and it will kick the undead in their collective junk!

Following “Get Some” was the song “Pieces” by Red. This is a moving number that made me realize there was something big I had yet to make Bethany deal with. All I can say about that is — she’s about to get sucker punched in the heart.

The moral of this story is simple — inspiration can come from anywhere. At the heart of my inspiration is music (and the occasional brushing of the teeth). Music is a powerful, powerful tool that can be used in so many wondrous ways. In this instance, it worked to help a few survivors of the Mengele Virus escape the clutches of certain doom!

Just sos you can get a sneak peak into my head and heart — here are the videos for the songs that helped me overcome a major obstacle in Lie Zombie Lie (NOTE: I chose the particular “Get Some” video because of the imagery used from the Silent Hill video).

And now “Pieces”, by Red.