The odd thing about inspiration is that sometimes it's present when you don't even realize it. I have always been a fan of suspense novels, so that's what I enjoy writing. It wasn't until I was working on a draft of a novel, which incidentally, still sits unfinished on a flash drive, that the idea for Redwood Violet came back to me. I say 'came back' because it was always there, boxed up in my mind and labeled, "For when she realizes she's supposed to be a writer."
When I was very young, I would say maybe eight or nine years old, I had this recurring dream of being chased by a looming, shadowy figure; very frightening, really. In fact, the book was originally titled, Shadow Man, to more accurately reflect the vision that always haunted my sleep. I can't recall exactly when the dreams stopped, but the unknown, faceless figure has always stayed with me .
Fortunately, in my case, this was simply the dream of a young girl with an overactive imagination and in no way relates to the events my main character, Katie, had suffered in the story. I first attempted to write a novel in my late twenties. I had always been the creative type; high school theater geek, transitioned to college theater geek and then eventually took a shot at acting professionally. I think we can all guess how that turned out!
So, I struggled to find another creative outlet, which eventually led to a haphazard attempt at a semi-autobiographical book about two people brought together by fate (i.e. the story of how I met my English husband). It didn't take long for me to realize that I hadn't a clue as to how to write a book. Nor did it take me long to realize the fact that the storyline probably wouldn't interest as many people as I might like to believe.
So, I tucked away that ambition in pursuit of a more secure future; having a family and a career. But, after all that had unfolded, I was still left with a void. It was a void that could not be filled with the love of my family because it was a different kind of void. It was a deeply personal emptiness that I struggled with for years. When I took to writing again about four years ago, it was because the economy was in the toilet and so was my career. But lo and behold, the void slowly began to fill with each online article I wrote, essay I wrote, short story and eventually my novel, Redwood Violet.
So, I guess the inspiration for writing my book came from years of searching for my true passion and my overactive imagination. It has, once again, begin giving off sparks. But it is the love and support of my amazing family that I believe is my true inspiration.